Squeeze, firmware and installation

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Squeeze, firmware and installation

Kurt Roeckx
Hi,

It seems the kernel team has moved alot of firmware to non-free,
which means that more people will need to use pieces from non-free
to be able to use their computer.

So I was wondering what the state is of everything, and what
issues people will run into, specially when installing.

I'm also wondering what people think about adding some firmware
to our official installation media.


Kurt


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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Arto Jantunen
Kurt Roeckx <[hidden email]> writes:
> It seems the kernel team has moved alot of firmware to non-free,
> which means that more people will need to use pieces from non-free
> to be able to use their computer.
>
> So I was wondering what the state is of everything, and what
> issues people will run into, specially when installing.
>
> I'm also wondering what people think about adding some firmware
> to our official installation media.

Hmm. Is the release already so close that it's time to have this
flamewar again? Shouldn't we wait a month or two for maximal effect?

Seriously speaking, to me it seems very clear that non-free firmware
will not be present on official installer images. Then again, the
installer team has made it very easy to inject firmware during
installation on machines where it's needed.

I can't see anything else that would need to be done here, and I'd
prefer not having to vote about it if at all possible.

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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Peter Palfrader
On Wed, 05 May 2010, Arto Jantunen wrote:

> Kurt Roeckx <[hidden email]> writes:
> > It seems the kernel team has moved alot of firmware to non-free,
> > which means that more people will need to use pieces from non-free
> > to be able to use their computer.
> >
> > So I was wondering what the state is of everything, and what
> > issues people will run into, specially when installing.
> >
> > I'm also wondering what people think about adding some firmware
> > to our official installation media.
>
> Hmm. Is the release already so close that it's time to have this
> flamewar again? Shouldn't we wait a month or two for maximal effect?
>
> Seriously speaking, to me it seems very clear that non-free firmware
> will not be present on official installer images. Then again, the
> installer team has made it very easy to inject firmware during
> installation on machines where it's needed.

Have they?  It's the most painful thing every time I need to setup a new
box.  It's the most time consuming part too, easily doubling or
trippling the time, if not worse, it takes to install a new system.
Most if the time it involves re-creating installer media because debian
can't be arsed to be useful by default.

Is that what you mean with very easy?

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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Arto Jantunen
Peter Palfrader <[hidden email]> writes:

> On Wed, 05 May 2010, Arto Jantunen wrote:
>> Seriously speaking, to me it seems very clear that non-free firmware
>> will not be present on official installer images. Then again, the
>> installer team has made it very easy to inject firmware during
>> installation on machines where it's needed.
>
> Have they?  It's the most painful thing every time I need to setup a new
> box.  It's the most time consuming part too, easily doubling or
> trippling the time, if not worse, it takes to install a new system.
> Most if the time it involves re-creating installer media because debian
> can't be arsed to be useful by default.
>
> Is that what you mean with very easy?

I understood that current Debian Installer takes firmware during
install via usb sticks, floppies, etc. If this is not the case, I have
understood incorrectly and take back my comment on it being made
easy. I am fairly sure that the feature has been there for a while
now, and creating new installer images for firmware needs should no
longer be needed.

--
Arto Jantunen


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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Kurt Roeckx
In reply to this post by Arto Jantunen
On Wed, May 05, 2010 at 09:57:46PM +0300, Arto Jantunen wrote:
>
> Hmm. Is the release already so close that it's time to have this
> flamewar again? Shouldn't we wait a month or two for maximal effect?

I think the earlier we have this discussion the better.

> Seriously speaking, to me it seems very clear that non-free firmware
> will not be present on official installer images. Then again, the
> installer team has made it very easy to inject firmware during
> installation on machines where it's needed.

I've heard people complain about how the (lenny?) installer works,
and I didn't have the need to install on a machine that requires
firmware yet myself.  I think the issues I've heard were:
- You need 2 installation media.  Which also makes an unattended
  installation harder or impossible.
- It didn't find the firmware or didn't look at the usb disk
  that was plugged in or simular.

Maybe it would be helpful if something from the installer team
could describe how it's supposed to work now and what the state
is.

I think their clearly will be a need to create media which has
the firmware on it.  The current manual points to an "unofficial"
part of cdimage.debian.org to get the latest firmware and says
that some might be missing and that you'd need to get it from
non-free without much instructions on what to do with it.


Kurt


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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Russ Allbery-2
Kurt Roeckx <[hidden email]> writes:

> I've heard people complain about how the (lenny?) installer works,
> and I didn't have the need to install on a machine that requires
> firmware yet myself.  I think the issues I've heard were:
> - You need 2 installation media.  Which also makes an unattended
>   installation harder or impossible.

FAI should have no trouble doing unattended installation if you choose to
add the non-free repositories to the sources.list file and install the
firmware in the installation NFS root.  (I realize that FAI is overkill
for a lot of sites.)

--
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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Michael Gilbert
In reply to this post by Arto Jantunen
On Wed, 05 May 2010 21:57:46 +0300, Arto Jantunen wrote:
> Seriously speaking, to me it seems very clear that non-free firmware
> will not be present on official installer images. Then again, the
> installer team has made it very easy to inject firmware during
> installation on machines where it's needed.

The non-free archive is actively maintained and supported by the
Debian project, so a precedent is already set.  I personally don't see
any difference with respect to providing an option for non-free
installation media as well; so long as there remains a fully free
option. The developers that are interested in that feature should be
free to implement it if they so choose, and users should be free to
make their own choices about their use of non-free software.

Mike


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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Bernd Zeimetz
In reply to this post by Arto Jantunen
On 05/05/2010 09:24 PM, Arto Jantunen wrote:

> I understood that current Debian Installer takes firmware during
> install via usb sticks, floppies, etc. If this is not the case, I have
> understood incorrectly and take back my comment on it being made
> easy. I am fairly sure that the feature has been there for a while
> now, and creating new installer images for firmware needs should no
> longer be needed.

This is still an annoying thing to handle. If you install machines at different
locations regulary, this firmware crap is nothing but a pita. I can't see a
reason why we should not be able to ship cd-images in "non-free". If debian does
not do so officially, I might provide them somewhere.

--
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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Noah Meyerhans-3
On Wed, May 05, 2010 at 11:26:55PM +0200, Bernd Zeimetz wrote:
> This is still an annoying thing to handle. If you install machines at different
> locations regulary, this firmware crap is nothing but a pita. I can't see a
> reason why we should not be able to ship cd-images in "non-free". If debian does
> not do so officially, I might provide them somewhere.

Problem is, non-free is not part of Debian.  By shipping cd images only
in non-free, we'd basically have no cd images in Debian.  By shipping
images in both main and non-free, we'd be duplicating lots of effort,
disk space, bandwidth to mirrors, etc.

Personally, if a given piece of firmware is legal to ship and required
to make hardware work, I'm in favor of making it available by default
(possibly with some form of notice informing the user of this).  I
acknowledge, however, that there is an argument that this position is
not in the spirit of the social contract and DFSG.  This has been
debated extensively already.

noah


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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Moritz Mühlenhoff-2
In reply to this post by Bernd Zeimetz
On 2010-05-05, Bernd Zeimetz <[hidden email]> wrote:
> This is still an annoying thing to handle. If you install machines at different
> locations regulary, this firmware crap is nothing but a pita. I can't see a
> reason why we should not be able to ship cd-images in "non-free".

I fully concur.

Cheers,
        Moritz


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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Josselin Mouette
In reply to this post by Bernd Zeimetz
Le mercredi 05 mai 2010 à 23:26 +0200, Bernd Zeimetz a écrit :
> This is still an annoying thing to handle. If you install machines at different
> locations regulary, this firmware crap is nothing but a pita. I can't see a
> reason why we should not be able to ship cd-images in "non-free".

Indeed, there is no reason. There is broad consensus that this is fine
as long as we keep shipping firmware-free images in main.

> If debian does
> not do so officially, I might provide them somewhere.

Maybe the reason why Debian doesn’t do so “officially” is that people
prefer to whine and initiate stupid votes rather than sticking their
fingers out of their arses and just do it?

If there really was a need for it, such images would already exist. If
you have a need for it, then just do it. And since you’re a DD you can
do so “officially”.

Cheers,
--
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: :' :
`. `'  “If you behave this way because you are blackmailed by someone,
  `-    […] I will see what I can do for you.”  -- Jörg Schilling

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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Paul Wise via nm
In reply to this post by Kurt Roeckx
On Thu, May 6, 2010 at 12:29 AM, Kurt Roeckx <[hidden email]> wrote:

> So I was wondering what the state is of everything, and what
> issues people will run into, specially when installing.

The lenny installer is fine, I haven't tested the squeeze installer yet though.

> I'm also wondering what people think about adding some firmware
> to our official installation media.

I don't think it is needed.

I recently had to install Debian lenny on a HP ProLiant machine, which
required bnx2 firmware for the network controller. Just downloaded the
firmware .deb from packages.d.o, stuck it on a FAT32 formatted USB
stick and everything worked fine.

--
bye,
pabs

http://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise


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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Yves-Alexis Perez-2
On jeu., 2010-05-06 at 09:15 +0800, Paul Wise wrote:
> I recently had to install Debian lenny on a HP ProLiant machine, which
> required bnx2 firmware for the network controller. Just downloaded the
> firmware .deb from packages.d.o, stuck it on a FAT32 formatted USB
> stick and everything worked fine.

The only thing which would be needed, imho, is a central point to easily
download firmwares you need. Some place which would be advertised in the
documentation.


Uh, but, wait. Isn't that the point of:

http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/amd64/ch06s04.html “Loading
firmwares”, which points to:

http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/firmware/lenny/current/firmware.tar.gz

Wow, nice.
--
Yves-Alexis

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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Tapio Lehtonen-4
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Yves-Alexis Perez kirjoitti:
> On jeu., 2010-05-06 at 09:15 +0800, Paul Wise wrote:
>> I recently had to install Debian lenny on a HP ProLiant machine, which
>> required bnx2 firmware for the network controller. Just downloaded the
>> firmware .deb from packages.d.o, stuck it on a FAT32 formatted USB
>> stick and everything worked fine.
>
> The only thing which would be needed, imho, is a central point to easily
> download firmwares you need. Some place which would be advertised in the
> documentation.

How does the user know, which firmware he/she is going to need? It is doable to
have the files on usb-stick or some such, if it is known which files need to be
there.

- --
Tapio Lehtonen
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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Tollef Fog Heen
In reply to this post by Arto Jantunen
]] Arto Jantunen

| Peter Palfrader <[hidden email]> writes:
|
| > On Wed, 05 May 2010, Arto Jantunen wrote:
| >> Seriously speaking, to me it seems very clear that non-free firmware
| >> will not be present on official installer images. Then again, the
| >> installer team has made it very easy to inject firmware during
| >> installation on machines where it's needed.
| >
| > Have they?  It's the most painful thing every time I need to setup a new
| > box.  It's the most time consuming part too, easily doubling or
| > trippling the time, if not worse, it takes to install a new system.
| > Most if the time it involves re-creating installer media because debian
| > can't be arsed to be useful by default.
| >
| > Is that what you mean with very easy?
|
| I understood that current Debian Installer takes firmware during
| install via usb sticks, floppies, etc.

It's not uncommon to install machines you are not physically close to
and where plugging in hardware is therefore hard, so having it on the
install media already is quite useful.

--
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UNIX is user friendly, it's just picky about who its friends are


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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Petter Reinholdtsen

[Tollef Fog Heen]
> It's not uncommon to install machines you are not physically close to
> and where plugging in hardware is therefore hard, so having it on the
> install media already is quite useful.

Yes.  It would allow one to create ones own installation CD with
firmware included, and get the installer to find them out of the box.
I've created a patch for this, available from
<URL: http://bugs.debian.org/574116 >, but have not had time to test
it yet.

Happy hacking,
--
Petter Reinholdtsen


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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Yves-Alexis Perez-2
In reply to this post by Tapio Lehtonen-4
On 06/05/2010 11:59, Tapio Lehtonen wrote:
> How does the user know, which firmware he/she is going to need? It is doable to
> have the files on usb-stick or some such, if it is known which files need to be
> there.

Note that firwmare.tar.gz contains quite a lot of firmwares. And, afair,
the installer will tell you the firmware or the module name. And, if the
point is to not waste time each time you reinstall the same hardware,
you usually end up knowing which firmware you need. And there are the
DebianOn wiki pages which might help you on that too.

Cheers,
--
Yves-Alexis


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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Marco d'Itri
In reply to this post by Paul Wise via nm
[hidden email] wrote:

>> I'm also wondering what people think about adding some firmware
>> to our official installation media.
>I don't think it is needed.
I do.

>I recently had to install Debian lenny on a HP ProLiant machine, which
>required bnx2 firmware for the network controller. Just downloaded the
>firmware .deb from packages.d.o, stuck it on a FAT32 formatted USB
>stick and everything worked fine.
Now try again, this time netinstalling an IBM Bladecenter with modern
blades like HS21 or HS2.
To which you have no physical access because it is in a different city.

--
ciao,
Marco


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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Stefano Zacchiroli
In reply to this post by Bernd Zeimetz
On Wed, May 05, 2010 at 11:26:55PM +0200, Bernd Zeimetz wrote:
> I can't see a reason why we should not be able to ship cd-images in
> "non-free".

What do you exactly mean by that?
I can imagine at least two different interpretations of it:

1) Having different CD image sets: some sets containing only free
   firmware, some others containing also the non-free firmware

   (It seems that you meant this one, but notice that it will induce a
    new choice point in the current CD creation work-flow.)

2) Having the non-free firmware in the regular CD image sets; firmware
   which is not loaded by default, but that can be selectively enabled
   by the user, pretty much as users can now enable "non-free" in
   sources.list to get non-free packages from the "Internet media" (to
   be compared with the "CD media").

Let's first clarify the options, so that we can have a more fruitful
flame fest on them later on :)

Cheers.

--
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sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

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Re: Squeeze, firmware and installation

Paul Wise via nm
In reply to this post by Marco d'Itri
On Thu, May 6, 2010 at 11:18 PM, Marco d'Itri <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Now try again, this time netinstalling an IBM Bladecenter with modern
> blades like HS21 or HS2.
> To which you have no physical access because it is in a different city.

So the problem only occurs when installing on a host you don't have
physical access to and which requires non-free firmware blobs to
access the network? Does it occur in any other situation?

I've never had to do such a thing, what is your current approach to
that? I assume you aren't using CD images here since you mentioned
netinst.

What makes it problematic to modify the install media (initrd I guess)
you downloaded and add the firmware?

--
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pabs

http://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise


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