[Dev] [Qtwebengine] QTWebengine compliance with FSDG

Herman van Hazendonk me at herrie.org
Tue Jan 24 08:35:40 GMT 2017

Hi Luke,

For our little OS distribution LuneOS (based on HP/Palm's open sourced 
webOS) with various added bits we did the migration to QtWebEngine a 
while ago (we've went through a number of updates and are at 5.6.x now), 
so I can share something about our experience:

1. As far as I know this doesn't happen since it's a very stripped down 
Chromium, but I'm unable to double check & confirm this. You could have 
a look at https://github.com/qt/qtwebengine-chromium/ to see if there 
are any clues. Sync, Hangouts etc are for sure not there.

2. a. You need to specifically enable these during the build. See 
what we do in our recipe for this. We use the meta-qt5 layer for this.
    b. You need to enable this again in your WebEngineView as well like 
we did here: 

3. Not sure what flags you're referring to specifically, but we use the 
following to enable proprietary (MP3) plugins, use PulseAudio and enable 

meta-qt5 does something similar for other options: 

For Geolocation API: This is denied by default: You'd need to implement 
a dialog to allow the user to accept these requests, similar to what 
we've done here: 

4. Not sure, we haven't tested this.

meta-qt5 would be a good layer to start with for qtwebengine, a lot of 
work has been done to get this working properly already on embedded 
systems, qemux86 etc, so it should save you a lot of work for 
reinventing the wheel.

Best regards,

On 2017-01-24 00:45, Luke wrote:
> Hello,
> I am currently a packager for Parabola GNU/Linux-libre. While
> investigating the change from Webkit to Webengine, I discovered several
> concerning issues that affect our compliance with the Free Software
> Foundation's Free System Distribution Guidelines (FSDG).[1] I am 
> hopeful
> that some developers will be able to clarify these issues for us as it
> affects hundreds of projects downstream including nearly all of KDE, as
> well as many QT programs.
> In particular, your website claims it is not just a rendering engine,
> "it is the entire Chromium platform."[2]
> If this is true, there are many outstanding issues with Chromium which
> we would need to be addressed.
> 1) Was any attempt made to remove Google specific code from Chromium
> prior to preparing QTWebengine?
> - If not, could ungoogled-chromium patches be applied to your code?[3]
> By default, Chromium has many lines of code that make internet queries
> to Google. Building it using the default settings essentially puts your
> browser into the cloud. As mentioned in the GNU.org article "Who does
> that server really serve?"[4], free software is only free when you are
> in control. Any use of Google API, Google Sync, Google Hangouts, and
> Google OK, does not classify as free software.
> 2) Is any form of proprietary code such as Adobe pepperflash, webvine
> DRM[5], or proprietary codecs included? If so, can they be removed or
> disabled with a compile time option?
> 3) Is it possible to compile QTWebengine with specific 
> chrome://flags?[6]
> Due to privacy and security concerns of Geolocation API, and GamePad
> API, among others, we would like to have the ability to disable these
> settings for our distribution.
> 4) Was any work done to fix outstanding proxy leaks in Chromium, which
> ignore system proxy settings?[7]
> Once these issues are resolved we will able to include QTWebengine in
> our distribution without issue, otherwise we may have to remove it. Due
> to this being a core package we are hesitant to remove it due to the
> hundreds of packages now depending upon it.
> Thank you for your time and concern regarding this important matter.
> Sincerely,
> Luke
> Parabola GNU/Linux-libre Packager
> https://parabola.nu
> 1. https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html
> 2. https://wiki.qt.io/QtWebEngine
> 3. https://github.com/Eloston/ungoogled-chromium
> 4. 
> https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/who-does-that-server-really-serve.html
> 5. http://defectivebydesign.org/
> 6.
> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/17060363/google-chrome-how-can-i-programmatically-enable-chrome-flags-some-of-the-mod
> 7. https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=80722#c33
> _______________________________________________
> QtWebEngine mailing list
> QtWebEngine at qt-project.org
> http://lists.qt-project.org/mailman/listinfo/qtwebengine

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