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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.

      Comment


      • #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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                    • #11
                      The purpose of this is to keep Stallman from exploding in rage every time someone dares to charge for their hard work, or simply opt not to tell everyone how it was made.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by stevenc View Post
                        Yes, they're taking away that particular freedom from users. Yes that's irony.
                        https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/imper...ppression.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Freedom is Important and Needed.

                          Ok, I didn't think I'll have to enter into this discussion.

                          1. Stallman has been right time and time again. A lot of freedoms we used to take for granted have been striped away by the governments and the corporations, and we are in progress of losing more. You don't have to like the guy, but do admit he's right, maybe not always in the practical sense, but he gives right goals to aim for. Look at computing landscape and the internet in the 80s and 90s and compare it to today- in terms of how much control the user has over his own hardware and computing tasks he performs.

                          2. Do you know what is in these blobs? How many backdoors by NSA, or chinese, or disgruntled employee of the manufacturer, or anyone else is there? Or how buggy are they and if they'll mess up your system at the worst possible moment.

                          3. You want to do something that is not supported by the BLOB- too bad, there's no way to do it. Like run a wireless card in AP mode, or increase transmission power. You can implement that in open-source drivers if there is a need and hardware physically is capable of doing tha

                          4. You make the choice. You can have a choice between convenience of having things easy, or between trusting the software you run and having the Freedom to do with the software as you wish, as long as the Freedom is preserved for others as well.

                          Of course in real world, there are tradeoffs and most of us choose ease of use and having things work over having everything 100% free. But these goals and ideals are important, and should not be laughed at.

                          Because without these ideals, one day you'll wake up in a world where only corporations can develop software (because of patents and other IP laws), and only software developed by corporations can run on computers (because of security), and you are only allowed to do with the computers what is explicitly deemed permissible by the government (because terrorists), and everything is locked down.

                          --Coder

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by coder111 View Post
                            Ok, I didn't think I'll have to enter into this discussion.

                            1. Stallman has been right time and time again. A lot of freedoms we used to take for granted have been striped away by the governments and the corporations, and we are in progress of losing more. You don't have to like the guy, but do admit he's right, maybe not always in the practical sense, but he gives right goals to aim for. Look at computing landscape and the internet in the 80s and 90s and compare it to today- in terms of how much control the user has over his own hardware and computing tasks he performs.

                            2. Do you know what is in these blobs? How many backdoors by NSA, or chinese, or disgruntled employee of the manufacturer, or anyone else is there? Or how buggy are they and if they'll mess up your system at the worst possible moment.

                            3. You want to do something that is not supported by the BLOB- too bad, there's no way to do it. Like run a wireless card in AP mode, or increase transmission power. You can implement that in open-source drivers if there is a need and hardware physically is capable of doing tha

                            4. You make the choice. You can have a choice between convenience of having things easy, or between trusting the software you run and having the Freedom to do with the software as you wish, as long as the Freedom is preserved for others as well.

                            Of course in real world, there are tradeoffs and most of us choose ease of use and having things work over having everything 100% free. But these goals and ideals are important, and should not be laughed at.

                            Because without these ideals, one day you'll wake up in a world where only corporations can develop software (because of patents and other IP laws), and only software developed by corporations can run on computers (because of security), and you are only allowed to do with the computers what is explicitly deemed permissible by the government (because terrorists), and everything is locked down.

                            --Coder
                            So how is implementing the firmware into a ROM (which according to RMS magically removes the non-free tag) hindering the guys from #2 to have a backdoor in the firmware, or how is it enabling the hardware suddenly to do things not implemented in the firmware (your #3)? And how is having to load a firmware (with the possibility of actually getting bugs in it fixed) instead of having it in a ROM magically give you more control about your machine?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by coder111 View Post
                              Ok, I didn't think I'll have to enter into this discussion.
                              Because without these ideals, one day you'll wake up in a world where only corporations can develop software (because of patents and other IP laws), and only software developed by corporations can run on computers (because of security), and you are only allowed to do with the computers what is explicitly deemed permissible by the government (because terrorists), and everything is locked down.
                              --Coder
                              There are some countries, including the UK, that don't allow software patents. I'd rather my computer work than have a computer that does not work. NSA Backdoors are more likely to be in the firmware, where they're harder to discover.


                              Stallman is right sometimes, but everyone mostly ignores him (see GNU/Linux controversy). Stallman does not like the "freedom" to call the software what you want.
                              Last edited by Britoid; 06-10-2014, 08:11 AM.

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