Proprietary Firmware in default Linux-image-xxx

Bug #52953 reported by DiCiCat on 2006-07-14
4
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
linux-meta (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Seeing the hard reactions of the linux community, it should be better to separate the kernel from the proprietary firmware.
Why don't move the /lib/modules/XXXXXX/firmware content in a new package Linux-restricted-firmware or even in the linux-restricted-modules?

This solution will satisfied all the users who just want that the "systeme works" and people more concerned with the "free" notion.

With apt, it should be very easy to manage.

Changed in linux-meta:
status: Unconfirmed → Confirmed
Dennis Kaarsemaker (dennis) wrote :

See Ubuntu policy - this is on purpose and not a bug.

Changed in linux-meta:
status: Confirmed → Rejected
Mélodie (meets) wrote :

The Ubuntu policy is clear and not clear at same time.

On one part it says it's free opensource, on the other, it may contain non free components.

There are several talks about the subject, on at least 2 french Ubuntu communities, and on the english mailing list ubuntu-users. Some people thought it should be reported as a bug. I also thought it should be presented this way.

It's not even a matter of technics, as these components can be made available out of any obligation of having them if not needed or desired.

The fact that the policy is not clear can be considered as a bug.

> The Ubuntu policy is clear and not clear at same time.

From http://www.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/licensing

Documentation, Firmware, and Drivers

Ubuntu contains licensed and copyrighted works that are not application
software. For example, the default Ubuntu installation includes
documentation, images, sounds, video clips and firmware. The Ubuntu
community will make decisions on the inclusion of these works on a
case-by-case basis, ensuring that these works do not restrict our
ability to make Ubuntu available free of charge, and that Ubuntu remains
redistributable by you.

Phlogistique (noe-rubinstein) wrote :

Of course.

But a Ubuntu user must have the freedom to remove the non-free material easily. The problem is not it's included, the problem is it's included in the kernel package so user can't remove it unless by recompiling linux.

And splitting linux-image in a free-as-in-freedom part and a free-as-in-free-beer part doesn't cost anything. So why not ?

Ben Collins (ben-collins) wrote :

On Sat, 2006-08-12 at 07:09 +0000, Phlogistique wrote:
> Of course.
>
> But a Ubuntu user must have the freedom to remove the non-free material
> easily. The problem is not it's included, the problem is it's included
> in the kernel package so user can't remove it unless by recompiling
> linux.

echo "postinst_hook = rm -rf /lib/firmware" >> /etc/kernel-img.conf

None of the firmware is compiled into the kernel.

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