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Thread: Debian 6.0 Kernel Will Be Free Of Closed Firmware

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugmenot3 View Post
    Is there really no choice, AMD? Has nvidia a problem now that there is equivalent code in the public?
    Nvidia has nothing released. Some of the Devs has started to reverse engineer the nvidia ucode because of legal issues.


    ---------------------------------------------------

    Bye bye Debian there are other Distribution that i can use on my Servers an Desktop Systems in the future.

    Most Hardware has an ucode. Will they remove drivers where the Hardware has an internal ucode? No? Interesting ....

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr James View Post
    2. The firmware CAN be added - not too hard, even for a guy like me.
    Sure but this need time. Only as an example try to Download an Firmware for you Network Card without Network

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nille View Post
    Sure but this need time. Only as an example try to Download an Firmware for you Network Card without Network
    The point is that if you need it, you read the instructions and download the firmware at the same time you download the official installation media. In the beginning of the installation, you have the option to preload firmware from eg. USB stick or wherever, it's just not on the official installation media. Or alternatively you use wired network to install the needed bits.

    This move is quite simply a step that wasn't taken earlier because of lack of resources, since official Debian aims and has always aimed to consist of only free software. For many/most Debian developers however removing firmware/microcode is not a priority thing, and I'm also not _that_ interested but identifying and separating those bits is a good thing anyway.

    Debian aims to be the universal operating system and not customized as such to be eg. direct competitor to x86-oriented (nowadays also ARM sometimes), desktop-oriented other distributions. So I don't think much was lost. It's trivial to install the closed stuff to your Debian if you know what you are doing, and if you don't know what you are doing or think that ten minutes of configuring is too much, you'd be better off with Ubuntu, MeeGo anyway.

    As a disclaimer, I only use Debian on my phone, a server and one desktop machine, Ubuntu otherwise. I like the desktop tweaks in Ubuntu so it's pretty obvious choice, and also at my work it's quite assumed people work using Ubuntu. But maybe because of my FLOSS preference I tend to only use main + universe repositories. Ubuntu's multiverse is such a mess, both closed software and free but patent encumbered (depending on jurisdiction) software.

  4. #44
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    As a long time Debian user I am a bit surprised, and, not so surprised.

    While, it may seem to be a silly solution, it does perhaps reinforce Debian's status as "the base distro", which Ubuntu, Mint, and other copy-cats can pimp up.

    Debian, the Swiss army knife. Don't forget to bring your own blade...

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo Jyrinki View Post
    Or alternatively you use wired network to install the needed bits.
    Look in the firmware folder many NICs do not work without an firmware and i don't mean the wireless NICs

    And yes you has now one Step more but first you don't know if your hardware need extra Firmware.

    The new situation is now that my Hardware is no longer working ootb and the consequence for me is to use an other distribution.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nille View Post
    Nvidia has nothing released. Some of the Devs has started to reverse engineer the nvidia ucode because of legal issues.
    I know. But the reverse engineering was probably also not 100% legal? Nvidia does not seem to have a big problem with free firmwarecode. And AMD faces the same problem...?

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueJayofEvil View Post
    Quick question (and pardon my ignorance if this has been answered before) - Why do the Nouveau devs have a FOSS replacement for the Nvidia ucode and the AMD side do not? Is it hard to write a replacement?
    It would seem quite ironic to me if Nouveau would manage to come up with
    an entirely free driver and firmware combination without any support,
    documentation or resources from Nvidia, while the AMD side could not.
    To have all Nvidia hardware working out of the box and no AMD hardware,
    would surely seem strange.

    As for Debian, I can see atleast one OS (the currently biggest one),
    where having to pop in a CD with proprietary drivers and firmware
    haven't hurt it's market share one bit.

  8. #48
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    Debian differs from other Linux distributions in many ways, a few of which are radical departures from the ways distributions of the past were assembled. These differences have attracted developers from around the world to work together toward the common goal of making Debian the best Linux distribution available. Indeed, one of the differences that has attracted them is the fact that they can work together.

    http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/2841

    This is from 1994, yes, nineteen ninety four.

  9. #49
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    I really think this is a chicken or egg problem.

    If you need to know what's wrong, you need image.
    If you need to download the stuff to get network and image, you need networks:internet.

    I am a supporter of free software but find this a little bit over the edge. We need to be practical after all. Taking one step (kind of blob) out at the time.Slowly.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugmenot3 View Post
    I know. But the reverse engineering was probably also not 100% legal? Nvidia does not seem to have a big problem with free firmwarecode. And AMD faces the same problem...?
    I don't think that AMD has a big problem if someone pull the ucode from the fglrx an reverse engineer it.
    The Point is that AMD don't want to release there ucode Source an provide an binary that everyone can use if you don't try to reverse engineer it.

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