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Re: -1 (Re: Making Debian available)

On 2021/01/23 12:43, Holger Levsen wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 23, 2021 at 11:14:52AM +0100, Emanuele Rocca wrote:
>> Having the option to opt-out firmware during the installation procedure
>> seems reasonable to me, and I don't think anyone was suggesting
>> otherwise.
>> The situation we are in today is very different though: we build a
>> Defective by Design image that fails to install Debian on lots of
>> computers because it does not include the firmware most WiFi cards need
>> to function. If we were to make a mistake and accidentally include such
>> firmware, people would be able to use what we publish on www.debian.org
>> under the large "Download" button to install Debian on their Thinkpads,
>> and we would consider that a problem. That's insane.
> very well said, thank you!

I find myself disagreeing with both of you. Firstly, no doubt having
firmware available on the media would be convienient to many users, I'm
not contesting that here.

But the sentiment above and in other similar messages were that the
completely free images are broken for many users that might need some
non-free firmware. This is simply not true. I've only ever installed
using the free images, and then afterwards just install the firmware
packages I actually need. On all my thinkpads this was typically just
the intel wifi firmware, which is super quick and simple, on my AMD
laptop I needed some amd graphics firmware which wasn't on the media,
but also a very quick install and it works flawlessly, so I think
implying that the free images are completely unusable for people who
might need firmware is an unreasonably large stretch. I also like that I
know exactly which non-free firmware packages are installed on my system.

Again, I'm not saying that there shouldn't be images that contain
non-free firmware, but dismissing the images that don't have firmware on
as useless is harmful and misleading.


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