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

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  • #41
    Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
    i think the sane option would be to simply offer the non-free image as default download....
    Yes that would be ideal.

    Originally posted by phoron View Post
    I would prefer a distro with no proprietary software at all...
    Use Fedora, it excludes ffmpeg, etc​.

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    • #42
      I'm a free software nutjob, but I prefer firmware not to be burned into hardware. Why? With a firmware blob you can at least inspect it, modify it or even reverse engineer it. It makes the hardware more hackable for its users, not less. And that to me is the reason software freedoms are so important. It allows me to examine, explore, tinker, improve and and use my stuff in ways they weren't intended to. Or at least lets someone else do the job for me. If not for that what's the point of having the source code and all the other freedoms as originally laid out by Stallman?
      On the other hand, what I hate with a passion is signed, or god forbid, encrypted firmware that only the original vendor can modify. That stuff is pure evil. It's the worst of both worlds. You have a nasty blob to deal with and can neither inspect nor modify or fix it if it's broken. In a just world such a thing ought to be illegal, but alas...

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      • #43
        Originally posted by elatllat View Post
        Use Fedora, it excludes ffmpeg, etc​.
        Doesn't Fedora come with non-free firmware included?

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        • #44
          Originally posted by LightBit View Post
          Doesn't Fedora come with non-free firmware included?
          Not bcm wifi drivers.

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          • #45
            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.

            but at least Debian doesn't go out of their way to make development of free firmware more difficult like the FSF does.
            Easier said than done. 😅 Not every piece of hardware has documentation on how everything works.

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            • #46
              Originally posted by rleigh View Post

              The GPL does not have any effect on the "hardware support with their media" as you said it. That's not the GPL. It's not a licensing issue. That's a deliberate choice by the distributor to implement that restriction. The GPL can not preclude the distribution of third-party non-GPL kernel modules on the installation media. That is completely outside its bounds, and explicitly stated in the licence. That's a distributor choice. Plenty of other distributions make the opposite choice, and it's still all perfectly legal.
              You don't get it. Debian uses the GPL as the basis for their cult way of thinking. As it stands, anything under any other software license that doesn't abide by the GPL license terms is banished by them as "unsavoury" because their policy is the same as the GPL. As it is with the GPL, if a software writer puts in a copyright, but also has the term of licensing the software "as-is" with a BSD 0-clause license wherein no copyright is necessary, the GPL specifically states that the software has to include said precursor copyright notices - AS DOES Debian's.

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              • #47
                Originally posted by LightBit View Post
                Doesn't Fedora come with non-free firmware included?
                If it follows these guidelines, yes:

                Licensing:Main - Fedora Project Wiki

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                • #48
                  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.

                  but at least Debian doesn't go out of their way to make development of free firmware more difficult like the FSF does.
                  history did show us that "developing free firmware" is a waste of time.

                  we need to develop free hardware chips from the start one like libre-socs...
                  Phantom circuit Sequence Reducer Dyslexia

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                  • #49
                    As to why firmware is not shipped with hardware - I imagine most devices need RAM for their operation and with uploadable firmware they don't need additional persistent memory chip for the firmware. It's uploaded into the same RAM that they need for operation.

                    But then, by refusing to distribute said firmware, a distro puts such devices at a disadvantage without gaining anything. Sure, some warning at different stages - installation and/or boot time, might make people aware of the issues. But what they get now is disfunctional hardware. It's a self inflicted wound on the part of the distro.

                    I switched from Debian to Ubuntu when on my new (circa 2008) PC the Debian installer didin't find the network chip (I think Atheros but may have been Broadcom). With Ubuntu installer it just worked. I used to always use the minimal installer which downloads everything from the net so it was a show-stopper.

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                    • #50
                      Originally posted by SilverFox View Post

                      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.
                      Thats more or less what I said only to install the firmware needed, with the free graphics drivers, at least you are than up and running to give you the chance to either install proprietary drivers, graphics or otherwise.

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