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dmpogo
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:17 am    Post subject: firmware bundling Reply with quote

Recently I started getting the warning
Code:

- sys-firmware/iwl4965-ucode-228.61.2.24::gentoo (masked by: package.mask)
/usr/portage/profiles/package.mask:
# Rick Farina <xxxxxxx> (15 Feb 2013)
# these firmware packages have been merged into the sys-kernel/linux-firmware
# package. USE=savedconfig can be used to limit the firmware which gets installed.
# removal on 18 March 2013


which overall strikes me as odd (and inconvenient). Not only why remove the package that requires no maintenance (it is firmware), but even more so,
what is this with the bizzare new architecture when you have to install all firmware under the sun, then edit some configuration file, in order to install only what you need ? What happened with Gentoo paradigm - either split packages for separate maintenance, or USE flags to select what is needed ?
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Gusar
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's waaaaaaay too many firmware files to use USE flags for them. And you're wrong about the maintenance part, firmware files do get updates. And you know in what way? They're put into the linux-firmware repo. So the only feasible way to deal with firmware is to have a linux-firmware package. It's also much easier for the end-user - they don't need to know which exact firmware they need, their hardware will work out-of-the-box (well, provided they use genkernel, or compile the necessary drivers as modules). Very convenient, especially if your only connection is a wireless one. Finally, what's the difference between writing into a config file to set a USE flag, and writing into a config file to type out the firmware you need?

Lately I'm seeing that Gentoo users are the most conservative bunch ever. Every tiny change upsets them.
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Hu
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gusar wrote:
Finally, what's the difference between writing into a config file to set a USE flag, and writing into a config file to type out the firmware you need?
USE flags are handled by a variety of front ends, and are easy to inspect. Packages based on savedconfig do not necessarily make it easy to get the guiding configuration file without first installing the package with all options enabled.
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dmpogo
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gusar wrote:
There's waaaaaaay too many firmware files to use USE flags for them. And you're wrong about the maintenance part, firmware files do get updates. And you know in what way? They're put into the linux-firmware repo. So the only feasible way to deal with firmware is to have a linux-firmware package.


Well, my firmware file (and it is the only one I need on my laptop) was last updated in 2010 and it is long in legacy land. Now I need to install all imaginable firmware, edit the config file, reinstall, and mask linux-firmware so that it does not follow updates that are not relevant ?


Quote:

Lately I'm seeing that Gentoo users are the most conservative bunch ever. Every tiny change upsets them.


Could that be a quality of changes :) ?


Quote:

what's the difference between writing into a config file to set a USE flag


The difference is the consistency of interface, that portage/Gentoo is supposed to provide to install software. Otherwise I could also do ./configure && make, not really a big deal.
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wcg
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
or compile the necessary drivers as modules


This is not necessary. I compiled the ZD1211RW driver (Zydas 1211 USB wifi)
as a kernel built-in, downloaded the not-in-linux-firmware-package firmware
from a link from the driver development home site, installed that in
/lib/firmware/zd1211/, and it works just fine. The kernel driver loads
the firmware at boot. (gentoo-sources-3.5.7, not in portage anymore,
but I have had no problems with it with my specific hardware and the
kernel options that I use.)
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