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Re: Adding firmware to FSD

From: Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli
Subject: Re: Adding firmware to FSD
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2021 00:59:43 +0200


On Fri, 1 Oct 2021 14:09:07 -0400
Craig Topham <> wrote:

> On 9/24/21 3:51 AM, Yuchen Pei wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > Does it make sense to start a collection on free firmware?  One can
> > start by adding items appearing on say
> > <> to the directory.
> >
> > If we add some info of firmware for hardware entries on,
> > then the two wikis can link to each other: hardware entries on
> > h-node can link to firmware entries on FSD and vice versa. :)
> >
> > What do you think?
> >
> I think this is a good idea. Having the two wikis interlinked will
> bring more attention to both. I am not sure a new collection is
> necessary (at this time). After looking at the current Collections,
> it seems we need to do a little house cleaning (and hone the purpose
> of collections) before we create more. If a specific h-node hardware
> runs on a free firmware, then that firmware should be vetted, added
> to the FSD, and linked from h-node with a link (in the description?)
> to h-node from the FSD entry. Example:
> <>
For u-boot, its source code contains:
- various nonfree x86 microcode in arch/x86/dts/microcode/
- a nonfree firmware in drivers/usb/host/xhci-rcar-r8a779x_usb3_v3.h
  (its license is in Licenses/r8a779x_usb3.txt)
- instructions to combine u-boot images with nonfree software. For
  instance for the computers with an Exynos System On a Chip (SOC)
  the boards won't boot bootloaders not signed by Samsung, so there are
  instructions to download a signed and nonfree first stage bootloader
  and combine that with u-boot.

I wonder how to handle that. I've just asked the gnu-linux-libre
mailing list for best practice on how to remove nonfree code found in
free software source code to handle u-boot.

Libreboot should however be fully free. Some firmwares running on
peripherals like the ath9k_htc firmware are most probably fully free as
they are shipped by all or almost all FSDG compliant distributions and
I guess that some people checked the source code at the time of the
release. AS I understand the ath9k_htc firmware is also built from
source with a free toolchain, so that should be covered as well.

I think that in general it would be a good idea too, especially because
we could also check again the freedom of the source code of these
firmwares while adding them to the directory.


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