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Debian Warns Of Hyper Threading Issue With Intel Sky/Kaby Lake CPUs

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  • Pavel
    replied
    Well, i have a Kaby Lake CPU with HT on and i'm yet to encounter any bugs. It works fine.

    Debian tries to change subject because they became a laughing stock by releasing broken install images after 26 months of development.
    BTW Debian's policy on freedom is ridiculous. They provide you with a ton of non-free packages in contrib and non-free and at the same time in the year of 2017 your wi-fi doesn't work out of the box because it requires firmware. Lol what a joke.

    Leave a comment:


  • chithanh
    replied
    Originally posted by BaronHK View Post
    Fedora's policy states clearly that firmware is not considered software, so by the Fedora guidelines, it is free software only, and I agree with those guidelines over the FSF, so to me, Fedora is fully free, and many people would agree.
    If what you say is true, then the cognitive dissonance in Fedora is worse than I thought.

    The saying goes that you are entitled to your own opinion (like for example that proprietary software running on an auxiliary processor is more acceptable than proprietary software running on the main CPU), but you are not entitled to your own facts.
    And it is a 100% undisputed fact that the firmware contains instructions which are executed by one of the many processors in your system. They form a computer program. And therefore, given the nature of how these computer programs are implemented, they are clearly software.

    Many firmware licenses even explicitly forbid decompiling or disassembling this "non-software" for crying out loud! If it weren't software, how could you decompile or disassemble it?

    Leave a comment:


  • waxhead
    replied
    Originally posted by chithanh View Post
    I don't think that it should be in the main repo unless it is free software. Maybe Debian could give up being a free distribution by default, and become something like Fedora. But as long as they advertise being free, then such a package has no place in main.
    Not as is of course. I said that ideally it should be in the main repo - meaning the package should be free and open for everybody!

    Leave a comment:


  • BaronHK
    replied
    Originally posted by chithanh View Post
    Fedora ships the entire linux-firmware tree full of proprietary software. They even say in their guidelines that firmware licenses forbidding reverse engineering (so you don't even have freedom 0) are ok.

    Debian on the other hand requires everything in main to be free, including firmware, fonts, artwork, and whatnot. I recal there is(was?) a Fedora derivative called Freedora which uses linux-libre kernel and removes proprietary microcode.

    More importantly, they fix bugs in their firmware. Which is software that runs on their devices, sometimes a simple control program, and sometimes a complete operating system with scheduler, memory management, and network stack.

    Running better is not the point behind free software, at least for the FSF. For them, free software is not a practical choice, but an ethical one. And they admit that the ethical choice is often the less convenient one. It costs more money, requires extra work, and/or doesn't run as well.

    If you want to learn more about this, you can watch Richard Stallman talk at 31C3:
    https://events.ccc.de/congress/2014/...ents/6123.html
    https://app.media.ccc.de/v/31c3_-_61...chard_stallman

    As I wrote, this is an ethical issue, not a "control freak" one.

    I believe that without Debian insisting that the software they ship in main is free, the Linux software ecosystem would be in considerably worse shape than it is today.

    Oh, I am not against proprietary drivers. I am only against calling something free when it is in fact proprietary, and the hypocrisy saying that proprietary firmware is good, while other kinds of proprietary software are bad.

    You can run FreeBSD using the radeon driver with proprietary firmware fine, as long as your card is not too new. I ran Gentoo/FreeBSD on an AMD E-350 (with integrated NI graphics) system for a while. SI/CI parts now supported too.
    Without responding to the entire thing:

    There's BLAG, which strips the firmware from Fedora and makes it useless, but hardly anyone uses BLAG.

    Fedora's policy states clearly that firmware is not considered software, so by the Fedora guidelines, it is free software only, and I agree with those guidelines over the FSF, so to me, Fedora is fully free, and many people would agree.

    Having a computer that runs well is important.

    Debian's broken-by-default policy has made Debian less popular. People who want a Debian-style system without the hassles just install Ubuntu. Nobody is going to stop the world because Debian wants off.

    My point about the BSDs is that they tend to have all of the same problems that you say the mainstream Linux kernel does and more, plus the user experience in FreeBSD (in particular) is crap because they hardly ever rebase the Linux graphics code. They're still using Linux graphics code from Linux 3.8 and telling people to buy Nvidia and use a proprietary driver if they need good performance. They don't even support Skylake graphics at all, whereas Linux runs it fine. So it would be nice to have a BSD desktop that worked, but steering people to Nvidia Proprietary because their free drivers are utter crap means that the situation there is obviously that they don't care about your freedom at all. It should be called GratisBSD instead. Unfortunately, since GNOME and Wine have caved in and made it easy for Nvidia to walk all over us on Linux too in some cases, the situation on Linux is less than ideal. Why is FOSS doing the heavy lifting to give Nvidia a free ride? Let them fix their crap to work with FOSS.

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  • chithanh
    replied
    Originally posted by BaronHK View Post
    The idea that Fedora isn't fully free is nuts. There isn't even any nonfree software in their repo or mentioned or recommended in their documentation.
    Fedora ships the entire linux-firmware tree full of proprietary software. They even say in their guidelines that firmware licenses forbidding reverse engineering (so you don't even have freedom 0) are ok.

    Debian on the other hand requires everything in main to be free, including firmware, fonts, artwork, and whatnot. I recal there is(was?) a Fedora derivative called Freedora which uses linux-libre kernel and removes proprietary microcode.

    Originally posted by BaronHK View Post
    Manufacturers do regularly fix bugs in their hardware.
    More importantly, they fix bugs in their firmware. Which is software that runs on their devices, sometimes a simple control program, and sometimes a complete operating system with scheduler, memory management, and network stack.

    Originally posted by BaronHK View Post
    Even if they released documentation, who else would do it? I tried using the open source firmware for the Broadcom 4318 wiffi chipset years back and it was significantly worse in every way than the one provided by Broadcom.
    Running better is not the point behind free software, at least for the FSF. For them, free software is not a practical choice, but an ethical one. And they admit that the ethical choice is often the less convenient one. It costs more money, requires extra work, and/or doesn't run as well.

    If you want to learn more about this, you can watch Richard Stallman talk at 31C3:
    https://events.ccc.de/congress/2014/...ents/6123.html
    https://app.media.ccc.de/v/31c3_-_61...chard_stallman

    Originally posted by BaronHK View Post
    The complaint about firmware is just another idiotic thing that control freaks running certain projects have to complain about.
    As I wrote, this is an ethical issue, not a "control freak" one.

    Originally posted by BaronHK View Post
    The user, when presented with broken hardware or loading a small firmware would normally choose to load the firmware, but Debian makes the computer broken by default, and most people who are new to Linux and tried Debian on the flip of a coin are going to get a bad experience and assume that all Linux distributions are probably broken in some way.
    I believe that without Debian insisting that the software they ship in main is free, the Linux software ecosystem would be in considerably worse shape than it is today.

    Originally posted by BaronHK View Post
    Just be glad we have free _drivers_ in Linux. At least FreeBSD is totally awful as a desktop without running an entirely nonfree driver on Nvidia cards. Anything else and you're basically screwed unless it's the graphics card that time forgot.
    Oh, I am not against proprietary drivers. I am only against calling something free when it is in fact proprietary, and the hypocrisy saying that proprietary firmware is good, while other kinds of proprietary software are bad.

    You can run FreeBSD using the radeon driver with proprietary firmware fine, as long as your card is not too new. I ran Gentoo/FreeBSD on an AMD E-350 (with integrated NI graphics) system for a while. SI/CI parts now supported too.

    Leave a comment:


  • bridgman
    replied
    Originally posted by chithanh View Post
    It seems that AMD updates the amdgpu microcode sometimes outside the cases that you mention.
    You are probably not allowed to comment on this, but old VI CP firmware contained a bug/quirky behaviour regarding NOP packets, which the PS4 Linux folks stumbled upon when trying to make the radeonsi driver run on the PS4. This was fixed in later firmware releases.

    https://fail0verflow.com/media/33c3-slides/#/76 (you have to press forward a couple times to see the whole slide).
    You're right... we accidentally picked up an old microcode file in the initial support releases for one of the chips, and had to replace that with the correct version.

    I hadn't been thinking of that as an update in the normal way of thinking but maybe I should have.

    Leave a comment:


  • BaronHK
    replied
    Originally posted by chithanh View Post
    But the microcode is software. It is just not executed on the main CPU, but on one of the many other processors present in a system. That doesn't make it any less software.

    And if you look at the linux-firmware git log, much of the microcode gets regular activity. This means manufacturers fix bugs, add/remove functions, etc. and the user is a slave to these updates.

    Sorry, but the idea that Fedora is somehow a free distro is bollocks. If they ship proprietary firmware by default, then that is not free (if you are familiar with Murphy's laws, this is known as "Schopenhauer's law of entropy").

    Debian is not a FSF recommended distro, but at least they do not install proprietary parts by default, and the user must explicitly choose to do so. Nobody accidentally or inadvertently gets into contact with proprietary software when they install Debian. The FSF thinks that Debian must make it more difficult to install proprietary software, but that is nothing I care about.
    The idea that Fedora isn't fully free is nuts. There isn't even any nonfree software in their repo or mentioned or recommended in their documentation. RPM Fusion really is a separate project. Debian recommends it, hosts it, and then tells you it's another project when it's not.

    Manufacturers do regularly fix bugs in their hardware. Even if they released documentation, who else would do it? I tried using the open source firmware for the Broadcom 4318 wiffi chipset years back and it was significantly worse in every way than the one provided by Broadcom. Specifically, the wifi connection was unstable, the hardware assist for WPA was missing and relied on offloading this to the CPU which slowed the whole computer down noticeably, and it broke the power management and ran the laptop down. At that time, Broadcom wasn't making their official firmware redistributable, so I ended up using a utility to extract their firmware from the Windows driver bundle and load it on the chipset and then removed the open source firmware. The open firmware project was innocent enough except that it wasn't really a solution.

    If someone put open source firmware projects in charge of something that's a million times more complicated than a wifi chipset, either you'd get no firmware or god only knows what it would do when you loaded it. The complaint about firmware is just another idiotic thing that control freaks running certain projects have to complain about. The user, when presented with broken hardware or loading a small firmware would normally choose to load the firmware, but Debian makes the computer broken by default, and most people who are new to Linux and tried Debian on the flip of a coin are going to get a bad experience and assume that all Linux distributions are probably broken in some way.

    Just be glad we have free _drivers_ in Linux. At least FreeBSD is totally awful as a desktop without running an entirely nonfree driver on Nvidia cards. Anything else and you're basically screwed unless it's the graphics card that time forgot.
    Last edited by BaronHK; 28 June 2017, 03:11 PM.

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  • chithanh
    replied
    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    Personally I would not describe these two cases (over 10 years of development and 15 years of HW) as "regular" but I understand even that could be considered debatable.
    It seems that AMD updates the amdgpu microcode sometimes outside the cases that you mention.
    You are probably not allowed to comment on this, but old VI CP firmware contained a bug/quirky behaviour regarding NOP packets, which the PS4 Linux folks stumbled upon when trying to make the radeonsi driver run on the PS4. This was fixed in later firmware releases.

    https://fail0verflow.com/media/33c3-slides/#/76 (you have to press forward a couple times to see the whole slide).


    Leave a comment:


  • chithanh
    replied
    Originally posted by BaronHK View Post
    Fedora does not ship or recommend a single piece of nonfree software. It has microcode, but that's not software in the sense that most people would see it.
    But the microcode is software. It is just not executed on the main CPU, but on one of the many other processors present in a system. That doesn't make it any less software.

    And if you look at the linux-firmware git log, much of the microcode gets regular activity. This means manufacturers fix bugs, add/remove functions, etc. and the user is a slave to these updates.

    Originally posted by BaronHK View Post
    Debian has a lot of nonfree software available on their own servers and recommends it all over their documentation. So, Debian is less free than Fedora. According to the FSF, if you even mention using a piece of nonfree software in your documentation, you don't qualify as "fully free", so it becomes an impossible standard for users.
    Sorry, but the idea that Fedora is somehow a free distro is bollocks. If they ship proprietary firmware by default, then that is not free (if you are familiar with Murphy's laws, this is known as "Schopenhauer's law of entropy").

    Debian is not a FSF recommended distro, but at least they do not install proprietary parts by default, and the user must explicitly choose to do so. Nobody accidentally or inadvertently gets into contact with proprietary software when they install Debian. The FSF thinks that Debian must make it more difficult to install proprietary software, but that is nothing I care about.

    Leave a comment:


  • BaronHK
    replied
    Originally posted by chithanh View Post
    My understanding of the FSF position: If the FPGA is like the one in NVidia G-Sync monitors which is can in principle be updated, but in practice there is no intention/it doesn't happen, then it can be considered hardware. If however the manufacturer ships regular new FPGA/microcode programs and expects users to install them, then yes, that is an unethical piece of proprietary software.

    A situation like the one you mention actually exposes the hypocrisy of people who say closed source firmware is ok, but closed source kernel drivers are not: The Atheros HAL for the madwifi driver, which was rejected by Linux kernel folks. If someone made a piece of hardware which could natively load the HAL module and execute it as firmware, then it would have become acceptable to ship in the kernel according to its own rules.

    I don't think that it should be in the main repo unless it is free software. Maybe Debian could give up being a free distribution by default, and become something like Fedora. But as long as they advertise being free, then such a package has no place in main.
    Fedora does not ship or recommend a single piece of nonfree software. It has microcode, but that's not software in the sense that most people would see it.

    Debian has a lot of nonfree software available on their own servers and recommends it all over their documentation. So, Debian is less free than Fedora. According to the FSF, if you even mention using a piece of nonfree software in your documentation, you don't qualify as "fully free", so it becomes an impossible standard for users.

    I'm ecstatic about dropping a piece of nonfree software when I can. Like when I uninstalled unrar (proprietary) and installed unar (LGPL) to deal with RAR archives.

    Small victories.

    Leave a comment:

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