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Old 04-03-2008, 06:09 AM
Jon Masters
Default kernel-libre (hopefully 100% Free) for Fedora 8 and rawhide

On Sat, 2008-03-22 at 22:46 -0300, Alexandre Oliva wrote:

> I've stripped non-Free firmware bits from Fedora kernels for F8 and
> rawhide, starting from tools developed by the gNewSense folks and now
> in use by BLAG developers, and built alternate kernels that I've
> successfully booted up and used on my x86_64 notebook.
> You'd be surprised at how little it takes to get to a Free Software
> kernel. It's just a few drivers that need firmware removed.

On a tangent...but ideally all kernel modules would eventually be using
the in-kernel firmware loader to handle pulling in firmware files, add
MOODULE_FIRMWARE macros to the meta, and we would pull all firmware out
into separate package(s). Perhaps this has been discussed more recently
than I'm aware of, and in that case, I apologize.

An issue we have in RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) is that we
occasionally want to be able to update firmware for modules
independently of the modules themselves, while we don't really want to
have to ship a whole updated driver just for a firmware update. We could
just split out the firmware from the kernel modules entirely into a
kernel-firmware package in the future but this would leave a problem.
What happens when third party A wants to update their firmware, and so
does third party B? Both would want to re-ship the same package.

This is something I am not entirely sure affects Fedora as much, because
in the case of Fedora releases are more frequent and kernel rebuilds are
less of a concern, so firmware can simply be updated in the kernel. But
still, this is something I would like some input/comments on and would
like to decide if it is of value to Fedora to undertake this effort of
splitting out all of the remaining firmware into (sub)package(s).

You may now flame me


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