on disabling drivers that use non-Free firmware

Robert Millan rmh at aybabtu.com
Thu Jan 8 18:47:26 UTC 2009

On Thu, Jan 08, 2009 at 04:33:54PM -0200, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> On Jan  5, 2009, Robert Millan <rmh at aybabtu.com> wrote:
> > Somewhat related to this:  I've been toying with the idea of writing a
> > desktop session daemon, technically similar to Ubuntu's "restricted-manager",
> > but with a different purpose:  detect devices that require non-free firmware
> > (based on bus id heuristics), and display a message explaining the user why
> > these aren't supported, and discouraging him/her from buying hardware from
> > this vendor.
> What if Linux-libre helped you instead?
> I'm toying with the idea of replacing calls to request_firmware(), that
> would have requested non-Free firmware, with calls to
> notify_about_nonfree_firmware(), that would issue something similar to
> (or totally different from) a request for firmware, with enough
> information for userland to decode and present to the user an
> informative notice about why that device isn't going to work.

Sounds like a great idea.

> So now the question is, would this be helpful for your user notifier, or
> would it be simpler to simply disable the driver, and deal with it all
> in userland, which already has to know about ids for modprobing and
> hotplugging anyway?

It's perfect.  modprobing/hotplugging is already handled by udev.  By
piggybacking on that we get all the needed info from the right place.

Robert Millan

  The DRM opt-in fallacy: "Your data belongs to us. We will decide when (and
  how) you may access your data; but nobody's threatening your freedom: we
  still allow you to remove your data and not access it at all."

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