[Dev] Missing free firmware

Alexandre Oliva lxoliva at fsfla.org
Thu May 11 22:49:20 GMT 2017

On May  9, 2017, fauno <fauno at endefensadelsl.org> wrote:

> fauno <fauno at endefensadelsl.org> writes:
>> Joseph Graham <joseph at xylon.me.uk> writes:
>>> carl9170 firmware is Free Software but Parabola has removed it from
>>> linux-libre-firmware
>>> This means my wireless card cannot work (even though it works fine in
>>> Trisquel). I had to get firmware from archlinux package to fix.
>>> here is the licence:
>>> https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/firmware/linux-firmware.git/tree/carl9170fw
>> if it's included in linux-firmware you should report this to
>> linux-libre-firmware which is where we're getting our sources :)

I'm afraid I don't know what this "linux-libre-firmware" you refer to

The closest thing I'm related with, besides Linux-libre proper, is the
Freed-ora package named kernel-libre-firmware, that contains the few
pieces of Free firmware still distributed as part of Linux (and thus
Linux-libre) tarballs, but I don't think that's what you mean.

I suppose linux-libre-firmware is a parabola-specific package, but it
could reasonably amount to just the Free firmware distributed as part of
Linux-libre, rather than the Libre parts of the linux-firmware package.
I'd name the latter linux-firmware-libre, FWIW.  Confusion might arise
from an incorrect assumption about what linux-libre-firmware amounts to.

carl9170 is indeed Free Software, to the best of my knowledge;
unfortunately, the linux-firmware git tree doesn't separate Free and
non-Free firmware.  I don't know of anyone who maintains a Free version
of that repository, or of its releases (if there are any).  There's
certainly an opportunity there for someone willing to make a
contribution to the community: maintaining a Libre version of
linux-firmware, that all Free distros could then adopt.

Alexandre Oliva, freedom fighter    http://FSFLA.org/~lxoliva/
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Gandhi
Be Free! -- http://FSFLA.org/   FSF Latin America board member
Free Software Evangelist|Red Hat Brasil GNU Toolchain Engineer

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