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non-free firmware

I suggest that for the next beta we focus on dealing with non-free
firmware better in d-i. An increasing number of machines are difficult
to install with d-i, or don't have all hardware working fully
post-install due to non-free firmware issues.

There are clearly two parts to the problem; non-free firmware that is
required for d-i to function at all is a complex problem that we have
yet to come to terms with, while non-free firmware that can be supported
by d-i installing some debs is a problem that Petter has pretty well
already solved in discover, with only d-i integration lacking.

Here are some more thoughts on use of discover-pkginstall in d-i..

* Installing a compiler and building non-free modules during the install
  is something some of us, including me, are currently slightly afraid
  of, but we'll only know how problimatic it is once it's deployed. And
  it can always be turned off.
* discover might need to install packages from non-free (#464968).
  Since by default non-free is not selected by d-i, something would need
  to be done for this to work. One approach would be for apt-setup run
  discover-pkginstall -l, and check if the configured apt sources have all
  the listed packages. If not, it can assume non-free and contrib are needed,
  and ask the questions for those at high priority with the defaults changed
  to true.
* In some cases, the initramfs might need to be rebuilt to include the
  firmware in it. (Maybe not enough cases to worry about.)
* discover-pkginstall should support an option like tasksel's
  --debconf-apt-progress, so that it can use debconf-apt-progress and
  interoperate well with pkgsel's progress bar. I think this will be
  easy to patch into it.

Here are some thoughts on nslu2 firmware..

* I hope to add a ixp4xx-microcode package to non-free.
* Rather than doing a special build of d-i that includes the
  firmware, I'm thinking about adding a script to slugimage that takes a
  nslu2 boot image and inserts the microcode files into it. Then users
  can easily download d-i and the firmware and put the parts together
  before sending it to their slug. This would probably work by unpacking
  the boot image, creating a cpio archive of the firmware files, appending
  the cpio to the initramfs, and repacking that into a new boot image.

see shy jo

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