modules, firmware, kernel size (was Re: systemd requires HTTP server and serves QR codes)

Bill Nottingham notting at
Tue Oct 16 13:07:56 UTC 2012

Peter Robinson (pbrobinson at said: 
> > I wonder... could we make linux-firmware optional?
> >
> > I would expect many virt env's don't need any firmware to work...
> > (but of course I could be wrong).
> It use to be optional, I know on the olpc xo-1 it use to be optional
> and there should be no firmware needed for an average VM. I'd also
> love to see it broken down for various profiles because most desktops
> don't need enterprise storage controllers, most servers don't need
> wifi and most ARM platforms don't need most of the stuff in there but
> do need a few ARM only firmware packages.

However, if you go down that route, the kernel should be the same way,
the firmware should be separate subpackages, and requires should be done at
the module -> firmware level by generating it from the MODULE_FIRMWARE tags.
(Unless you're relying on packagekit to install your firmware, which if
you're going that minimal seems to have missed the forest for the trees

I wouldn't be against that, but I also don't have the time to look at that
right now.


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