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

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  • PeterB
    replied
    And once again a user reports an install fail through missing firmware
    https://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=152712

    and the first solution suggested to the user with no internet, is to download the missing firmware....

    Leave a comment:


  • Danielsan
    replied
    They should simply rename "advanced install" in "desktop install", from there you can select to enable non-free repository..

    Leave a comment:


  • s8as8a
    replied
    I think they should leave the non-free firmware out for the free ISO (the way it is now) and make the "official unofficial" non-free ISO be "official official" (just like the free ISO) and have it be side-by-side with the free ISO, instead of making it harder to find. And, there should also be an explanation to guide the user to make their choice (without nudging them in either direction without an explanation).

    So, in other words, I think they should keep the ISO files as they are, but improve the website's structure (and make the non-free ISO also be considered "official official" in addition to the "official official" free ISO).

    Edit:
    Having just checked the website (instead of thinking about it from memory), the non-free ISO is not so hard to find, but the website's structure can still be improved. And, they should also label it as official.

    So, something like "If you're at least a bit of a software purist, you'll probably want to download this. If you're a newbie, you'll probably want to download that."

    Edit #2:
    For what it's worth, I'm somewhat of a software purist, and it's one of the reasons I chose Debian all those years ago, so I really hope they don't remove the fully-free ISO.
    Last edited by s8as8a; 31 August 2022, 04:43 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • moilami
    replied
    Good this is discussed so vigorously. New gens are attentive and caring.

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  • DRanged
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • kobblestown
    replied
    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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  • qarium
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • Waethorn
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Waethorn
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Turbine
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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