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Re: [alpine-aports] [RFC] Splitting linux-firmware

From: Isaac Dunham <>
Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2016 13:55:02 -0700

On Sun, Apr 03, 2016 at 04:25:18PM +0300, Timo Teras wrote:
> On Sat, 2 Apr 2016 22:21:18 -0700
> Isaac Dunham <> wrote:
> > I recently checked the size of installed packages on my system, and
> > found that linux-firmware was the largest (~120 megabytes).
> > I need the Realtek firmware, and perhaps could use the i915 firmware.
> > So I figured it would be a significant cutdown in installed size,
> > as well as a major reduction in downloads, if it were possible to just
> > select firmware from a couple of manufacturers.
> >
> > While I was in the process of doing this, I noticed a few smaller
> > issues: -the non-firmware files that the APKBUILD tries to delete are
> > actually located in /lib/firmware, not /usr/lib/firmware
> > -the source for carl9170 firmware is included in the final package
> >
> > Here's a tentative patch that fixes those issues and tries to split
> > things up.
> >
> > Does this look like a good idea?
> > Should any further splitting be done?
> > For example:
> > -splitting iwlwifi firmware off because it's the bulk of the intel
> > firmware, but not the bulk of the users;
> > -splitting qlogic, 3com, and chelsio firmware from -misc
> Before doing this, a first step would be to delete the unneeded
> firmwares.
> We already do this for modloop. But to do it for the package, would
> need a list of files needed to be maintained. I believe about half of
> the package can be just deleted based on our module configuration and
> specific kernel versions.
> See for
> how to get info on what firmware is required by the kernel modules.

Before doing that, there's a question of whether we're going to support
'noarch' "properly" (ie, with a single build/package upload for all
If so, it would be necessary to compile a single list of files for
all arches.

Checking it against linux-firmware I get results along the lines of
- one third of the firmware is 'missing' (ie, not in linux-firmware)
A large chunk of this is in alsa-firmware and other packages.

- the remainder runs just over 40 megabytes

- there's lots of firmware that seems to be 'unneeded' even though the
relevant drivers are enabled (eg, only 2 files from brcm/ of 24 are
needed), which makes me wonder if something's wrong with modinfo...

> If the package is still too large after this, doing splitting might be
> an idea.

*If* the results are correct, it wouldn't be *needed*.

Isaac Dunham

Received on Sun Apr 03 2016 - 13:55:02 UTC