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

From: William Pitcock <>
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2018 13:15:21 -0600


On Sat, Jan 6, 2018 at 5:20 PM, Drew DeVault <> wrote:
> On 2018-01-06 5:16 PM, A. Wilcox wrote:
>> 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.
> In theory this wouldn't slow down the boot process if you had the ones
> you need cached (and you should 1000% have the ones you need cached). It
> might not make sense to download them on the fly, maybe, just write down
> the failures and add a command to sort it out.
>> "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.
> Not a full cache, just of the firmware you need.
>> 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.
> This is a good point.
>> 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.
> I don't think there is, but hooking into the userspace loader should
> make it pretty trivial to do this.

NAK. Hooking into the userspace loader with something that can block
is a really bad idea.


Received on Sun Jan 07 2018 - 13:15:21 UTC