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Debian Begins A General Resolution To Decide What To Do With Non-Free Firmware

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  • #11
    I think the 3rd option makes the most sense, then you don't have to package additional versions and makes it simpler for new users. When installing just have a button that says non-free software and it can explain what that means so people can have an informed decision and can click or not click. Basically what Ubuntu does.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by spirit View Post

      Broadcom bnx2 ethernet driver need non-free firmware too for example.

      Anyway, cd image with non-free firmware already exist.

      https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/u...ding-firmware/

      so option B already exist, just need to replace unoffical by offical in the url ...


      Exactly my thoughts. Due to Dell a large portion of Debian users know about that dedicated firmware iso...

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      • #13
        Originally posted by hotaru View Post
        a better option would be to actually work on developing free firmware instead of wasting so much effort on handwringing over non-free firmware
        And how would you do that without hardware documentation? Even if you have billions of money and hundreds of developers, doing reverse-engineering is simply illegal in some countries.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by spirit View Post
          https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/u...ding-firmware/

          so option B already exist, just need to replace unoffical by offical in the url ...
          We have been using the non-official iso which includes non-free packages for a while. Works great, no looking back.

          (the following was added on 2022.08.28)

          This is where we download the non-official non-free-included iso:

          https://cdimage.debian.org/images/un...64/iso-hybrid/

          Direct download (gnome version):

          https://cdimage.debian.org/images/un...me+nonfree.iso

          Edit the /etc/apt/source.list file by changing "bullseye" to "sid" then do an "sudo apt update; sudo apt full-upgrade", we got ourselves a fully-working Sid/Bookworm system*.

          * After an initial rocky journey, Sid/Bookworm is finally pretty stable (and beautiful). Actually, for desktop uses, the so-called "unstable" Debian version is more stable than the "stable" version (Bullseye). Please see:

          https://forums.debian.net/viewtopic....758065#p758065
          Last edited by ping-wu; 28 August 2022, 01:40 PM.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by V1tol View Post
            And how would you do that without hardware documentation? Even if you have billions of money and hundreds of developers, doing reverse-engineering is simply illegal in some countries.
            The reverse engineering efforts are carried out in those countries where it's mostly legal, such as the US (with a few gotchas that don't affect most such efforts). Same as with any other project. The work goes on where it's legal to do so, then released to the general public. Individual users are able to choose whether they want to use the resulting work (like libdvdcss or all the hardware drivers in Linux that were developed through reversing - which is probably most of them.).

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            • #16
              Just have a button or grub menu boot option on the install media to select if you want to load non-free firmware. With an explanation next to it of course.

              That way the user can choose.

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              • #17
                There should be user warning that some firmware(or some driver) is (vendor) unsupported or has serious flaws. There are already some kernel warnings(like for some old ATI cards or some modern CPUs :-), but users don't know or care about.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by spirit View Post

                  Broadcom bnx2 ethernet driver need non-free firmware too for example.

                  Anyway, cd image with non-free firmware already exist.

                  https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/u...ding-firmware/

                  so option B already exist, just need to replace unoffical by offical in the url ...


                  I second that and maybe a slight tweak that when the hardware needs a firmware blob it only installs that and not the whole caboodle and I would think it should't be to difficult to implement as they already do a firmware check.
                  So in practice that would be wifi and nics mainly and maybe some odd bit of hardware. For videocards they still can install the free drivers so it at least it gives you the chance to install the proprietary graphics drivers or whatever when you have logged into a running system.

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                  • #19
                    Someone might want to mention to the Debian geniuses that there's already like 5,000 Debian respins and Debian-based distros that do exactly this.

                    Including Ubuntu, whose own devs dominate the Debian governance and drive these moronic votes.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by DRanged View Post

                      So in practice that would be wifi and nics mainly and maybe some odd bit of hardware. For videocards they still can install the free drivers so it at least it gives you the chance to install the proprietary graphics drivers or whatever when you have logged into a running system.
                      Mesa gets installed, Unfortunately, For amd cards You still need firmware-amd-graphics package for the full caboodle, otherwise it's modesetting from grub to get into desktop.

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