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Potential problem with DFSG installations on NSLU2

Hi All

In the past, Debian could be installed on an NSLU2 using the installer
image that did not contain the NPE-B firmware by using a USB to
Ethernet adapter. I tried this configuration with a daily snapshot
last night, and was presented with the following text in the "Detect
network hardware" dialog box.


Some of your hardware needs non-free firmware files to operate. The
firmware can be loaded from removable media, such as a USB stick or

The missing firmware files are: NPE-B

If you have such media available now, insert it, and continue.

Load missing firmware from removable media?

<Yes>                                                   <No>


I confirmed that my USB to Ethernet adapter is detected by checking
that the modules were loaded (asix and usbnet in this case).

~ # lsmod
Module                  Size  Used by
asix                   14496  0
usbnet                 15622  1 asix
evdev                   8608  0
ohci_hcd               18212  0
ehci_hcd               35148  0
ixp4xx_eth             12216  0
ixp4xx_npe              7936  2 ixp4xx_eth
ixp4xx_beeper           2720  0
firmware_class          7552  1 ixp4xx_npe
ixp4xx_qmgr             5336  1 ixp4xx_eth
usbcore               128252  5 asix,usbnet,ohci_hcd,ehci_hcd

For users without serial console access, the installation with this
configuration will appear to freeze, and they will never be able to
proceed. Is this the intended behaviour? I realize that not many
people will install Debian on the NSLU2 without using an image that
contains the NPE-B microcode, but it seems that this configuration
should still be supported.


Gordon Farquharson
GnuPG Key ID: 32D6D676

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