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GNU's Linux-Libre 3.15 Kernel Released

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  • GNU's Linux-Libre 3.15 Kernel Released

    Phoronix: GNU's Linux-Libre 3.15 Kernel Released

    Coming just hours after the release of Linux 3.15, the GNU fans have put out their updated Linux-Libre kernel modification...

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

  • #2
    Well, I guess this is more than the "deblob" use flag from Gentoo. Free as in freedom is always good, sure, but I wonder what the point here is.
    Effectively you might be crippling the kernel to run the hardware in a user's system. Sure, a free firmware implementation would be great, but if that is not yet available one might go with a few microblobs (e.g. like radeon UVD firmware). This seems to me still better than having e.g. no wlan, no proper energy management and so on. There is hardware that just comes with stupid broadcom chips built in a not everybody can buy a better (more free) chip anywhere and exchange it in the laptop. Some things might even be soldered.
    So what is the point? Harassing users?

    Instead of crippling the kernel these guys should maybe try to reverse engineer or scratch-build a free firmware for the affected chips. (Of course that is much more work but would help the overall situation better.)

    I personally try to avoid hardware that needs unfree software to run but to a certain extent it is impossible to do so.
    Also: look at coreboot reality. How many laptops, mainboards etc. are there? And on how many percent of them can you be sure to run coreboot? (hint: ain't much, sadly) Often most things are supported but then there is one central element blocking everything else (Hello SuperIO chips!). So sometimes we have to bear the proprietary firmware, even though it is ugly as hell (UEFI) to be able to run the computer at all in the first place.

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    • #3
      Yay.......???

      I can't understand why anyone uses this. Who'd want a computer where they can't use half of the hardware.


      Didn't they remove the ability to load blobs? If so, so called "libre" freedom.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Britoid View Post
        I can't understand why anyone uses this. Who'd want a computer where they can't use half of the hardware.
        With something customisable, like a traditional desktop PC, you can probably put together hardware that does everything you want without any non-free drivers or firmware. And then your system is probably a lot more stable because the free drivers are much more open to development. Although, you wouldn't need the libre kernel on it, because a generic distro-provided one shouldn't need to load any non-free driver modules or firmware.

        Originally posted by Britoid View Post
        Didn't they remove the ability to load blobs? If so, so called "libre" freedom.
        Yes, they're taking away that particular freedom from users. Yes that's irony.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by stevenc View Post
          With something customisable, like a traditional desktop PC, you can probably put together hardware that does everything you want without any non-free drivers or firmware. And then your system is probably a lot more stable because the free drivers are much more open to development. Although, you wouldn't need the libre kernel on it, because a generic distro-provided one shouldn't need to load any non-free driver modules or firmware.
          That's fine if you don't know the definition of FPS or Wi-Fi.

          The only person this project benefits is Richard Stallman. The developers running the project could put their time into something more productive.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Britoid View Post
            That's fine if you don't know the definition of FPS or Wi-Fi.

            The only person this project benefits is Richard Stallman. The developers running the project could put their time into something more productive.
            With respect, I'm pretty sure that being able to release a kernel package which runs on entirely 100% Free Software exactly fits into the definition of "Productive" as far as the GNU project and the FSF are concerned.

            We don't need to have yet another goddamn thread where we argue about whether only including Freely licensed code constitutes as "removing freedom" from users. That ship set sail more or less last decade.

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            • #7
              That kernel is fine but sorry my motherboard is completely unusable without firmwares, for video and net i need radeon and realtek firmware blobs .



              Is it better if i run fglrx on top of that kernel , not sure if that is possibile with libre kernel?
              Last edited by dungeon; 06-09-2014, 04:22 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dungeon View Post
                Is it better if i run fglrx on top of that kernel , not sure if that is possibile with libre kernel?
                That is why i don't believe in that story, because if that is true users can run fglrx as well as runing nvidia blob there... that is nonsense for me , they must restrict interfaces those blobs trying to use too .

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Britoid View Post
                  That's fine if you don't know the definition of FPS or Wi-Fi.
                  I'd suggest an older ATI Radeon card using the free driver, with the non-free microcode running on it. I think that's still as 'free' as the Noveau driver that still has whole chunks of obfuscated source code full of magic constants. And way better than loading a non-free or even binary driver into the kernel. With the open-source radeon driver, Phoronix benchmarks have shown higher in-game FPS than a monitor can display or the human eye can see.

                  And for Wi-Fi, there are plenty of free options, you just have to be prepared to buy a few $5 USB or Mini PCI-E devices until you get one having a chipset you want. Some sellers are even savvy enough to tell you the chipset or required Linux driver when buying.
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compar...reless_drivers

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                  • #10
                    The FOSS talibans strike back.

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