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Re: non-free firmware

On Friday 20 June 2008, Joey Hess wrote:
> hw-detect could be made smart about detecting when a module it's
> loading needs firmware. This is pretty easy to do by modifiying
> /lib/udev/firmware.agent to log the names of the module and firware
> file if firmware cannot be found. Something like:
> +echo "$PHYSDEVDRIVER $FIRMWARE" >>/tmp/needed-firmware
> +
>  debug_mesg "Cannot find the $FIRMWARE firmware"
>  exit 1

Makes sense.

> Then the module would still fail to initialize[1] -- and hw-detect can
> notice this file, and prompt the user for firmware, and then remove and
> reload the module if it's provided.

Possibly something like 'udevtrigger --retry-failed' might work too.

> This should allow us to support ethernet and hard drive controllers
> that need non-free firmware. Even the nslu2 could be supported by this,
> probably.

It would be good to have at least something. This sounds like a good 

We probably do still need to make sure
- if we install firmware from a package that licence requirements are met
  (e.g. display a debconf message included in the package)
- if we install loose files that the user gets a message that respecting
  licence requirements is his responsibility


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