Linked by Dedoimedo on Thu 17th Mar 2011 23:17 UTC
Debian and its clones Writing about Debian is not a simple thing. You know it's the giant that has spawned pretty much every other distro out there. It's almost like a Roman Empire, almost a taboo. Furthermore, it's not a desktop distro per se. It's more sort of a template you use to build your platform. It's also a SOHO server distro, therefore it more fits into the business category, comparable to CentOS and similar.
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Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

What you are too lazy to look up is that many wireless cards, including the one I'm using (RaLink) don't require a closed firmware. They are fully open source and work out of the box with current kernels. If you go to their website you can download the full source code, not just the wrapper.

Reply Parent Score: 2

cmchittom Member since:
2011-03-18

What you are too lazy to look up....


Have you been looking over my shoulder? You're absolutely right, I was lazy. I have to admit, having used Debian in the past, and being extremely pleased with the quality of the OS, I just assumed that they were right, and you were wrong. My first thought was to respond with "open source" does not equal "free," and that the firmware probably failed to comply with the DFSG—lucky thing, I checked first (so as not to make myself look doubly foolish), and at least the first two[1] (I didn't check all of them) are licensed under the GPL v2 or later. So, I admit: mea culpa.

Have you submitted a bug report?

[1] http://www.ralinktech.com/support.php?s=2

Reply Parent Score: 1

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

First, to the "lazy" comment: I tend to respond in kind, so that was purely in response to your snarkiness. ;) No offense meant, and I see that probably none was taken.

As I've said elsewhere in comments on this article, I've used and loved Debian in the past too. That said, I'm not a software purist so when it stops working for me I go back to (or move forward to) something that does work. I was happy to see that my wireless card had a GPL licensed driver back when I started using it, but if it didn't I would have had no qualms about wrappers and firmware blobs as long as it worked well. What made no sense to me was that it is fully open yet not supported by Debian. Being that it is a fairly common chipset, that is a problem.

I haven't submitted a bug report because I've moved on. Debian just isn't going to work for me, and it's not just the wireless issue. There are a lot of roadblocks compared to Slack and even Tiny Core Linux of all things, and frankly I don't have the time to submit what will likely be hundreds of bug reports. I think I will just stick with what works best, and check back on Debian from time to time to see if there's any improvement. I know that's quite selfish of me and not really in the OSS spirit, but hey, I'm lazy too. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

rr7.num7 Member since:
2010-04-30

I think you should download them and see the files. Particularly, firmware.h which is not GPL licensed and explicitly forbids redistribution of modified versions.

Reply Parent Score: 2