Linux 5.5 Required More Deblobbing Than Usual For GNU Linux-libre 5.5

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 27 January 2020 at 09:45 AM EST. 14 Comments
Fresh off the Linux 5.5 release, the Free Software Foundation Latin America crew has debuted their GNU Linux-libre 5.5 downstream that continues to be focused on deblobbing the kernel of drivers requiring proprietary firmware and stripping out other code/functionality that is contingent upon non-free software bits and removing the ability to load closed-source kernel modules.

Linux 5.5 with its many changes proved more challenging than usual for their "deblobbing" adventure. The new WFX WiFi driver and others required handling as well as updates to existing drivers like the Intel IWLWIFI driver and Realtek r8169.

Alexandre Oliva commented in the Linux-libre 5.5 release announcement, "This release had more new drivers needing cleanup than we've seen in a while: Realtek RTL815[23] USB ethernet adaptors, WFX wf200 wireless, IDT Clockmatrix and RT5677 sound codecs. Other drivers that needed deblobbing changes were wilc1000, brcmstb_dpfe, r8169, iwlwifi, x86 touchscreen dmi, xhci-tegra, i915, and mlxsw spectrum."

Somewhat surprisingly, the Linux-libre 5.5 release when checking it out just now still seems to contain the new AMDGPU HDCP support, which is surprising for this FSF-endorsed kernel, granted, may end up being dead code in any case without the AMDGPU microcode to load.
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