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Re: Debian hardware certification

On 06/04/2011 06:28 AM, Ben Hutchings wrote:
> On Fri, 2011-06-03 at 11:42 -0400, John Sullivan wrote:
>> Thomas Goirand <zigo@debian.org> writes:
>>> The point is to have a system so that manufacturers can write "this
>>> system supports Debian". If they don't want to do the work, we could,
>>> and help each other by having a list of hardware that is known to work
>>> with Debian, and a list of hardware with issues. If they do, it's best,
>>> and IMHO we should help. Finally, I believe we should have a central
>>> point on Debian's website so that this can happen.
>>> Maybe a wiki page might be a good start, until we setup something better.
>> Such a database is being generated now at http://h-node.com. The FSF is
>> also consolidating its former compatible hardware database there. Since
>> h-node lists hardware that works without proprietary drivers or
>> proprietary firmware, it should be a good fit for Debian main from
>> Squeeze on.

It is *NOT* a good fit for Debian. I think you didn't read correctly the
website. It says:

"You are allowed to add only devices tested with GNU/Linux distributions
that are considered fully free, according to the Free Software
Foundation definition of free software"

Then you go on the link where it says "fully free", and you see a list
of distribution. Debian isn't there (as it's not considered "fully free
 according to the FSF", because we have the non-free repository). So
even if we would like to, we aren't allowed to write things in there.

Also, this hardware list tells about everything *but* the motherboard. I
don't really care about notebooks, wifi cards, video cards, printers, 3g
cards, sound cards, webcam, bluetooth, acquisition cards, or fingerprint
readers here... A Supermicro hardware wont have any of the above (well,
it may have a video board, but most of the time a very old model which
is known to work and isn't the issue, and same for the sound board).

> Almost every peripheral device today runs some software (firmware) on an
> embedded processor or microcontroller, which is generally non-free (see
> http://mjg59.livejournal.com/91123.html for examples).

I agree. And the goal that I'm trying to reach isn't to advocate for
free firmware, but to know if we can run Debian on a hardware or not.

On 06/04/2011 07:16 AM, Hector Oron wrote:
>>> The point is to have a system so that manufacturers can write "this
>>> system supports Debian".
> They can do that if they like.

You are missing the point as well. Here, I have Nick Adams, which has
contacts at Supermicro, that is kindly volunteering to help us to test
their hardware with Debian (this was the discussion we had in Beijing),
and help the kernel team to test eventual backports of drivers. Saying
"hardware makers can do it themselves" isn't helping the process of
testing hardware, and let them know if Debian works with it or not...

> One database which it is more Debian centric:
>   * http://kmuto.jp/debian/hcl/

Yes, that db is cool, but it doesn't help much either to say "pickup
this motherboard, it's fine with Debian x.y".

I wrote the following:


That's the kind of very simple list that I was hoping to build. But the
list isn't the final goal. The goal is to *fix* issues when we see them,
like it happened for the X8STi-F in Debian 5.04.


Thomas Goirand (zigo)

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