Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software - Debian

This is a discussion on Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software - Debian ; Package: general Severity: serious Justification: DFSG raff.debian.org uses a Compaq Smart 5i RAID card. A flash memory is used to store the firmware. While the firmware is freely downloadable (as in beer) on HP website [1], we don't have the ...

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Thread: Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

  1. Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    Package: general
    Severity: serious
    Justification: DFSG

    raff.debian.org uses a Compaq Smart 5i RAID card. A flash memory is used
    to store the firmware. While the firmware is freely downloadable (as in
    beer) on HP website [1], we don't have the corresponding source code.

    I suggest that someone works with HP to get the corresponding source
    code. Until we found a solution, I recommend we simply shutdown the
    machine.

    [1] http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport...4b628789e598d3

    -- System Information:
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  2. Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:41 AM, Aurelien Jarno wrote:

    > raff.debian.org uses a Compaq Smart 5i RAID card. A flash memory is used
    > to store the firmware. While the firmware is freely downloadable (as in
    > beer) on HP website [1], we don't have the corresponding source code.


    May I ask how many computers does the project debian use, which have
    closed source BIOSes (or equivalent)?
    Should those machines be shutdown until there is enough coreboot
    supported [1] hardware available?
    And, may I ask an other question:
    should we really consider ourselves free, while we are just using free
    software, but not hardware?
    Should we stop using computers of which we don't have the projects, of
    which we don't know the internal structure?
    Should we stop using computers at all?

    Luca
    [1] http://www.coreboot.org



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  3. Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    Romain Beauxis a écrit :
    > Le Tuesday 21 October 2008 13:10:28 Peter Clifton, vous avez écrit :
    >> Having no source-code for firmware is hardly that different to having a
    >> completely open-source driver which does un-told magic by poking
    >> un-documented registers in a complex chip. Think Intel graphics before
    >> they released documentation for (some of) their chips.

    >
    > Agreed, though it does not restrain us from asking for free firmware.
    >
    > If I recall well, one of the origin of the GNU fondation was the fact that
    > having free drivers alowed one to actually *fix* issues he may have with his
    > *own* hardware. Then, the very same reasoning can apply to binary firmware.
    >
    > So, yes this is a brand new issue, that comes from the new way of designing
    > hardware. But that doesn't mean we should give up and remain behind the line
    > that was drawn 20 (or so) years ago. We now should also ask for open source
    > firmware for the very same reason that this huge effort toward free drivers
    > was done. If we did it for drivers, there's no reason we can't suceed for
    > firmwares.
    >


    And we should delay the release by 5 years until we have them...

    --
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    `. `' aurel32@debian.org | aurelien@aurel32.net
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  4. Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    On 2008-10-21 14:30, Romain Beauxis wrote:
    > Le Tuesday 21 October 2008 13:10:28 Peter Clifton, vous avez écrit :
    >
    >> Having no source-code for firmware is hardly that different to having a
    >> completely open-source driver which does un-told magic by poking
    >> un-documented registers in a complex chip. Think Intel graphics before
    >> they released documentation for (some of) their chips.
    >>

    >
    > Agreed, though it does not restrain us from asking for free firmware.
    >
    > If I recall well, one of the origin of the GNU fondation was the fact that
    > having free drivers alowed one to actually *fix* issues he may have with his
    > *own* hardware. Then, the very same reasoning can apply to binary firmware.
    >
    > So, yes this is a brand new issue, that comes from the new way of designing
    > hardware. But that doesn't mean we should give up and remain behind the line
    > that was drawn 20 (or so) years ago. We now should also ask for open source
    > firmware for the very same reason that this huge effort toward free drivers
    > was done. If we did it for drivers, there's no reason we can't suceed for
    > firmwares.
    >


    With firmwares you need much more than the source code for it in order
    to make changes:
    - documentation on how the hardware works internally
    - documentation of what you are allowed to safely do from firmware
    (without damaging the hardware)
    - the tools used to compile the firmware, which are not necesarely open
    source or free

    If a vendor wants to provide that fine, but just because they don't it
    doesn't mean we should stop using that
    piece of hardware.

    Best regards,
    --Edwin



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  5. Re: Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    On Tue, Oct 21, 2008, Romain Beauxis wrote:
    > If I recall well, one of the origin of the GNU fondation was the fact that
    > having free drivers alowed one to actually *fix* issues he may have with his
    > *own* hardware. Then, the very same reasoning can apply to binary firmware.


    Hardware can suffer from bugs which you can not fix; I'm happy to put
    firmware in the same bucket as long as there is a clear interface on
    which I can rely to get it to work most of the time.

    I'm using Google daily, but I don't have the source code that's running
    on their servers. I don't mind shipping a firmware blob just like I
    don't mind having to press the power button to boot my laptop. If it's
    a prerequirement to get the hardware to work with free drivers, and we
    have the rights to redistribute this blob, I see no problem.

    > So, yes this is a brand new issue, that comes from the new way of designing
    > hardware. But that doesn't mean we should give up and remain behind the line
    > that was drawn 20 (or so) years ago. We now should also ask for open source
    > firmware for the very same reason that this huge effort toward free drivers
    > was done. If we did it for drivers, there's no reason we can't suceed for
    > firmwares.


    Happy if such a project is started outside of Debian, or within Debian,
    but not if it affects all current Debian users right now.

    --
    Loc Minier


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  6. Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:41:14AM +0200, Aurelien Jarno wrote:
    > Package: general
    > Severity: serious
    > Justification: DFSG
    >
    > raff.debian.org uses a Compaq Smart 5i RAID card. A flash memory is used
    > to store the firmware. While the firmware is freely downloadable (as in
    > beer) on HP website [1], we don't have the corresponding source code.
    >
    > I suggest that someone works with HP to get the corresponding source
    > code. Until we found a solution, I recommend we simply shutdown the
    > machine.
    >
    > [1] http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport...4b628789e598d3


    By that stupid definition, the BIOS in your machine should be the first
    target.

    If the firmware is in a flash chip on the card, then the card works fine
    as shipped and needs no firmware to be included with Debian for the card
    to work.

    This is rather different than say, ivti, bnx2, and similar, which
    require the firmware to be loaded by linux on every boot and hence
    provided by linux to the hardware.

    --
    Len Sorensen



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  7. Re: Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    On Di, 21 Okt 2008, Luca Niccoli wrote:
    > > raff.debian.org uses a Compaq Smart 5i RAID card. A flash memory is used
    > > to store the firmware. While the firmware is freely downloadable (as in
    > > beer) on HP website [1], we don't have the corresponding source code.

    >
    > May I ask how many computers does the project debian use, which have
    > closed source BIOSes (or equivalent)?


    100% agreed. We should shut down the Debian project until enough
    coreboot is added.

    In the end, all these discussions showed that many people here don't
    give a piss for the users.

    So lets brain **** ourselves into eternity about eternal freeness.

    Best wishes

    Norbert

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    Debian Developer Debian TeX Group
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    One who is able to gain occupation of the armrest on both sides of
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  8. Re: Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 4:14 PM, Norbert Preining wrote:
    > On Di, 21 Okt 2008, Luca Niccoli wrote:
    >> > raff.debian.org uses a Compaq Smart 5i RAID card. A flash memory is used
    >> > to store the firmware. While the firmware is freely downloadable (as in
    >> > beer) on HP website [1], we don't have the corresponding source code.

    >>
    >> May I ask how many computers does the project debian use, which have
    >> closed source BIOSes (or equivalent)?

    >
    > 100% agreed. We should shut down the Debian project until enough
    > coreboot is added.
    >
    > In the end, all these discussions showed that many people here don't
    > give a piss for the users.


    As a mere user I very glad that Debian stands where it does on the
    spectrum of caring about users vs caring about freedom. It is one of
    the major reasons I am a user of Debian.


    Cheers,
    Kelly Clowers


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  9. Re: Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    Le mercredi 22 octobre 2008 01:14 +0200, Norbert Preining a crit :
    > In the end, all these discussions showed that many people here don't
    > give a piss for the users.


    Many? I only see 2 or 3 of them around.

    --
    .''`.
    : :' : We are debian.org. Lower your prices, surrender your code.
    `. `' We will add your hardware and software distinctiveness to
    `- our own. Resistance is futile.

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  10. Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:41:14AM +0200, Aurelien Jarno wrote:
    > Package: general
    > Severity: serious
    > Justification: DFSG
    >
    > raff.debian.org uses a Compaq Smart 5i RAID card. A flash memory is used
    > to store the firmware. While the firmware is freely downloadable (as in
    > beer) on HP website [1], we don't have the corresponding source code.
    >
    > I suggest that someone works with HP to get the corresponding source
    > code. Until we found a solution, I recommend we simply shutdown the
    > machine.

    Hi Aurelien,
    would it be an acceptible use of Debian funds to purchase
    DFSG-compatible hardware for a machine used by Debian that currently has
    hardware that is non-DFSG-compatible?
    HTH
    Kev
    ps. using funds in FLOSS projects is not always easy, so hopefully this
    is an idea for similar situation.
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  11. Re: Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 07:23:35PM -0700, Kelly Clowers wrote:
    > As a mere user I very glad that Debian stands where it does on the
    > spectrum of caring about users vs caring about freedom. It is one of
    > the major reasons I am a user of Debian.


    Seconded.

    --
    Noah Slater, http://bytesexual.org/nslater


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  12. Thank you to the Debian project (was: Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software)

    "Kelly Clowers" writes:

    > As a mere user I very glad that Debian stands where it does on the
    > spectrum of caring about users vs caring about freedom. It is one of
    > the major reasons I am a user of Debian.


    Hear, hear.

    More specifically, I am very appreciative of the promise the Debian
    project makes to me, as a user who values freedom, in the Social
    Contract to provide an operating system to its users that is 100%
    free.

    --
    \ “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” —Mark |
    `\ Twain, _Following the Equator_ |
    _o__) |
    Ben Finney


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  13. Re: Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    On Mi, 22 Okt 2008, Josselin Mouette wrote:
    > > In the end, all these discussions showed that many people here don't
    > > give a piss for the users.

    >
    > Many? I only see 2 or 3 of them around.


    Ok, many *loud* voices ...

    How many times did I see that binary firmware discussion in my few years
    as DD ...

    Norbert

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    Debian Developer Debian TeX Group
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    Descriptive of a drunk person's attempt to be endearing.
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  14. Re: Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 10:53:46PM +0000, Norbert Preining wrote:
    > On Mi, 22 Okt 2008, Josselin Mouette wrote:
    > > > In the end, all these discussions showed that many people here don't
    > > > give a piss for the users.

    > >
    > > Many? I only see 2 or 3 of them around.

    >
    > Ok, many *loud* voices ...
    >
    > How many times did I see that binary firmware discussion in my few years
    > as DD ...


    Each time we release ?
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    ··O madcoder@debian.org
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  15. Bug#502959: general: raff.debian.org uses non-free software

    On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 11:41:14AM +0200, Aurelien Jarno wrote:
    > Package: general
    > Severity: serious
    > Justification: DFSG
    >
    > raff.debian.org uses a Compaq Smart 5i RAID card. A flash memory is used
    > to store the firmware. While the firmware is freely downloadable (as in
    > beer) on HP website [1], we don't have the corresponding source code.
    >
    > I suggest that someone works with HP to get the corresponding source
    > code. Until we found a solution, I recommend we simply shutdown the
    > machine.
    >


    Yesterday on raff.debian.org:

    | Broadcast message from root@raff (pts/1) (Thu Oct 30 22:29:44 2008):
    |
    | firmware upgrades to fix raid failure from hell
    | The system is going down for reboot NOW!

    --
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    : :' : Debian developer | Electrical Engineer
    `. `' aurel32@debian.org | aurelien@aurel32.net
    `- people.debian.org/~aurel32 | www.aurel32.net



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