Email: email@example.com • Twitter: @benhutchingsuk • Debian: benh • Gitweb: git.decadent.org.uk • Github: github.com/bwhacks
Some drivers in Linux include "firmware" - code that runs on the device the driver deals with, not the main processors in the system. Most of this is in a binary or equivalent form, which is probably not the form that it was originally written in. This makes it non-free by Debian's standards, an issue which has led to much argument around previous releases and has blown up once again.
The good news is that kernel developers are making a continuing effort to separate this from the driver code. I've collected together the patches that do this and written 2 of my own, which appear to cover all the remaining sourceless firmware. But I was only able to test one of these drivers (radeon) - the rest is up to you.
|Driver||Hardware which requires firmware||Bug report||Change made|
|cassini||Sun "Cassini" Ethernet controllers with "Neptune" PHY||498631||removed|
|dabusb||BayCom DAB-USB radio receivers||502663||moved to firmware-dabusb|
|e100||Intel PRO/100 Ethernet controllers with PCI revision 8, 9, 15 or 16 or built into ICH6 or ICH7 (LAN-on-motherboard)||494308||moved to firmware-e100|
|kaweth||Kawasaki LSI USB Ethernet controllers||502665||removed|
|mga||Matrox G200, G400, G450(?) and G550 graphics controllers, 3D acceleration only||502666||moved to firmware-matrox|
|qla1280||QLogic QLA1XXX SCSI controllers||502667||moved to firmware-qlogic|
|r128||ATI Rage 128 graphics controllers, 3D acceleration only||494007||moved to firmware-ati|
|starfire||Adaptec DuraLAN aka Starfire Ethernet controllers||501152||moved to firmware-adaptec|
|tehuti||Tehuti Ethernet controllers||501153||moved to firmware-tehuti|
|typhoon||3Com Typhoon (3CR990) Ethernet controllers||502669||moved to firmware-3com|
|whiteheat||ConnectTech WhiteHEAT USB serial adapters||502668||removed|
Do you depend on the drivers for which I have removed the firmware? Do you have contacts with the vendors who might be able to help relicence it? Please send mail to the bug report.
I checked my email and found a response from ConnectTech; the WhiteHEAT firmware will probably be clear to package in firmware-nonfree. There is no need for anyone else to contact them.