The check-dfsg-status package, formerly known as vrms (virtual Richard M. Stallman)

In the early 1980's Richard M. Stallman created the GNU project, whose goal was to provide the world with a Free Operating System (with the word "Free" with the same meaning as in "Freedom").

Since then, a lot of Free Software was developed and entire operating systems based only on Free Software were created. Unfortunately, some data is still stored in a format that is proprietary, secret and non-standard, made by corporations that want to retain control over the users of the software that generates such data.

This, of course, is meant to keep the users following the newer versions of the software that "control" the users' data (so that the users can still have access to their own creations).

Also, unfortunately, most of the time, the software for manipulating such data is not Free in the sense desired by Richard Stallman. Software that does not allow all the freedoms stipulated by Richard Stallman is called non-free software.

The check-dfsg-status program provides the facility for users of Debian-based Operating Systems (like, e.g., Ubuntu) to detect if their systems have any non-free software installed, so that the users can keep their installations only with software that doesn't pose any legal problems.

Originally this software was called 'vrms' (virtual Richard M. Stallman) but was renamed to 'check-dfsg-status' as it's opinions are based on the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG).

The package is now maintained (on Debian's salsa system) by a team of developers including Bdale Garbee (one of the original authors), Rogério Brito and Holger Levsen, with the help of many contributers.

The source code is maintained with a version control system called Git. Anybody can obtain the source code for the check-dfsg-status package from and any collaboration is highly appreciated.

This page was made using Free Software only. Free Software is much more than zero-cost software!

Last updated: 2022-08-06 by Holger Levsen.