Gentoo and Linux-Libre

Nick linux-libre-list at
Fri Jun 25 22:08:49 UTC 2010

Hi there,

I thought I should let this list know what's been going on with 
linux-libre and Gentoo.

Over the past few months (year actually - wow) I've been working on 
getting linux-libre to work well with Gentoo (see for all the gory 

Gentoo has a diverse user base, not all of whom would consider a 
libre kernel as important, so simply replacing the kernels gentoo 
has available wouldn't have been desirable or politically tenable.  
So I went the Gentoo route and added a "USE flag" (the mechanism in 
Gentoo to customise all sorts of options in software packages) 
'deblob,' which if enabled pulls in the appropriate deblob script 
for the kernel being installed and runs it. At the moment 
deblob-check isn't being used, as it took too long, but after seeing 
some problems with this approach (see wayne's email on this list) 
it's probable we'll use it soon (also thanks enormously to the 
speedups in recent versions of the deblob-check script).

This 'deblob' option has been integrated into Gentoo's core kernel 
install scripts (kernel-2.eclass), which means that any Linux-based 
kernel tarball which is available (and for which a deblob script is
available) for Gentoo can be automatically installed deblobbed.  So 
the realtime kernel and the hardened kernel are available in libre 
variants for free in Gentoo. Which is super-cool :-)

So yeah, that's us. Anyone has any comments or questions ask away.

Note that I'm not a gentoo developer, but I help out quite a bit 
where I can, and wrote the original deblob eclass functionality 
which is now (in slightly modified form) in Gentoo.

Thanks again for all your good works guys.

Nick White
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