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Old 09-13-2012, 04:45 PM
Henrique de Moraes Holschuh
 
Default Processor microcode update packages (was: Towards d-i wheezy beta 3)

On Thu, 13 Sep 2012, Nikolaus Rath wrote:
> Henrique de Moraes Holschuh <hmh@debian.org> writes:
> > On Thu, 13 Sep 2012, Wolodja Wentland wrote:
> >> On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 11:44 +0200, Marco d'Itri wrote:
> >> > Also, we should mention somewhere (the install documentation?) that
> >> > non-free should be enabled to install microcode fixes which may be
> >> > critical to maintain the system stability.
> >>
> >> Could you elaborate on this please? I have been running systems just fine
> >> even though microcode.ctl (and corresponding microcode) was not installed and
> >> a look at microcode.ctl's popcon [0] confirms that a majority of users do the
> >> same.
> >
> [...]
> >
> > System stability depends critically on the presence of microcode that is as
> > up-to-date as required to cover all serious bugs on all features of the
> > processor that your workload uses.
>
> I think this should be mentioned somewhere *much* more prominent. I
> consider myself pretty tech-savy, but only stumbled upon this just now
> on the this list. Can a non-free package be made essential or
> required? It seems there is really absolutely no-reason other than
> non-freeness for not installing this by default.

For non-free, the priority doesn't make any difference. It cannot be made
essential or required, because that doesn't make sense for non-free.
Basically, everything in non-free is effectively priority "extra". That
said, both packages have their priority set to "standard" in the control
file, but ftp-masters decided to lower it.

It is also worth notice that enabling non-free is not just optional, it is
officially discouraged: non-free is not even mentioned by the Debian Wheezy
installer unless you're in expert mode.

And yes, the only reason to not have it installed by default on every x86
Debian system with an Intel or AMD processor is the non-freeness.

--
"One disk to rule them all, One disk to find them. One disk to bring
them all and in the darkness grind them. In the Land of Redmond
where the shadows lie." -- The Silicon Valley Tarot
Henrique Holschuh


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Old 09-13-2012, 04:49 PM
Henrique de Moraes Holschuh
 
Default Processor microcode update packages (was: Towards d-i wheezy beta 3)

On Thu, 13 Sep 2012, Andrei POPESCU wrote:
> On Jo, 13 sep 12, 11:29:39, Nikolaus Rath wrote:
> > I think this should be mentioned somewhere *much* more prominent. I
> > consider myself pretty tech-savy, but only stumbled upon this just now
> > on the this list. Can a non-free package be made essential or
> > required? It seems there is really absolutely no-reason other than
> > non-freeness for not installing this by default.
>
> Could the various microcode packages be Suggested or even Recommended by
> firmware-linux-nonfree?

Probably not, because our support for arch-lists outside of
build-dependencies is just a hack (it is resolved at package build time, and
the dependencies are ommited based on the build arch). The microcode
packages are arch-specific, and firmware-linux-nonfree is arch all. Arch
all cannot have any arch-specific binary package dependencies.

This means a recommends or suggests for the two microcode packages, if added
to firmware-linux-nonfree, would be visible, and not satisfiable, on every
arch but i386 and amd64.

--
"One disk to rule them all, One disk to find them. One disk to bring
them all and in the darkness grind them. In the Land of Redmond
where the shadows lie." -- The Silicon Valley Tarot
Henrique Holschuh


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Old 09-13-2012, 05:13 PM
Wolodja Wentland
 
Default Processor microcode update packages (was: Towards d-i wheezy beta 3)

On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 13:45 -0300, Henrique de Moraes Holschuh wrote:
> On Thu, 13 Sep 2012, Nikolaus Rath wrote:

> > I think this should be mentioned somewhere *much* more prominent. I
> > consider myself pretty tech-savy, but only stumbled upon this just now
> > on the this list. Can a non-free package be made essential or
> > required? It seems there is really absolutely no-reason other than
> > non-freeness for not installing this by default.

> It is also worth notice that enabling non-free is not just optional, it is
> officially discouraged: non-free is not even mentioned by the Debian Wheezy
> installer unless you're in expert mode.

The main problem I see is that there seem to be essentially two types of
packages in non-free right now, namely those that contain firmware/microcode
(etc) and are crucial for correctly working hardware and the rest. Most users,
and even those that prefer to install only free software, would probably want
to install all packages from non-free that are appropriate for their hardware.

> And yes, the only reason to not have it installed by default on every x86
> Debian system with an Intel or AMD processor is the non-freeness.

It is quite unfortunate that users who decide to not install non-free software
have to accept the fact that their hardware might work unreliable (if at all).
New users should, however, be made aware of this fact and offered help during
the installation to install appropriate packages. (either by the installer or
by making this explicit in the documentation)
--
Wolodja <debian@babilen5.org>

4096R/CAF14EFC
081C B7CD FF04 2BA9 94EA 36B2 8B7F 7D30 CAF1 4EFC
 
Old 09-15-2012, 05:46 PM
 
Default Processor microcode update packages (was: Towards d-i wheezy beta 3)

On Sep 13, Wolodja Wentland <debian@babilen5.org> wrote:

> The main problem I see is that there seem to be essentially two types of
> packages in non-free right now, namely those that contain firmware/microcode
> (etc) and are crucial for correctly working hardware and the rest.
Yes, this was duly noted at the time that the hypocrisy about some
firmwares started: the net effect is that people are encouraged to
enable non-free.

--
ciao,
Marco
 

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