Laptop hardware support

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Re: Laptop hardware support

Postby RU55EL » 2017-08-16 04:47

pylkko wrote: [...]The only computers that can have anything even nearing 100% free software are some old machines where the proprietary BIOS can be reflashed or some of those "dev boards", that is small form factor single chip computers (often ARM architecture cpu's).


Yes, but it is really nice when you replace the wifi card in a notebook computer and you can install Debian with no special firmware requirements. And use a sources.list that looks like this:
Code: Select all
deb  http://deb.debian.org/debian/ stretch main
# deb-src  http://deb.debian.org/debian/ stretch main

deb  http://deb.debian.org/debian/ stretch-updates main
# deb-src  http://deb.debian.org/debian/ stretch-updates main

deb http://security.debian.org/ stretch/updates main
# deb-src http://security.debian.org/ stretch/updates main


I replaced the wifi card in my Asus K55A notebook computer. It makes things simpler. (Of course, the SD card reader doesn't work. I didn't install firmware for it, and don't have a use for it. Wifi is something I use.)
User avatar
RU55EL
 
Posts: 314
Joined: 2014-04-07 03:42
Location: /home/russel

Re: Laptop hardware support

Postby pylkko » 2017-08-16 05:09

That is a good example of how things used to be better. Back in the day of Asus K55A's you did't need microcode and blobs for video and audio and all that.
User avatar
pylkko
 
Posts: 1177
Joined: 2014-11-06 19:02

Re: Laptop hardware support

Postby Doggybag » 2017-08-16 09:12

Yes. And I didn't need to worry about a rootkit loading itself into the bios and running before the kernel loaded, which seems like something that can happen these days with uefi.

Sucks for my new laptop. I think I'll be hanging on to my old machines for a lot longer yet!

What about this? (From wikipedia): "Every Intel platform ... from ... 2008 to ... 2017 has a remotely exploitable security hole in the IME (Intel Management Engine)". Which can be exploited whenever a computer's connected to a network. Even if it's switched off. And it doesn't seem like AMD stuff is much better, according to the libreboot people?
Doggybag
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 2017-08-15 08:14

Re: Laptop hardware support

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2017-08-16 11:09

^What about it? Millions of people are using their laptops bought since 2008. all around the world. Are we supposed to use only hardware before the 10's in order to run 2017 software? I don't think so. If you are concerned with non-free firmware blobs, why are you buying non-free hardware? Oh, because the truly "free" hardware doesn't exist.

Can't we all just face the fact, companies that generate profit (Intel, AMD, Broadcom, Realtek etc.) are the ones who build the hardware? If you think some company which is funded with donations only will one day build the free hardware, then you are hopelessly mistaken. World ain't like that, and 80% (an understatement at best) of people don't care about any of the quirks happening inside their laptops. They just want something they bought with money to work, and work fast.

Little bit off-topic with this one:

I have looked at FreeBSD handbook. I got interested seeing all the beautifully written instructions, configs and package managers that all blend in so well. Sure, if people would be willing to just read about it for few weeks, they could run it like any other OS. But, then I thought about putting those instructions into practice. Even the mere thought of it made me think: "Do I really have to mess with this thing for so long, when everything just works OTB on my current OS?" And I am not an ordinary user like 80% of others. I like to get technical, to see what is inside the OS. But the common sense told me it would be futile waste of my time to do it. Now, think of your elderly father trying out FreeBSD. Not gonna work, unless he is technical like the 20% of us.

TL;DR:
Use your laptop not to distro-hop or out of some naive belief, but to actually get the needed work done.
Options for users who don't like systemd as Wheezy EOL draws near
Debian 9 GNOME
Intel Pentium 3825U Broadwell
AMD Radeon R5 330m
8GB DDR3 RAM
User avatar
Wheelerof4te
 
Posts: 412
Joined: 2015-08-30 20:14

Re: Laptop hardware support

Postby luvr » 2017-08-16 13:18

pylkko wrote:You should notice, however, that uefi csm's are not old school bios.
Fair enough. CSM seems to be less configurable than traditional BIOS, for sure, but that seemed to have been a trend that begun with BIOS even before EFI came into existence.

Also, they are many times buggy and work poorly. There is also much variance between different manufacturers.
No point in arguing this, but can’t the same be said of UEFI mode? (Just wondering...)

Only use them if there is no alternative.
I don’t know... My own laptop came with Xubuntu 14.10 pre-installed, and was set up with Legacy BIOS boot (even though it does have UEFI on board). I have long since deleted the original Operating System, and repartitioned the harddisk under the GPT scheme, with a total of ten partitions. I haven’t seen a reason to switch it to UEFI boot, though. It currently has Debian Testing, Xubuntu 16.04, and Slackware 14.2 installed, and it works like a charm. It just so happens that I have no idea how UEFI boot would in any way be “better” (for whichever definition of “better” that you find appropriate)—or “worse”, for that matter.
luvr
 
Posts: 79
Joined: 2016-07-21 19:39
Location: Boom - The Home Town of Tomorrowland, Belgium

Re: Laptop hardware support

Postby pylkko » 2017-08-16 18:42

Wheelerof4te wrote:^What about it? Millions of people are using their laptops bought since 2008. all around the world.
Milions of people do all kinds of stupid stuff around the world.
Are we supposed to use only hardware before the 10's in order to run 2017 software?
I don't know. I wrote that sentence on a 2008 laptop using 2017 software.
Wheelerof4te wrote:If you are concerned with non-free firmware blobs, why are you buying non-free hardware? Oh, because the truly "free" hardware doesn't exist.
That's like saying: "if you are concerned with how the modern food industry treats animals, why don't you go and eat non-animals. Oh yeah, because they don't exist". Not only does it exist, the premises are just as wrong and absurd as the conclusion. If you are concerned about something bad, certainly you should be allowed to talk about it even if you cannot currently act upon it...
Wheelerof4te wrote:Can't we all just face the fact, companies that generate profit (Intel, AMD, Broadcom, Realtek etc.) are the ones who build the hardware? If you think some company which is funded with donations only will one day build the free hardware, then you are hopelessly mistaken.
I think that this line of though it just wrong. 100% wrong. First of all, it's not about free hardware, but about open software. Open software does not need any hardware at all, and it does not need free hardware either. Second, there are indeed huge projects out there to create 100% free software stack and now also free/open hardware. For example, there are RISC-V based projects that intend to build and sell processors that are 100% open in the sense that the actual hardware can be reproduced by any one at home without a license or braking a patent and also without software copyright (for example, LowRISC, a not-for-profit community-driven organisation http://www.lowrisc.org/) Arduino is now coming out with a RISC-V based model also (although the had to pult it onto a Tensillica chip for whatever reason). So it is not only a phantasy or an ideal it is a real existing thing.

Wheelerof4te wrote:World ain't like that, and 80% (an understatement at best) of people don't care about any of the quirks happening inside their laptops. They just want something they bought with money to work, and work fast.
This whole 80% of the people argument is a bit off because no one here was addressing the 80% of the people, your elderly father is not participating in this discussion. This was a point answering a Debian user who wanted 100% free software.

I realize what you are saying that companies want to and need to protect their latest tech stuff from other competitors. I see this and approve of this. I think that new 3D-graphics things and VR can be closed. I'd just like there to be the option to not have to use those (as I don't need them). Also, how is something like the Intel ME protecting the companies cutting edge tech? It's just not.
User avatar
pylkko
 
Posts: 1177
Joined: 2014-11-06 19:02

Re: Laptop hardware support

Postby pylkko » 2017-08-16 18:49

luvr wrote:I don’t know... My own laptop came with Xubuntu 14.10 pre-installed, and was set up with Legacy BIOS boot (even though it does have UEFI on board). I have long since deleted the original Operating System, and repartitioned the harddisk under the GPT scheme, with a total of ten partitions. I haven’t seen a reason to switch it to UEFI boot, though. It currently has Debian Testing, Xubuntu 16.04, and Slackware 14.2 installed, and it works like a charm. It just so happens that I have no idea how UEFI boot would in any way be “better” (for whichever definition of “better” that you find appropriate)—or “worse”, for that matter.


The thing is... it's complicated:

http://www.rodsbooks.com/efi-bootloader ... -ugly.html
User avatar
pylkko
 
Posts: 1177
Joined: 2014-11-06 19:02

Re: Laptop hardware support

Postby RU55EL » 2017-08-16 19:39

pylkko wrote:That is a good example of how things used to be better. Back in the day of Asus K55A's you did't need microcode and blobs for video and audio and all that.


Yeah, but it would have been nice if it didn't have UEFI boot...
User avatar
RU55EL
 
Posts: 314
Joined: 2014-04-07 03:42
Location: /home/russel

Re: Laptop hardware support

Postby luvr » 2017-08-16 20:18

pylkko wrote:
luvr wrote:http://www.rodsbooks.com/efi-bootloaders/csm-good-bad-ugly.html

Interesting reading... I knew about the rodsbooks.com site (it's where I learned all that I know about GPT), but I didn't know about the page on CSM.

A few details that caught my eye:
  • "Maybe enable the CSM if you plan to single-boot Linux. Native EFI-mode booting can be new and scary, which makes the CSM appealing; but sooner or later you'll need to learn about EFI."
    (I'm not "single-booting" Linux, even though I am booting only Linux. The bullet point illustrates exactly why CSM is appealing to me, even though the time has come for me to learn about UEFI.)
  • "Do leave the CSM enabled if you're installing Linux to a computer that already uses the CSM to boot all its other OSes."
    (My case exactly.)
  • "Under some circumstances, an EFI-path boot can shift to a BIOS-mode boot."
    (Huh?!?!? Perhaps "BIOS-mode boot", through CSM, isn't such a bad idea after all...)
  • "Another point requires mention: Many EFIs are very buggy."
    (No comment.)
All in all, great information, and it's good to be aware of this all, but not particularly convincing me to shun CSM.
luvr
 
Posts: 79
Joined: 2016-07-21 19:39
Location: Boom - The Home Town of Tomorrowland, Belgium

Re: Laptop hardware support

Postby pylkko » 2017-08-17 04:07

The article actually says:
My advice is therefore to use the CSM only when it's absolutely required or in single-boot configurations, and to avoid it in other situations.
Which is entirely in line with what I said earlier. On uefi native systems CSM is just a less well implemented more complex way to boot attempting to be an "emulation" of bios. You apparently did happen to have a situation where you have to use CSM, or at least it might be better. But this is not a normal / common scenario
User avatar
pylkko
 
Posts: 1177
Joined: 2014-11-06 19:02

Re: Laptop hardware support

Postby Doggybag » 2017-08-17 07:34

pylkko wrote:This whole 80% of the people argument is a bit off because no one here was addressing the 80% of the people, your elderly father is not participating in this discussion. This was a point answering a Debian user who wanted 100% free software.

Thankyou - and entirely correct. Of course I realise there are millions of people who use proprietary software on their PC and phone and are happy with it. (It seems like there are millions more who aren't happy with it and use it anyway, but that's another topic.) I'd rather use free software, for a variety of reasons, and that includes the boot code where possible.

And thanks for the links to the lowRISC project (and Rodsbooks) - sounds like an interesting project.
Doggybag
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 2017-08-15 08:14

Re: Laptop hardware support

Postby luvr » 2017-08-17 20:23

pylkko wrote:You apparently did happen to have a situation where you have to use CSM, or at least it might be better. But this is not a normal / common scenario

Agreed. If you want to keep the ability to run a pre-installed Windows system on a UEFI computer (which I guess is what the great majority of users will want to do), then UEFI-mode boot is the only option.
In my case, knowing that all major Linux distros must provide support for UEFI-mode boot by now, it doesn't really matter. It just so happens that I then prefer the familiarity of BIOS-mode boot. But perhaps, once I get more familiar with native UEFI mode, this may even change.
luvr
 
Posts: 79
Joined: 2016-07-21 19:39
Location: Boom - The Home Town of Tomorrowland, Belgium

Previous

Return to Installation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: maximus1978 and 5 guests

fashionable
cron