Wireless in FC4

Gregory G Carter gcarter at aesgi.com
Wed Mar 9 15:37:03 UTC 2005

Just to chime in here, I think firmware should be kept out of the 
kernel, unless it is GPL'ed.

That is I shuld be able to use a freely available cross compiler such as 
the gcc tool chain and generate the binary for the hardware.

If manufactures feel it will sell more hardware by keeping it closed and 
proprietary, let them think that and cater to the Windows admins of the 

(Who, for the most part probably do not even know what firmware is, what 
it does or why it is important either way.)

The primary reason I use Linux totally now, and will be converting 
hundreds of Windows machines to Linux thin clients next year is because:

1) As a Windows developer and administrator for 10 years I am sick and 
tired of not being able to correct problems in Microsoft's or vendors 
products because of IP rules.

They can take thier closed IP secrets and shove them up where the sun 
don't shine.

2) The fallout from #1 of course is getting paged at 3AM in the morning 
like clock work, just to remote reboot windows machines knowing there is 
no way in hell I can fix the problem, to stop the pages from comming.

So, in my view, keeping vendors that are closed out of the kernel 
insures there are means for me to correct problems with Linux, and that 
I can plan my infrastructure with the honest goal of increasing 
reliability and uptime....far beyond what a Windows Admin could do by 
hitting the reset button every 2 weeks and calling that "fixed".

The reasons for keeping closed systems out of the distros increases its 
reputation for realibility and quality over time.

A goal that is a very achievable reality with a totally open system, vs 
a dream for a distro that has closed firmware components in it.

Don't turn my reality into a dream please.  Keep closed firmware, the 
vendors that support that sort of thing as a business mantra out of Linux.


Alan Cox wrote:

>On Wed, Mar 09, 2005 at 10:25:50AM +1100, Rodd Clarkson wrote:
>>I'm a little confused.  Are you talking about this thread as 'our
>>original discussions' or has then been discussed elsewhere and you are
>>referring to these other threads.  If so, could you supply some pointers
>>to where?
>Long ago before Fedora existed a bunch of Red Hat folks sat down and drafted
>a set of proposals for "What is Fedora", "Why is Fedora good", etc. One of the
>things we wanted was a free software distro buildable with free software.
>I went through that discussion archive and although we discussed issues like
>extras dependancies on non-core for example we never discussed firmware at all.
>The extension of the current policy onto firmware files is not a planned and
>thought out event, its just happened.
>Now I happen to think it is right to keep firmware seperate but thats not a
>debate we had when founding Fedora

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