on disabling drivers that use non-Free firmware

Alexandre Oliva lxoliva at fsfla.org
Wed Jan 14 04:39:11 UTC 2009

On Jan 13, 2009, Richard M Stallman <rms at gnu.org> wrote:

>     However, I'm not convinced it's worth doing.  I mean, if we just disable
>     the driver (as in preventing it from being compiled in the first place),
>     like we do now (for nearly all such drivers), this change won't make any
>     difference.

> I am a bit confused here.  When you find a driver that contains a blob,
> you don't just stop it from being compiled, right?  You also remove
> the blob.


Removing the non-Free bits is the first and foremost task we've done so

Disabling modules that aren't know to work without the built-in firmware
is the second task already done.

The third, that I'm working on ATM, is to locate drivers that require
non-Free firmware external to the kernel tree, and either disable them
from building, or turn their firmware-loading machinery into a one-way
user-notification mechanism.  In the latter case, this strategy will
also be applied to modules that we used to disable before.

Alexandre Oliva           http://www.lsd.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Gandhi
Be Free! -- http://FSFLA.org/   FSF Latin America board member
Free Software Evangelist      Red Hat Brazil Compiler Engineer

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