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Re: firmware-linux

Chris Davies wrote:

It's now become /really/ awkward to install Debian on DELL 2950s or any
other kit containing Broadcom NICs. You need to have a USB stick
that contans the relevant firmware package, and have that present
during the installation process. In and of itself this is only mildly
fiddly. However, it gets /very/ interesting indeed when using the
Remote Access features in LOM grade servers such as the 2950. (Virtual
console. Virtual CDROM. Fortunately, also virtual USB stick.)

Exactly. One of my co-workers was bit by this with a Lenny install on a 1950. This is part of the reason why we haven't moved the existing etch install on our department 2950. IIRC, he did manage to get Lenny on the 1950, but something about it wasn't right due to the fiddly way he got it working and ended up putting etch back on it. I'll have to ask him again how he got it done.

Personally, my fix would to either get better kit than Dell or install an Intel based NIC, but since I don't control the purse strings in the company, I'll take what I can get.

If I wasn't such a diehard Debian advocate, I'd have seriously considered
moving to another distribution. On the other hand, I can completely
understand /why/ Debian installations no longer include non-free
software. I'm not completely sure where I sit on the Convenience vs
FOSS seesaw.

From my own personal experience, the grass isn't any greener on the other side of the install disc. I have experimented with CentOS installs within VM's and compared to this annoyance in Lenny, Lenny is still a walk in the park.

While there is a tarball available for the firmware that was moved around (http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/firmware/lenny/current/), I do feel that the issue is big enough that a bigger warning should be made in the install notes (http://debian.org/releases/stable/debian-installer/).

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