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Re: firmware-linux

Thorny <thorntreehome@gmail.com> writes:

>> [...]
>> 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.
> By "free" are you meaning a kernel you have compiled for yourself from
> source? In that case, you would include any needed modules and add
> the firmware for your hardware.

No, sorry, I thought that would be clear from the context. Since Debian
now has firmware packages separated from the kernel, I'm referring to
the newer Debian kernels that will not have the binary firmware
included. At the moment I'm using the standard kernel packages provided
in testing. I'm assuming that the next kernel upgrade to make its way
into testing will be a 'free' kernel, i.e., one without the binary
firmware. I'm trying to be proactive and sort out what, if anything, I
need to do/know to accommodate this change.

> You don't mean a pre-compiled kernel from some other distro do you, there
> might/could be important differences with that and which could potentially
> cause you problems.


>> ps. I'm running Squeeze on a Thinkpad R60, but I'm interested in the
>> general case as well.
> People running testing are supposed to be more advanced than needing to
> ask this question. No offence meant but I think that is especially true
> this soon after a stable release, when "testing" isn't close to a release
> candidate. 

Testing is pretty darn manageable, even for those of us who aren't
compiling our own kernels. No offence meant, but you might want to
recalibrate your ideas about the expertise required to run it.


There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale 
returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
                                       --Mark Twain

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