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

Josh Boyer jwboyer at
Wed Oct 17 12:32:50 UTC 2012

On Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 9:07 AM, Bill Nottingham <notting at> wrote:
> 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
> somewhere.)

I'm not understanding what you're proposing.  Are you suggesting:

1) We have further split up module sub-packages that carry their own
firmware requires (e.g. kernel-module-iwlwifi requires iwlwifi-firmware)


2) Even more firmware subpackages split out of linux-firmware.

If you're suggesting 1, I'd be really really opposed to that.  It would
make packaging in kernel.spec even more of a nightmare than it already

If you're suggesting 2, I don't see the point.  The kernel will install
and even with per-module dependencies generated (somehow), it'll still
install all of the various -firmware packages because the modules will
be getting installed.

Or maybe you mean something else, and my jet-lagged and coffee deprived
brain just isn't following.  I actually hope this is the case, because
neither of the above 2 options sound that great to me...


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