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alpine-devel

Re: [alpine-devel] Splitting up linux-firmware?

From: A. Wilcox <awilfox_at_adelielinux.org>
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2018 17:16:53 -0600

On 01/06/18 16:18, Drew DeVault wrote:
> It should be possible to detect which firmwares the kernel attempts to
> load and automatically download only the ones you need.


There is a userspace firmware loader helper option in the kernel I think
(or maybe that was for modules?), but I don't think it'd be good to hang
up the boot process to download relevant firmware files. Also, you have
to think about people who do not want firmware. For example, I have one
system with a Broadcom WLAN chip but no other hardware requiring
firmware, so I just use it wired and run it fully libre.


> IMO this would be a better approach. Couple of issues:
>
> - How would this interact with udev, if present
> - Needs to be possible to download some firmware offline


"download" "offline".

I mean, you can have a cache of firmware packages installed, but that's
basically the same as just having the large linux-firmware package
installed.


> - Should include all firmware on the ISO


I don't know the legalities of redistributing linux-firmware (I believe
it is "closed source, but freely distributable"). But beyond that, it
would mean that the Alpine ISO is no longer free/libre software. I
don't agree that this is a good idea. Perhaps there could *be* a spin
with firmware on the CD for people who know they need firmware for the
network or whatever, but it shouldn't be the default IMO.


> - Should detect and pre-install relevant firmware during alpine-setup


This is a decent idea for such a 'firmware CD spin'. I don't know if
there is a 'lsfw' utility or such that can see what firmware is loaded,
but if so, that'd be all that would really be necessary.


Best,
--arw

-- 
A. Wilcox (awilfox)
Project Lead, Adélie Linux
http://adelielinux.org




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Received on Sat Jan 06 2018 - 17:16:53 GMT