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Re: why NetBSD include binary/blob driver or firmware by default?

On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 11:26:31PM +0200, Cem Kayali wrote:
> Could you please advise me, why NetBSD should include those drivers in 
> src source code or in default installation and why not make an OS with 
> 100% visible codes?

Let me ask the other way around: why would you do that besides for religious
reasons? If the license of the firmware is compatible with our kernel
license rules, we chose the most convenient way for the user.

The "visible code" is a red hering. For example: I use a wi(4) card and have
to use windows to flash new firmware into it (which is realy inconvenient if
the card normally sits in a sparc64 machine and is not pcmcia/cardbus). Lucky
me, firmware updates for wi(4) have been rare recently ;-}

Of course I do not have source for that firmware. On the other hand, for one
of the newer Intel cards, I just get the latest firmware with NetBSD-current
and don't have to do anything. If a new firmware becomes available, I can
just replace a single file and am done. No source for this firmware either,
but I don't have to use Windows to deploy it.

Sounds like a clear win to me.

P.S.: note that Intel got the hint and newest firmware doesn't even require
the "user has to accept license" bogosity

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