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Re: Adding firmware to FSD

From: David Hedlund
Subject: Re: Adding firmware to FSD
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2021 19:23:15 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Icedove/78.13.0

On 2021-10-02 10:35, Yuchen Pei wrote:
On 2 October 2021 08:59:43 GMT+10:00, Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli <> wrote:

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

On 9/24/21 3:51 AM, Yuchen Pei wrote:

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.
Shall we add the ath9k firmware to fsd?  Or is it there already?  Btw seems like there are two atheros firmware (plural) on the Debian "open firmware" page.

Added to

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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