Mesh Malachi wrote:
I actually downloaded that driver in the past but couldn't figure out what to do with it.
I don't quite understand the open source issue. Does it mean that if I install that driver, Hyperbola will not use or recognize it?
Hyperbola is a FSDG-compliant distributions, which, among other things, means it doesn't provide nor recommend any nonfree/proprietary software.
The reason for avoiding nonfree sw is that it takes control away from the users. While free/libre software can be modified to fit one's needs or to remove undesired functionality (think tracking/spyware), you're usually unable and/or disallowed to modify a piece of nonfree software. Hence, the companies/people developing it have exclusive control over it and through that, they also have control over your computing when you run that software. This RMS talk explains it well, I think (sorry, didn't know how to find it outside yt, so I just gave an invidious link).
While it might seem bad, that a libre distro lacks some software, It's helpful for those, who don't want to use nonfree stuff. Proprietary firmware/drivers are sometimes needed to make some hardware work. Not everyone wants to make the sacrifice. For those who do, the solution is to not use that hardware (and, say, get some freesw-compatible wifi dongle instead).
Libre distros like Hyperbola obviously don't contain these nonfree drivers/firmware, so some peripherals like wifi-cards may not work. I think it is reported in dmesg when nonfree firmware is prevented from loading.
Linux-libre kernels (ones used in Hyperbola) are made to refuse to load nonfree firmware, so perhaps it will not work even if you install it manually? I'm not sure how exactly it works...
The issue with open source is that free software movement and open source movement have different goals. Some software may be considered open source while being nonfree.
I suspect, however, that with 'open source' you might have meant something more like 'freedom issues' - that's why I wrote all the explanations above. Sorry if I was wrong and you already know all that. If I was right, however, then I am a bit surprised - I expected libre distros to be used mostly by devoted software freedom enthusiasts