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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

On Tue, May 18, 2010 at 11:33:11AM +0200, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
>Early on in this thread [1] I've tried to identify our options, which
>essentially boil down to:
>1) have the non-free firmware on the (first) install media, "protected"
>   by a BIG FAT WARNING saying that you need non-free firmware to
>   proceed, but that using it: you get out of Debian, you don't have
>   support, you should complain with your HW manufacturer, and that
>   thousands of kittens will be killed by your choice
>2) have an alternative set of installation medias (basically Debian +
>   non-free firmware), shipped under a non-free section of our mirrors
>My reading of this thread, assuming that it is representative, is that
>(2) is preferred among developers; that is also my favorite choice.
>I've then asked Steve McIntyre his opinion (thanks!), as Debian CD team
>member, to understand the impact/feasibility on the media production. In
>short [2]:
>- it seems to be feasible
>- he suggested to just do that for netinst (to avoid duplicating the
>  production of all media)
>- a reasonable ETA to have the work-flow for producing both sets of
>  images is about 2 weeks

Sorry for the delay in responding - back from VAC now and just about
caught up. Yes, adding an extra netinst variant looks feasible and
should be doable without much extra work. I'm hoping to get this going

>Another interesting proposal advanced in this thread [3] by Steve
>Langasek is to create on the fly the non-free images. That would be
>cool, but I think we should pose the requirement that our users are able
>to download the non-free image as usual, and that the image is created
>on the fly for them behind the scenes (as Steve has hinted in [3]
>already). So, the point to whether this is possible or not is the
>obvious one: who volunteers to work on that? I suggest that we go for
>the alternate image set by default, unless someone steps up with a
>working implementation of Steve idea in time for Squeeze.

I'd prefer to do the separate image route to start with, at
least. Much simpler for now... :-)

>A last important point is how to advertise the non-free images on the
>web. We should obviously write in the release note the change and
>IMHO we should have a link to the non-free images near the download
>links for the free images, visually "warning" that they are non-free,
>pretty much as we visually warn non-free packages on packages.d.o and
>similar other parts of our infrastructure.

Yup, definitely. We already have an "unofficial non-free" area on
cdimage.debian.org which is where we've been pushing the firmware
zip/tar.gz files already. I'll set up the extra images to be dropped
in there.

I'm guessing that we're not likely to want the extra images for all
architectures: i386/amd64/powerpc(?). Any others?

>PS thanks to Kurt for having started this discussion!


Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
Support the Campaign for Audiovisual Free Expression: http://www.eff.org/cafe/

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