Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Nov 2010 22:24 UTC, submitted by koki
GNU, GPL, Open Source Now this is interesting. We see what is at its core a very valid concern, in practice not a problem to anyone, and, thanks to the tone of the press release, close to trolling. The Free Software Foundation Latin America is complaining about something that has been known for a while - there is some non-Free code stuck in the Linux kernel (mostly firmware). A valid issue of concern from an idealogical viewpoint, but sadly, the tone of the press release turns this valid concern into something close to trolling.
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RE: OpenBSD? And pure FOSS distros
by brynet on Wed 10th Nov 2010 00:29 UTC in reply to "OpenBSD? And pure FOSS distros"
brynet
Member since:
2010-03-02

OpenBSD does include binary firmware, look in /etc/firmware on a post 4.8 snapshot.

In this directory is both the binary firmware being loaded into devices and a "license" file that explains the terms of redistribution.

Firmware is code executed by the microcontroller on the device, originally this code was located on embedded ROM's and only upgradeable if shipped back to the manufacture, given the complexity of newer devices (802.11) it became easier to have this code be uploaded and executed when the driver was loaded, as a bonus an updated driver can contain firmware which fixes functionality of the device.

This can be extracted from the drivers and with permission from the manufacture, redistributed along with the operating system.

Every device in your system has firmware/microcode, as mentioned by another here.. even your hard drive includes a firmware, it's a necessary component of modern devices, it defines how they function.

I use OpenBSD myself, but, I backup my claims before spreading misinformation.

Firmwares are not binary-blob drivers, which exist in kernel/supervisor space and can adversely affect the function of the system.

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