Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Oct 2006 20:44 UTC, submitted by jasper
Red Hat Red Hat has an NDA cooperation with Marvell for the wireless chips that they want to use for the One Laptop per Child-project. The idea of this is that both parties think Marvell will be more open in the future, but this is absolutely not the path they should walk, according to OpenBSD's Theo de Raadt. "I am getting really tired of 'open source' people who work against the open source community. Our little group can probably take credit for having 'opened up' more wireless devices than the rest of the community, and therefore we feel we have a better grasp of the damage OLPC has done here."
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by Redeeman on Thu 5th Oct 2006 21:13 UTC
Member since:

openbsd does however distribute binary only firmware images, which IMO still is wrong.

nonetheless, theo is absolutely right.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Well
by Archite on Thu 5th Oct 2006 18:25 in reply to "Well"
Archite Member since:

have you even used OpenBSD? Which binary firmware does it "ship"? There are ports available.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Well
by ddpbsd on Fri 6th Oct 2006 14:13 in reply to "RE: Well"
ddpbsd Member since:

Which binary firmware does it "ship"? There are ports available.

I can't find a list off hand, but there are a few firmwares that are included in the tree.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Well
by Bink on Thu 5th Oct 2006 23:26 in reply to "Well"
Bink Member since:

OpenBSD ships with firmware images because the manufacturers are selling “useless” hardware—without the firmware, your hardware does nothing/”is broken.” In the recent past, manufactures would include the firmware on the hardware on “50 cent” flash memory, but, to save some pennies, this is no longer done—so the driver needs to get the firmware from somewhere to do anything with your hardware.

So, are you now happy that OpenBSD ships WITH the firmware—so you can just pop your firmware-less hardware in and start “playing?” Or would you rather download the firmware using your non-wireless NIC first and then setup your wireless NIC?

The manufacturers were distributing the firmware with the hardware before—now one of the few simple things OpenBSD asks for is to be allowed to distribute the firmware because the manufacturers of your hardware have stopped doing it.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Well
by Janizary on Thu 5th Oct 2006 23:32 in reply to "Well"
Janizary Member since:

OpenBSD doesn't distribute them, it redistributes them and those binary only firmwares are the same firmwares anyone uses, it is run entirely on the hardware, so it isn't based on just Linux 2.6.123 on i686, or whatever specific platform. A firmware doesn't have the problems inherent in a binary blob.

Whatever your moral scale may be, OpenBSD doesn't care, it works based on what matters, an uncontrolled chunk of code in the kernel is wrong, on the hardware is entirely normal - almost all hardware ships with it.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Well
by phoenix on Fri 6th Oct 2006 18:47 in reply to "Well"
phoenix Member since:

Firmware runs on the card, it does not run in the host OS. Firmware is that little bit of software that used to be stuck permanently on the card via an EPROM chip. Nowadays, it's cheaper to have a little firmware downloader that loads the firmware onto the chip rather than burn it into an EPROM.

As firmware *never* runs in the host OS, what's the problem with a binary firmware object shipped with an OS?

These are not drivers, these are not binary blobs, these are the little bits on the hardware that enables you to communicate with the hardware.

Reply Parent Score: 2