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Re: non-free firmware and d-i

Hello People at -vote,

At the mailinglist -boot was this message:

On Mon, Sep 18, 2006 at 11:35:51AM -0400, Nathanael Nerode wrote:
> Joey Hess wrote:
> > 
> > d-i already supports driver disks, see floppy-retriever and the code in
> > hw-detect to prompt for a driver floppy if necessary hardware is not
> > detected.
> And apparently net-retriever handles this correctly too.
> > Even extending this to support USB and CDs does not cover all cases,
> But should be done.  :-)  Is this not supported yet?
> > my  
> > outline in the post above includes some points where this approach will
> > fail.
> If the machine needs firmware in order to load the installation media under
> Linux, this cannot be solved except by making a non-free installer image.


> It is a theoretical impossibility, because in this case the firmware must
> be loaded by something outside the installer proper.  In fact, in most
> cases the only things loaded in this form are the kernel and the initramfs
> (loaded by the BIOS) and so to deal with this case the firmware must be
> included in one of them.  (In the initramfs case with loadable firmware
> this further means that udev must run in the initramfs, which is not
> ready.)
> So just *forget* that case, since it's not solvable.  If there exists a form
> of installation media which does *not* need firmware loaded in order for
> Linux to use it, then put the firmware on that media, load it, and
> continue.
> Consider this case: the solvable case.  What actual problems can you 
> identify with this case?  It appears to be 90% implemented.  I see *no* 
> places where this approach will fail, excepting the impossible case, and
> you haven't identified any such places either.  Your outline includes no
> points where it will fail except the impossible case: I counted.  :-)

I'm not able to dive into the discussion of the GR for non-free firmware.

Things I have see of it, are "solutions".

What I not have see is a voting option like

 [ ] Just document how to (re)build with non free drivers.

I would like to see such an option. My main reason for it is
my main reason for investing time in Debian:  Free Software

Spending time on non-free software, can't be spend on free software.

Those who need the non-free firmware can use the free software to build
the parts they need. Making integration of non-free drivers easy
will help that there will be such drivers much longer.
The problem of non-free drivers is a problem of the hardware manufactors
who didn't yet find a bisnesmodel to cope with free software, it is
surely not a problem for Debian.

For those who think it is Debian problem: It is allready fixed.
Sources to (re)build Debian software are allready available,
just include the non-free parts.

People of Debian-Vote@lists.debian.org:

Please add a votable option like
 [ ] Just document how to (re)build with non free drivers.

Geert Stappers <stappers@debian.org>
Not subscribed to -vote@l.d.o. and BCC-ing -boot to move this
GR proposal discussion to -vote.

> this cannot be solved except by making a non-free installer image.
[1] So what? Allow people to make non-free installer images.
    Just avoid that Debian is providing non-free stuff.
    Create awareness about non-free software issues.

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