GNU Linux-libre 4.7-gnu Deblobs More Drivers
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 25 July 2016 at 07:41 AM EDT. 24 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
With the fresh sources from last night's Linux 4.7 kernel release, the GNU Linux-libre folks have released their 4.7-gnu kernel.

For those unfamiliar with the GNU Linux-libre kernel, it removes functionality from the kernel for being able to load closed-source kernel modules. The Linux-libre kernel also removes support from drivers requiring closed-source firmware.

With regard to the Linux-libre 4.7-gnu kernels, "One newly-added driver, xhci-tegra, would have loaded blobs if we hadn't disabled its blob loading machinery. Various other drivers required deblobbing changes to clean up newer versions in the filenames of blobs they would induce users to install: radeon, i915 csr, mwifiex, brcmfmac, iwlwifi, ath10k testmode, rtl8xxxu wifi, hfi1 Infiniband, and skylake audio."

With more Intel hardware requiring binary-only firmware, GPU firmware becoming more complicated and signed, and other factors, this is an increasingly uphill battle.

More details on this updated free software kernel via the mailing list announcement.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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