Using Tirdad with FSF libre kernel

Thank you for making Kicksecure available!
I’m using Kicksecure morphed from Debian 11 in Qubes.

Recently I came across Free Software Foundation site saying:
“Linux, the kernel developed and distributed by Linus Torvalds et al, contains non-Free Software, i.e., software that does not respect your essential freedoms, and it induces you to install additional non-Free Software that it doesn’t contain.
Even after allegedly moving all firmware to a separate project as of release 4.14, Linux so-called “sources” published by Mr Torvalds still contain non-Free firmware disguised as source code.”

If you read more on their site, you’ll find a few examples of that misguiding of the Linux community, and it seems a serious threat to security of most Linux systems, while most users do not care.

So, following the Qubes guide to install the custom kernel, I installed the Freesh Libre Debian kernel (LTS) available at fsfla dot org.

The installation was easy and successful. No problems in Kicksecure/Qubes, such as would be with any unsupported hardware devices. The current LTS version is linux-image-5.15.85-gnu.
After some testing, I removed the stock linux-image-amd64 files and their headers. Now I only have the FSF kernel, and Kicksecure works OK.


  1. Why don’t the devs of Kicksecure and Whonix offer the option to use this FSF kernel, as it’s cleaned from the proprietary and disguised code? And put this info in Wiki?

  2. My next step is to install Tirdad, which requires the kernel headers. I installed the corresponding FSF LTS headers package, currently linux-headers-5.15.85-gnu.
    However, Tirdad doesn’t take it. It’s requiring the same vanilla linux-headers-amd64, linux-headers-5.10.0-20-amd64, and linux-headers-5.10.0-20-common.
    How can I tell Tirdad to use linux-headers-5.15.85-gnu?
    Hope I don’t have to re-build Tirdad from sources.

  3. If Tirdad reconfiguration is not easily doable, will it work normally with the vanilla amd64 headers while using the FSF GNU kernel?


Qubes kernel is up to Qubes.
Qubes-Whonix doesn’t influence Qubes kernel choice.
As far as how Qubes maintainers are replying to this, see:


It’s unsupported.

As for tirdad, Kicksecure (which is based on Debian), all that Kicksecure did was packaging tirdad and integrating tirdad into Kicksecure. Upstream is:

Using tirdad on Qubes with kernels unsupported by Qubes, is unsupported by Kicksecure too.

Kicksecure ™ Documentation Introduction chapter User Expectations - What documentation is and what documentation is not in Kicksecure wiki