Merge into Linux? Useful as test suite before buying hardware!
Posted Mar 5, 2010 15:47 UTC (Fri) by alex
In reply to: Merge into Linux? Useful as test suite before buying hardware!
Parent article: Linux-2.6.33-libre released
Sure, perhaps it would have been better if I had said point the firmware
loader to a directory that only has bona-fida free firmware in it. I have a
linux-firmware git tree on my systems but I'm unaware if there is a free
firmware only equivalent. I'd certainly try it out if there was.
"Anyhow, as long as Linux still includes or requests non-Free firmware,
disabling the firmware loader doesn't get even close to solving the real
problem: the source code that, per the GPL, needs to be offered or
distributed along with the binaries"
The GPL is very specific about what boundaries exist (and the Linux version
of the GPL even more so). I agree having the firmware in the Linux source
tree is undesirable and I think most kernel hackers are on-board with that
point of view. However the kernel copying a set of bits from the disk to
the hardware isn't a violation of the GPL any more than it would be copying
the non-copyleft mp3 on my disk to my music player. You are free after all
to use GPL software to do anything :-)
...and the requests for non-Free firmware
Does the request_firmware() call actually need specific firmware or just
leave it up to the user-space tool to determine the correct firmware?
While I certainly don't object to the libre project (after all it's your
time not mine :-) it's going diverge more and more as the kernel grows. You
may want to consider submitting patches that remove identified firmware
from the kernel (although if it breaks functionality by not using
request_firmware I doubt there will be any point).
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