Inaccurate deblobbing breaks rtl8192ce

Alexandre Oliva lxoliva at
Sat Aug 27 00:10:56 UTC 2016

On Aug 26, 2016, Lobachevskii Vitalii <silverunicorn2011 at> wrote:

> what’s the real point to remove firmware from the kernel?

The point is to make it 100% Free Software.  Software freedom is a
matter of ethics.  Denying this freedom is an abuse of unjust power.

> That’s not security: complex devices can’t work without a firmware, so
> either they don’t work at all or have some sort of built-in firmware

Ideally, such firmware will be Free Software, as in a number of

Other devices have something equivalent to firmware in unmodifiable
hardware circuits.  That's not ethically objectionable: if nobody can
modify it, there's no abuse of unjust power, even if it's still an
unfortunate situation that the behavior is undesirable and it cannot be
fixed by anyone.

What's objectionable is when the behavior could be fixed by the vendor,
but they refuse to do allow the user to do so.  Requiring the users'
computer to do the job of explicitly carrying and loading the software
with which the vendor abuses the user just adds insult to injury,
because then it's undeniable that it's software, that could be adapted
if only the vendor would allow it, rather than a hardware circuit.

That's how I reason about it.

> By the way, I tried the approach with callback calling, it seems it
> doesn’t break anything but neither lets this driver (unaltered) to work.
> And the modified driver works somewhat, often crashing the program that
> tries to perform scan (tested wpa_supplicant and iw, both crash with
> SEGFAULT). It seems that depends on the device state on boot/resume,
> which can be different for some reason.

Well, then I guess it's a good thing to let it fail when the firmware
isn't loaded, no?

But I'm confused; IIRC you said before that the upstream driver worked
just fine without the firmware.  Is that not so?  Why would it start
failing if all you do is to short-circuit, so to speak, the code that
attempts to find the firmware file, and go straight to the equivalent of
a "file not found" result?

Alexandre Oliva, freedom fighter
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Gandhi
Be Free! --   FSF Latin America board member
Free Software Evangelist|Red Hat Brasil GNU Toolchain Engineer

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