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Thread: Debian 6.0 Kernel Will Be Free Of Closed Firmware

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  1. #1
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    Default Debian 6.0 Kernel Will Be Free Of Closed Firmware

    Phoronix: Debian 6.0 Kernel Will Be Free Of Closed Firmware

    The Debian project has announced with their Debian 6.0 "Squeeze" release their default Linux kernel will be free of any non-free firmware/microcode. The Debian developers wish to have their kernel free absolutely of any non-free firmware bits, although Linus Torvalds has allowed such firmware for wireless adapters and other computer components generally into the Linux kernel...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=ODkyNQ

  2. #2
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    Basically you have to add firmware for most wireless devices and lots of dvb hardware. So would i ship it without firmware it would be non functional first, that's not good. Maybe for purists...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Basically you have to add firmware for most wireless devices and lots of dvb hardware. So would i ship it without firmware it would be non functional first, that's not good. Maybe for purists...
    The problem is the way the argument was framed, essentially everyone for the removal of firmware is thinking the firmware is similar to nvidia and fglrx.

    No one bothers pointing out that the "blobs" meet the requirements of the four freedoms. The only thing stopping anyone from reading and understanding the tables of numbers that make up most of the "blobs" is themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_berra View Post
    The problem is the way the argument was framed, essentially everyone for the removal of firmware is thinking the firmware is similar to nvidia and fglrx.

    No one bothers pointing out that the "blobs" meet the requirements of the four freedoms. The only thing stopping anyone from reading and understanding the tables of numbers that make up most of the "blobs" is themselves.
    Wrong. A bunch of meaningless numbers is not open source. It needs to be unobfuscated. If your argument would hold, then all freeware would be open source. The only thing stopping you from understanding the output of a disassembler is yourself.

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    Debian is very strict about distributing only free things in main. If it does not come in the preferred form for modification, then it is not free.

    This does not only apply to software/firmware, but also for fonts, artwork, etc.

    Some people seem to think that firmware needs to be retrofitted to live images for some users. But that is not true, the installer will come in a variant which includes propietary firmware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Remco View Post
    Wrong. A bunch of meaningless numbers is not open source. It needs to be unobfuscated. If your argument would hold, then all freeware would be open source. The only thing stopping you from understanding the output of a disassembler is yourself.
    Yes, yes, a subjective opinion is clearly wrong in your false dichotomy. There is nothing in the four freedoms that states code must be human readable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_berra View Post
    Yes, yes, a subjective opinion is clearly wrong in your false dichotomy. There is nothing in the four freedoms that states code must be human readable.
    You might want to re-read http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_berra View Post
    Yes, yes, a subjective opinion is clearly wrong in your false dichotomy. There is nothing in the four freedoms that states code must be human readable.
    You are obviously not informed. The FSF's Free Software Definition explicitly says "The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this."

    The Debian Free Software Guidelines say a very similar thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by curfew View Post
    Debian has never aimed to be a desktop replacement for Ubuntu or Fedora, so you're wrong when implying it has.
    Debian wants to be "The Universal Operating System" as indicated by the <title> element on http://www.debian.org/

  9. #9
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    A workaround is to get the latest firmware-nonfree package and put it on a USB stick then install it right after installing Debian to get the functionality

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    Nobody likes to do that with a live image.

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