[Mageia-dev] Non-free firmwares in installer

andre999 andr55 at laposte.net
Mon Mar 28 00:33:38 CEST 2011

Frank Griffin a écrit :
> On 03/26/2011 06:37 PM, Maarten Vanraes wrote:
>> During the times mandriva had several CDs to install it, the new ones
>> often
>> only dl'ed one and complained when stuff didn't work.
>> I forsee possibly here the same issue with this, people will forget to
>> download the extra non_free CD, or do not care about non_free; wipe their
>> windows, install mageia, and have no networking to even get drivers
>> anymore.
>> how would we advertise this anyway? this extra CD contains non_free
>> software,
>> but if you have an machine with networking from vendor X with types
>> Y,Z,...
>> you will absolutely need this to have functional networking?
>> it sounds to me like an awful lot of extra work, and complaints, etc...
> Well, then, maybe what we need to do is say that both ISOs, the 4.7GB
> primary and the 60 MB(?) secondary ar both required, and let the people
> who don't need the second one be pleasantly surprised.

Wouldn't it be better that new users be pleasantly surprised by a system 
that installs nicely from a single DVD, and all the hardware "just works" ?

If we want to avoid the situation where people are dissatisfied because 
the DVD they install produces a Mageia system where the hardware doesn't 
work properly, we have to provide a single DVD that is complete, in 
terms of hardware drivers.
Such cases will produce a lot of negative reaction to Mageia among many 
Saying that users should install with 2 ISOs may sound great, but many 
will forget the secondary ISO.  Why would they expect to need it ?  And 
why would they want the hassle of a second ISO, when one is a DVD ?
A much simpler, ergonomic solution is make space (you suggest 60 M) on 
the DVD for the necessary drivers.
(That might mean removing 1 or 2 packages that few users would want anyway.)
At least we will have a product much less likely to give a negative 
Let's face it.  The DVD will contain proprietary firmware/drivers 
anyway, so why not include all that is necessary for a properly running 
system ?
Excluding these drivers just ensures that we will have the reputation of 
not supporting all hardware.

If the community _really_ wants to produce a totally free DVD, it should 
be called "free for experts" accompanied with a "drivers for free for 
experts" CD.
Of course this DVD will have to have a special kernel, compiled without 
proprietory firmware/drivers.  Otherwise it is just an exercice in 
But that is another question.

Then we could call the normal DVD "free with proprietory drivers".
Of course this normal DVD would only include such proprietory drivers 
where there is not a reliable open source equivalent available.
We could consider this a sort of "as free as possible in practice" for a 
fully working system, in terms of hardware.

(If we go for the alternate DVD solution, the easiest way is to produce 
the normal DVD with all the drivers, and just exclude the proprietory 
drivers on the other, putting them on the CD.  But such as DVD would't 
be totally free.)

BTW, the Mandriva free DVD lacks some necessary drivers, which is really 
a hassle if one doesn't have internet access during install, even for 
advanced Mandriva Linux users.


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