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Fedora 37 Looks To Better Manage Its 175MB+ Of Linux Firmware Blobs

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  • Fedora 37 Looks To Better Manage Its 175MB+ Of Linux Firmware Blobs

    Phoronix: Fedora 37 Looks To Better Manage Its 175MB+ Of Linux Firmware Blobs

    The size of the linux-firmware.git tree continues to grow with Linux continuing to support more and more modern hardware that is increasingly reliant upon firmware blobs for operation. Most Linux distributions like Fedora end up installing this entire set of Linux firmware files that can easily be 200~300MB even though most systems only use a few select files. With Fedora 37 later this year they are hoping to better deal with the situation by splitting up of linux-firmware and only installing sets of firmware packages depending upon the actual hardware in use...

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...irmware-Growth

  • #2
    Hm. My main concern here is what happens if you boot Fedora from an external drive that you move between different machines. It would be nice to be able to choose during installation if you want all the firmware or just the firmware for the current machine.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by emblemparade View Post
      Hm. My main concern here is what happens if you boot Fedora from an external drive that you move between different machines. It would be nice to be able to choose during installation if you want all the firmware or just the firmware for the current machine.
      If I understand the article correctly and I remember my non-APT package management commands correctly, the answer is sudo dnf install linux-firmware-all

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      • #4
        This change turns a Linux distro into yet another Windows which BSOD after upgrading the motherboard or something else

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        • #5
          Originally posted by zxy_thf View Post
          This change turns a Linux distro into yet another Windows which BSOD when upgrading a motherboard
          1. linux-firmware-all
          2. Missing firmware cannot possibly lead to a kernel panic, it just means a particular piece of HW will not work
          3. I for one install only the firmware files needed for my HW. Fedora luckily allows not to have any firmware packages installed though I have to exclude those packages during full distro upgrades.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by zxy_thf View Post
            This change turns a Linux distro into yet another Windows which BSOD after upgrading the motherboard or something else
            I think that was a BSOD due to differences in HAL. The operating system can't run at all. At least with missing firmware the non-free device simply doesn't function. It should be a lot more controlled.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by zxy_thf View Post
              This change turns a Linux distro into yet another Windows which BSOD after upgrading the motherboard or something else
              In my experience since Windows 8 that doesn't happen very often. It might restart while booting, but it should be able to do it. However it would most likely require drivers for the network card in order to get the rest from Windows Update, and then restart some more
              They've come quite far from simply switching IDE to AHCI making the system unbootable.

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              • #8
                Time to promote Arch Linux

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kpedersen View Post

                  I think that was a BSOD due to differences in HAL. The operating system can't run at all. At least with missing firmware the non-free device simply doesn't function. It should be a lot more controlled.
                  Depends on how to define "controlled".

                  Move to a new motherboard with brand new network devices which unfortunately need some firmware, and you lost the access to the old rig.
                  This becomes a very controlled unusable system.

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                  • #10
                    Arch Linux also split firmware packages for months now, and it's been working as usual. As mentioned in the article SUSE does it as well.

                    Some people just love complaining and overthinking stuff..
                    Last edited by Vermilion; 01 July 2022, 05:27 PM.

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