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Re: Debian on Pine64 H64B?

Hi Reco,

On 2021.09.07 10:42, Reco wrote:

On Tue, Sep 07, 2021 at 10:29:40AM +0100, Pete Batard wrote:
Hi Gunnar,

On 2021.09.06 18:59, Gunnar Wolf wrote:
Gene Heskett dijo [Sat, Sep 04, 2021 at 09:43:07AM -0400]:
So I found my own solutions. So, debian-arm, please make up your mind, do
you support the pi's or do you NOT support the pi's?

Debian has a very clear line set: We do _NOT_ ship non-free software,
no exceptions. Given the Raspberries need a non-free firmware blob for
the GPU to hand over execution to the ARM CPU at bootup... Yes, that
clearly means no official Debian images exist for Raspberry Pi

I'd say that's not really true, since it's very much possible to
install Bullseye on the Pi 4 using *vanilla* unmodified ARM64 Debian
ISOs [1]. And the same has been true for Buster on the Pi 3 for some
time too [2].

A small nitpick. While it's indeed possible to boot rebuilt UEFI on
Raspberry Pi3 (which is free software, since it's patched TianoCore),
and boot unmodified Debian ARM64 via said UEFI - the booting of UEFI
itself still requires Broadcom blobs, which are non-free software.

Yes, but that is *outside* of the scope of Debian, just like booting Debian on UEFI x86 based PCs also requires the use of intel or AMD non-free blobs (for RAM bringup, ME and all the other stuff that CPU manufacturers have decided they no longer want to open) that are integrated into the UEFI firmware and that you don't see or have to provide yourself, but that are very much present still.

If the idea is that the Pi platform is less free than the x86 platform because you need to provide non-free blobs for boot, you may want to take a closer look at how modern x86 PCs behave in that matter, because they are just as non-free as the Pi, albeit in a manner that makes it less visible to the user.

But again, it doesn't matter because the provision of non-free blobs is then moved outside of what Debian needs to concern itself with (it's now part of TF-A/UEFI bringup, which is the place where these blobs should logically reside), which allows the use of blob-free Debian images.

While UEFI is Open Source, it far from being Free Software (which of course it was never designed to be, in order to accommodate system providers who do did to add proprietary blobs from the get go), and the provision of non-free blobs there becomes a non-issue (outside of user-acceptance that their system relies on using non-free software, but considering that any modern x86 user is pretty forced to accept that these days, I don't see how the Pi situation should suddenly become special in that regard).



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