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GNU Linux-libre 5.15 Released - More Deblobbing, Fixing "-Werror" Breakage

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  • GNU Linux-libre 5.15 Released - More Deblobbing, Fixing "-Werror" Breakage

    Phoronix: GNU Linux-libre 5.15 Released - More Deblobbing, Fixing "-Werror" Breakage

    Right after last night's Linux 5.15 kernel release, the Free Software Foundation folks issued GNU Linux-libre 5.15-gnu as the newest version of their downstream that removes functionality dependent upon binary-only/non-free-software firmware/microcode as well as the ability to load closed kernel modules and other determined non-free-software restrictions...

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  • #2
    I wish hardware was more standardized and loadable-firmware-free...

    Like I don't understand why are wireless cards so special and demand some firmware to be loaded (couldn't it be burnt into flash and allow updating via fwupd?), but then most audio interfaces work without any blobs at all.


    • #3
      > Another new driver that got cleaned up is gehc-achc. I haven't been able to figure out what this driver is for, nor find a distribution of the firmware it loads to check for sources and license. The requested firmware does not appear to be user-supplied code, so I assumed it's vendor-supplied non-Free Software, and inactivated its loading. If you find it's Free Software, user-supplied code, or plain data, please send the evidence our way!

      Wow, that's bad. Linux should mandate a proper blob documentation process for mainlining of drivers or other components that are dependent on them.
      What I mean is: upon submitting code dependent on blobs, the commit should be accompanied by a formal document explaining where the blob sits in abstract terms, how it's useful to the hardware or other software components (such awareness could perhaps let Linux evolve to offer similar functionality by itself in the future), which license it's distributed under, and so on. I suppose it's perfectly feasible without carrying any risk of "IP" exposure.

      This would not only improve the quality of Linux, but also facilitate the efforts of Linux-libre.