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Linux 4.14 Dropping In-Tree Firmware

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  • Linux 4.14 Dropping In-Tree Firmware

    Phoronix: Linux 4.14 Dropping In-Tree Firmware

    Linux 4.14 is getting rid of its in-kernel firmware/ tree...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...igrates-Out-FW

  • #2
    130k lines each being 40 digits in hexadecimal. (maybe not each, but like 99% are)

    That's around 10'400'000 bytes, or 10 megabytes of blobs.

    Not that impressive, but that's surely less crap to download every time someone needs to compile the kernel.

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    • #3
      Yes, less download and less cluttered, more ordered - but this is possibly important to know for people who build their own kernels (90% of Gentoo users, e.g.). Some FW you definitely want to have in your kernel image, so it is at hand at boot time and not late once you mounted your FS with /lib/firmware on it. E.g. no radeon FW -> no KMS/black screen maybe. So I'll have to check if there are more files to include now for my old machines.
      Stop TCPA, stupid software patents and corrupt politicians!

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      • #4
        This is great!

        It makes it easier to separate binary blobs from the kernel. Keep proprietary binary blobs away. They are a security concern as there is no transparency and nobody knows what they do or can do.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by uid313 View Post
          This is great! It makes it easier to separate binary blobs from the kernel.
          Yeah, because them being in their own folder made separating them from kernel very hard.

          Keep proprietary binary blobs away.
          This isn't an effort to please FSF, it's housekeeping. Everyone needing firmwares (most users) are taking them from the linux-firmware project, the stuff in that folder in linux kernel source tree was not used anymore.

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          • #6
            FSF will not be pleased by this, because the sorce code still needs the BLOBs.
            Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post

            This isn't an effort to please FSF, it's housekeeping. Everyone needing firmwares (most users) are taking them from the linux-firmware project, the stuff in that folder in linux kernel source tree was not used anymore.

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            • #7
              Borked loading of external firmware blobs for me - had to move back to user space loading.

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              • #8
                Sounds good. Linus' tree is huge enough without being polluted by further binary files

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Filiprino View Post
                  FSF will not be pleased by this, because the sorce code still needs the BLOBs.
                  That's what I said. This is just housekeeping. Firmwares are still needed.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Adarion View Post
                    Yes, less download and less cluttered, more ordered - but this is possibly important to know for people who build their own kernels (90% of Gentoo users, e.g.). Some FW you definitely want to have in your kernel image, so it is at hand at boot time and not late once you mounted your FS with /lib/firmware on it. E.g. no radeon FW -> no KMS/black screen maybe. So I'll have to check if there are more files to include now for my old machines.
                    Actually genkernel provides all the tools you need to make sure that isn't a problem at all. As long as people are using genkernel this change should be completely invisible.

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