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Re: Changing how we handle non-free firmware

On Thu, Aug 18, 2022 at 08:58:21PM +0100, Steve McIntyre wrote:
> So, I propose the following:
> =================================
> We will include non-free firmware packages from the
> "non-free-firmware" section of the Debian archive on our official
> media (installer images and live images). The included firmware
> binaries will *normally* be enabled by default where the system
> determines that they are required, but where possible we will include
> ways for users to disable this at boot (boot menu option, kernel
> command line etc.).
> When the installer/live system is running we will provide information
> to the user about what firmware has been loaded (both free and
> non-free), and we will also store that information on the target
> system such that users will be able to find it later.

> The target
> system will *also* be configured to use the non-free-firmware
> component by default in the apt sources.list file.

This means that non-free-firmware would be always enabled, also when the system
would not determine that the included firmware binaries are required. Intended?

> Our users should
> receive security updates and important fixes to firmware binaries just
> like any other installed software.
> We will publish these images as official Debian media, replacing the
> current media sets that do not include non-free firmware packages.
> =================================
> A reason for defaulting to installing non-free firmware *by default*
> is accessibility. A blind user running the installer in text-to-speech
> mode may need audio firmware loaded to be able to drive the installer
> at all. It's going to be very difficult for them to change this. Other
> people should be able to drive the system (boot menus, etc.) to *not*
> install the non-free firmware packages if desired.
> We will *only* include the non-free-firmware component on our media
> and on installed systems by default. As a general policy, we still do
> not want to see other non-free software in use. Users may still enable
> the existing non-free component if they need it.
> We also need to do the work to make this happen:
>  * in d-i, live-boot and elsewhere to make information about firmware
>    available.
>  * add support for the non-free-firmware section in more places:
>    ftpsync, debian-cd and more.
> and I plan to start on some of those soon.
> [1] https://blog.einval.com/2022/04/19#firmware-what-do-we-do
> [2] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2022/04/msg00130.html
> [3] https://debconf22.debconf.org/talks/43-fixing-the-firmware-mess/
> [4] https://incoming.debian.org/debian-buildd/dists/buildd-unstable
> [5] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2022/04/msg00214.html
> -- 
> Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
> You raise the blade, you make the change... You re-arrange me 'til I'm sane...


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