FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
Posted Nov 10, 2010 11:04 UTC (Wed) by dwmw2
In reply to: FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
Parent article: FSFLA: Linux kernel is "open core"
I find it amusing that you do it this way, when it would be so simple to patch the userspace side instead, and make it check the firmware licence using the WHENCE file. (That'll actually get easier soon, when I replace the WHENCE file with something less free-form, probably based on the proposed Debian Copyright File Format).
That way, you could trivially configure the system to refuse to load the non-free firmware files. And as and when replacement firmware becomes available (as with b43) you can allow it to be loaded because you know its licence is acceptable to you. Assuming that a given filename will always have a given licence is simply wrong.
By doing it that way, you also avoid crippling those drivers which have optional support for upgrading the firmware which is in flash on the hardware, but which normally just use the firmware from flash.(Which, despite it being non-free, you seem to be quite happy about? Just so I understand
firmware in flash: OK, firmware loaded from host OS so that we can see it and folks like the OpenFWWF team can replace it: not OK, firmware in flash which is optionally reflashable from the kernel: also not OK?)
Even if you want your users to believe that we were always at war with Eastasia, and that the kernel has never had support for those devices with non-free firmware, I suspect you could achieve your patching a lot more easily than your existing method. You could probably just have a whitelist of those (lamentably few) drivers which use firmware images that are free, and then force-disable everything else which depends on CONFIG_FW_LOADER.
to post comments)