Debian Improves Docs To Inform Users Their Systems Might Not Work Without Non-Free Firmware
With many modern graphics processors including those from AMD and even the Nouveau driver with recent generations of NVIDIA GPUs, there is often a situation of not only having 3D hardware acceleration not working but even display mode-setting can fail that leads to a blank screen or driving the unaccelerated display at a sub-optimal resolution. Especially for newer GPUs and modern displays, these open-source drivers are useless without the firmware files that are publicly redistributable but binary-only and thus not considered free software. There's similar situations of network adapters and other components not working without loading the Linux firmware files, but in the case of GPUs it's rather a blocker if you don't even have a working display for your desktop.
Rather than going against their principles, Debian 11 will continue to ship without the linux-firmware files by default. However, they did decide to add documentation around devices requiring firmware. It also outlines how the Debian Installer is able to load required firmware files from the likes of USB drives if the user is interested. They felt they at least didn't "want to leave users in the dark" over the issues of non-working displays due to lack of firmware and thus improved their documentation.
Debian's non-free installer images have also been improved around its firmware handling. Debian Installer Bullseye RC3 has also been upgraded to the Linux 5.10 LTS revision and other minor improvements made, as outlined by today's release announcement.