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Re: non-free firmware

Joey Hess wrote:
> Your analysis of the modules that would be needed by the installer does
> not take all possible installation methods and hardware combinations 
> into account, notably missing a) network cards
Netbooting?  If the user can netboot there's no real problem, because the user 
is guaranteed to have a working UNIX-like system.  A recipe can be provided 
for the user to make his/her own tftp boot image.

Boot methods which are CD-based are potentially problematic because the user 
*cannot* be assumed to be able to construct his/her own custom CD.

> b) pcmcia
Yes, fix my wording: include that in "needed to mount the CD" -- change it to 
"needed to mount the installation medium"

> c) usb  
Yes, fix my wording: include that in "needed to mount the CD" -- change it to 
"needed to mount the installation medium".

> d) systems without usable removable media.
These aren't currently supported by the installer except via netbooting (noted 
above).  Right?

> > (1) an easy facility for inserting an "extra debs" CD or floppy in the
> > installer (already present)
> No, it's not.
I could have sworn seeing an "If you need additional drivers, insert your 
drivers disk now" message last time I installed -- but that would be the 
optional udebs, right?  Ah....

I also seem to recall being given a choice of sources for apt-get, which gives 
such an option -- ah, I see, there's no easy facility for specifying "disk 
#2" or "CD #2" in that list, or for disk-swapping.

> > (4) a facility to load such a udeb *before* the probing for kernel modules
> > (shouldn't be too hard)
> Impossible in many cases.
Do these cases fall under the "needed to mount installation medium" category?

> > (b) or an entire non-free installer release
> Or the other options for user mergable non-free/free images that I have
> discussed in prior postings on this topic.
Sure!  I haven't seen most of them; do you have some reference URLs?  Such a 
thing would be a complete solution for most of the less usual types of 
installations; I don't see that such a solution would be sufficient for a CD 
installation, where we can't expect the user to be able to burn his own CD.

Nathanael Nerode  <neroden@twcny.rr.com>

A thousand reasons. http://www.thousandreasons.org/
Lies, theft, war, kidnapping, torture, rape, murder...
Get me out of this fascist nightmare!

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