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Debian 6.0 Kernel Will Be Free Of Closed Firmware

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  • Debian 6.0 Kernel Will Be Free Of Closed Firmware

    Phoronix: Debian 6.0 Kernel Will Be Free Of Closed Firmware

    The Debian project has announced with their Debian 6.0 "Squeeze" release their default Linux kernel will be free of any non-free firmware/microcode. The Debian developers wish to have their kernel free absolutely of any non-free firmware bits, although Linus Torvalds has allowed such firmware for wireless adapters and other computer components generally into the Linux kernel...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=ODkyNQ

  • #2
    Basically you have to add firmware for most wireless devices and lots of dvb hardware. So would i ship it without firmware it would be non functional first, that's not good. Maybe for purists...

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    • #3
      A workaround is to get the latest firmware-nonfree package and put it on a USB stick then install it right after installing Debian to get the functionality

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      • #4
        Nobody likes to do that with a live image.

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        • #5
          I think the DPL may need their dried frog pill dosage adjusted.

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          • #6
            debian is on a fast track to becoming most useless distro ever with that kind of attitude.

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            • #7
              Well you can install lots of needed firmware from the repository, it is just not installed by default with official debian images. When you only base your work on debian you can preinstall anything you want basically...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kano View Post
                Basically you have to add firmware for most wireless devices and lots of dvb hardware. So would i ship it without firmware it would be non functional first, that's not good. Maybe for purists...
                The problem is the way the argument was framed, essentially everyone for the removal of firmware is thinking the firmware is similar to nvidia and fglrx.

                No one bothers pointing out that the "blobs" meet the requirements of the four freedoms. The only thing stopping anyone from reading and understanding the tables of numbers that make up most of the "blobs" is themselves.

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                • #9
                  2 thoughts...

                  First, I'll bet this will make a more stable system on supported hardware. I can't imagine running straight debian on anything that isn't a server, so I imagine the negative impact is pretty limitted.

                  Come on guys, this is the distro where "stable" has only been updated every three or four years (although I notice that **gasp** they just released lenny a short 1.5 years after etch)

                  Second, Derivatives such as Ubuntu will certainly not follow suit unless the number of drivers needing firmware becomes less intimately tied to necessary services such as video and network.

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                  • #10
                    No to non-free firmware, no to non-free Firefox artwork. But yes to non-free Mono disease. Debian is like a vegetarian wearing a fur coat. I cannot take this distro seriously.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
                      debian is on a fast track to becoming most useless distro ever with that kind of attitude.
                      Yes, because installing the firmware manually is waaaay to hard...
                      Blobs make the kernel harder to debug and test.

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                      • #12
                        The current changes in KDE/Gnome are very small. Squeeze looks similar to (K)ubuntu 10.04. Did you notice many changes compared to 10.10? I guess not. Also you are free to update the kernel to latest version, that's absolutely no problem.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by yogi_berra View Post
                          The problem is the way the argument was framed, essentially everyone for the removal of firmware is thinking the firmware is similar to nvidia and fglrx.

                          No one bothers pointing out that the "blobs" meet the requirements of the four freedoms. The only thing stopping anyone from reading and understanding the tables of numbers that make up most of the "blobs" is themselves.
                          Wrong. A bunch of meaningless numbers is not open source. It needs to be unobfuscated. If your argument would hold, then all freeware would be open source. The only thing stopping you from understanding the output of a disassembler is yourself.

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                          • #14
                            Debian is very strict about distributing only free things in main. If it does not come in the preferred form for modification, then it is not free.

                            This does not only apply to software/firmware, but also for fonts, artwork, etc.

                            Some people seem to think that firmware needs to be retrofitted to live images for some users. But that is not true, the installer will come in a variant which includes propietary firmware.

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                            • #15
                              This means (among other things) no support for radeon hardware. That's a hard pill to take.

                              I respect Debian for doing the thing that hurts over and over again in the name of software freedom. Still, it's a harsh decision.

                              debian is on a fast track to becoming most useless distro ever with that kind of attitude.
                              I don't think so.

                              They've had that attitude since day one, and they have always been by far the most influential community distro, and arguably the most influential distro, period.

                              They are not going anywhere.

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