In contrast to other databases that list hardware that is technically compatible with GNU/Linux, h-node only lists hardware that will not require any proprietary software of firmware to work with free software operating systems.
A media release quoted the FSF's executive director John Sullivan as saying: "Unlike other common GNU/Linux distributions, installing official Debian by default means installing only free software. As long as Debian users do not add additional package repositories, their systems are a reliable source of fully free compatibility information. We're looking forward to working with Debian to help free software users get the hardware they need, and encourage the companies who provide it."
Debian Project leader Lucas Nussbaum said: "By collaborating with h-node, Debian for the first time has the opportunity to join efforts with other free software communities on the assembly of a database of hardware that doesn't require anything outside the Debian main archive to work properly.
The h-node project was started by Antonio Gallo, who continues to be the project's lead developer. The FSF provides infrastructure and support. The software powering the site is also distributed as free software under version 3 of the GNU General Public Licence.
Users can contribute either by running one of the FSF's endorsed distributions, or Debian with only packages from the default main archive installed. Developers and translators can contribute by working on the site's code.