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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] The "Free" Kernel In Debian Squeeze

From: Alexandre Oliva
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] The "Free" Kernel In Debian Squeeze
Date: Sat, 01 Jan 2011 11:34:40 -0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1 (gnu/linux)

On Dec 31, 2010, Richard Stallman <address@hidden> wrote:

>> Propposal on this: preffix all unfree firmware as being unfree ("unfree_",
>> probably) instead of hashing their name identifiers. This way the firmware
>> loader can simply log a warning stating clearly that the firmware harms y=
>     our
>> freedoms.

>     Sorry, forgot to reply all.

> I think the firmware loader is a separate program, not part of Linux,
> so we do not control it.  However, there must be a function in Linux
> which somehow invokes that program.  Maybe we could modify that
> function so it sees this and prints the error message "Device not
> supported".

But we don't want to do that unconditionally.  That's what we do now,
and we decided to change it.  We want to do that only if the kernel
somehow knows that the user hasn't installed firmware with that name.
Which brings us exactly to my earlier proposal:

  Now, if the latter approach (mangling blob names in the request, but
  not in the source code per se) is acceptable, an even simpler approach
  might work: one with even greater odds of being accepted upstream:
  introducing some means for userland to tell the kernel which pieces of
  firmware are available, so that the kernel does not even ask for those
  that aren't.

Alexandre Oliva, freedom fighter
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Gandhi
Be Free! --   FSF Latin America board member
Free Software Evangelist      Red Hat Brazil Compiler Engineer

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