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Debian Improves Docs To Inform Users Their Systems Might Not Work Without Non-Free Firmware

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  • oiaohm
    replied
    Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
    I kind of prefer the firmware to not be included by default since it is usually outdated at the time of installation.

    Installing Debian without the firmware first, then getting the latest firmware from the kernel git tree and dumping it all into /usr/lib/firmware feels like the better option. Just don't forget to update the initramfs.
    You still at times need firmware so the installer can work.

    https://www.debian.org/releases/bull...h06s04.en.html

    Debian on x86 is fairly good that you can just put the latest firmware on a fat formatted usb key in the directory firmware and put that in the machine next to the firmware less install for a local install this will work out. Over network install that you will at times be doing in a server farm or equal this unfortunately does not work out. The over network bootloaders were not design with the concept of download two images to be served up. Instead they expect a single.

    The reality here we still don't have how to handle the firmware issue in the best possible way in all cases. Of course there are some vendor EFI implementations that go stupid when you have multi usb keys installed in the boot process.

    I would love if the difference between standard debian and the debian with firmware was just the install need firmware was appended on the end. As in debian install process smart enough to look for a possible partitionless vfat partition hidden past the end of the image with firmware in it. This would reduce down the number of iso files need. Just think about it cat debian_installer.iso firmware.vfat >debian_installer+firmware image file would be great if it could work. Windows OEMs doing non declared partitions has been common for ages so this is something that does not upset vendor firmware booting systems.

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  • reba
    replied
    So, again for everybody.

    Debian latest stable with firmware on disk:
    https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/u.../amd64/iso-cd/

    Debian latest stable without closed source firmware on disk:
    https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/r.../amd64/iso-cd/

    I prefer the choice eventhough I always use the nonfree image.

    off-topic:
    For me Ubuntu contains too much stuff I won't need and do not want to have on my system.
    I just do not trust Canonical and their shady offers and politics (Ubuntu One, Snap(d) not open source, Snap Store in Canonicals hands, insisting on Linux Mint to sign license agreement, ...) to build my system on, even more as they are just downstream and feed off of Debian's work for their corporate needs.

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  • Sonadow
    replied
    I kind of prefer the firmware to not be included by default since it is usually outdated at the time of installation. Heck, practically everything in Debian is outdated at the time of release.

    Installing Debian without the firmware first, then getting the latest firmware from the kernel git tree and dumping it all into /usr/lib/firmware feels like the better option and allows me to be certain that I have the absolute latest firmware at the time of installation. Just don't forget to update the initramfs.
    Last edited by Sonadow; 03 August 2021, 09:10 PM.

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  • piorunz
    replied
    Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post

    by prioritizing "open" devices you sacrifice vast majority of people who don't have that kind of hardware. it's a real hassle to do wifi netinstall of debian. doubly so if you are new to linux. i would bet most people would just give it up at this point, not being able to get their hardware running.

    it's fine to have principles, but it's also nice to have a choice. after all, leaving user's computer in crippled non-functional state is not really what operating system should be about.
    There is a choice, in form of 100% working non-free enabled installer on Debian website. It's not default, but available for everyone. You were too lazy to check.

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  • yoshi314
    replied
    Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
    There is an element of Linux trying to do the right thing and prioritize "open" devices, including firmware.
    If the project doesn't show preference for the correct stuff, what is the point?

    I suppose Debian are already being "assholes" to their users by not providing them with a fully functional install of Windows? If they want that, they know where to get it. Likewise if they want an easier ride, they know where to get Ubuntu. What would be the point of Debian providing the same experience as either of those other products?
    by prioritizing "open" devices you sacrifice vast majority of people who don't have that kind of hardware. it's a real hassle to do wifi netinstall of debian. doubly so if you are new to linux. i would bet most people would just give it up at this point, not being able to get their hardware running.

    it's fine to have principles, but it's also nice to have a choice. after all, leaving user's computer in crippled non-functional state is not really what operating system should be about.

    Leave a comment:


  • OneTimeShot
    replied
    Not including firmware feels like an "expert mode" to me. There should be a disk that works that way (like the GNU deblobbed kernel everyone complains about for some reason), but the default download from Debian.org should try its best to work.

    Even experienced users are not going to enjoy the "now go and find firmware for your network card" stage of the install. I mean what are you going to do? (1) not use the hardware or (2) go and get the firmware anyway....

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  • calc
    replied
    Originally posted by piorunz View Post

    Debian can be installed with all non-free firmware. Its as easy as getting separate, non-free installer image from their website. It's just not default, but available. But that's too complicated for lazy people so they say Debian is too hard and unusable and they go back to Ubuntu.
    I was a DD maintaining hundreds of packages prior to Ubuntu being released and switched. People are inherently lazy so when there is a clearly better option they take it. Especially when in this case the reason for intentionally making it harder was just that RMS doesn't like running firmware from ram instead of burned in rom/eprom.

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  • piorunz
    replied
    Originally posted by calc View Post
    Essentially what happened with Debian was that Ubuntu was released in Oct 2004 and all the users/developers that cared about usability switched. Leaving only the hardcore FSF users/developers on Debian. From what I recall prior to the release of Ubuntu Debian still shipped working drivers with firmware as actual usability still mattered.
    Debian can be installed with all non-free firmware. Its as easy as getting separate, non-free installer image from their website. It's just not default, but available. But that's too complicated for lazy people so they say Debian is too hard and unusable and they go back to Ubuntu.

    Leave a comment:


  • piorunz
    replied
    "Rather than going against their principles, Debian 11 will continue to ship without the linux-firmware files by default."
    ❤️

    Leave a comment:


  • blackiwid
    replied
    I think adding such workarounds to make up for flaws in hardware hides the truth about products getting worse over time.

    So if we would thing of a old bazar where they have weights on a scale on one side the weights on the other your products and on the letters you have numbers, like 500g and then you get nominal 1kg of a product, you wouldn't like if you go a year later to the same bazar again they use the same weights that have the same numbers on it, but they were changed so that the scale still tells you that you get 1kg but in reality it's only 900g.

    I think it's the same if you would suddenly ship this proprietary software and make it seemless nobody would understand that the products get worse on a very important if not the most important aspect.

    I find it funny that especially americans nonstop talk about freedom and freedom of speech (well they used to since trump that changed 180 degree), but with having their basic work tools as a dictatorship is ok for them, to be fully dependent on a master that controls how they can use your tools you need on a daily basis.

    But that as side note, I like that, what I wonder is why they don't offer also the linux-libre kernel at least optional? Sure it makes some work, but that work would go into a good direction. I assume they are not really good in working together with outsider teams? Like why they did not use Icecat when they didn't deliver debian but their own fork iceweasel.

    But the kernel without this firmwares is not free, too, so why not be consequent and offer the libre-kernel.

    Leave a comment:

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