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Re: firmware-linux

On Tue,31.Mar.09, 11:19:37, tyler wrote:
> Hi,
> I have a naive question about binary firmware in Debian. I appreciate
> your patience with me!
> I just noticed a new package in squeeze, firmware-linux, which contains
> the binary firmware that was formerly included in Debian kernels. I'm
> glad to see that it has been pulled out, so that we can decide for
> ourselves if we need or want it on our systems, at least when the next
> kernel update makes it's way into testing.
> What I want to know is what kinds of problems I might experience when I
> move to a 'free' kernel? Are these problems easily discoverable when I
> switch? I'm most concerned about two possibilities - my system becomes
> inoperable due to some dependency on binary firmware; or the absence of
> the firmware introduces some subtle change that may cause headaches
> without providing a clear indication that the lack of firmware is the
> source of the problem.

I'm guessing that the devices which need that firmware will just stop 
working. If that particular device is your HDD interface than yes, your 
computer might stop working.

Did you look at the package description carefully? AFAICT it contains a 
full list of removed firmwares. If you don't recognize them then you 
could just keep an older kernel around.

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
(Albert Einstein)

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