Why not a restricted-modules package in non-free?

News and discussion about development of the Debian OS itself

Should there be a restricted-modules package in non-free?

Yes, it'd be very convenient
16
59%
No, it's not worth
5
19%
Debian is for experts, use Windows or Ubuntu instead!
6
22%
 
Total votes : 27

Why not a restricted-modules package in non-free?

Postby alleluia20 » 2007-07-24 14:12

I think it would be dramatically helpful for newbies.

Imagine that a newbie installs Debian in a Laptop and sees that his/her Atheros wifi card does not work, his/her uvcvideo webcam does not work either...

I do not think it is very likely that s/he is willing to download the source package and use module-assistant. I think s/he will run away from Debian when s/he reads so :-D

I think the discussion about libre software is over: you have the non-free section, and you are free to choose to activate or not activate that.

So, why not include a restricted-modules package in non-free?
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Postby rickh » 2007-07-24 14:47

We've been thru this discussion before.

I vote #3.

I've noticed in your posts before that it's important for you that Linux be as much like Windows as possible. You might want to study recent news stories related to Linspire.
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Postby alleluia20 » 2007-07-24 14:52

I think it is not the same. With restricted-modules I mean the gratis but not libre: madwifi, uvcvideo, nvidia, etc, etc.

For newbies, it would be extremely useful.

For me, maybe I am lazy, but it is a pain in the neck to run module-assistant every time I update the kernel.
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Postby trey » 2007-07-24 15:36

The thing that sucks about a package like this is illustrated by this example:

Laptop has Ubuntu installed, with restricted modules (isn't this by default?)

Laptop is configured to use proprietary fglrx driver for video, but it doesn't work since it's old.

User installs the newer fglrx driver and then video works.

User reboots, finds that the restricted module is back and conflicting with the newer version. User must repeat the setup process to get any graphical interface.
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Postby perlhacker14 » 2007-07-24 15:44

If a newbie is not willing to do some work, they have no place with Debian.
After they STFW, they should be able to get the stuff and install it, as most of it has a manual.
This is not Ubuntu or Windows; this is real Linux.
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Postby jdhore » 2007-07-24 16:49

perlhacker14 wrote:If a newbie is not willing to do some work, they have no place with Debian.
After they STFW, they should be able to get the stuff and install it, as most of it has a manual.
This is not Ubuntu or Windows; this is real Linux.


I agree and i voted #3 as well...If you want restricted modules and the like, go over to Ubuntu. It's not THAT hard to install the madwifi, nvidia, etc modules manually.
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Postby BioTube » 2007-07-24 18:15

IMO, it isn't worth it. Here's a list of things we can do without compromising things too much:
    Automatically install module-assistant and build-essential during system install
    Include the kernel headers with the kernel itself
    Automagically recompile any kernel modules during a kernel update
Precompiling kernel modules can cause all sorts of problems.
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Postby jdhore » 2007-07-24 18:30

BioTube wrote:IMO, it isn't worth it. Here's a list of things we can do without compromising things too much:
    Automatically install module-assistant and build-essential during system install
    Include the kernel headers with the kernel itself
    Automagically recompile any kernel modules during a kernel update
Precompiling kernel modules can cause all sorts of problems.


I do believe build-essential should be installed by default...I don't install too much from source, but build-essential is the first or second package in install on a new installation of any distro. As for the kernel headers...I thought the kernel-image depended on them or that build-essential depended on them (yes, i know all build-essential is is a metapackage). As for automagically recompiling modules if there's a kernel update...Supposedly soon there's no need for this because of the user-space driver implementation coming in 2.6.23 of the kernel. I don't know too much about it, but i believe it's purpose is that when you update your kernel, you don't have to recompile any of your modules.
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Postby BioTube » 2007-07-24 18:50

Not having to recompile would be nice, but I'm sure that there might be some cases where it's necessary(the kernel occasionally renames something). And build-essential doesn't bring in the headers since these change between versions and not everybody has the latest kernel.
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Postby sinical » 2007-07-24 23:47

yes
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Postby Dargor » 2007-07-25 00:49

debians to hard-xxx-core for there to be an easier way to install restrictive modules


You guys suck, whats wrong with that, Debian is about stability and security not hard-xxx-core.. thats Gentoo.

This is what the non-free repo is for.

Sure this isnt very important but dont criticize people for wanting to make things easier.
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Postby Vergil » 2007-07-25 03:18

trey wrote:User reboots, finds that the restricted module is back and conflicting with the newer version. User must repeat the setup process to get any graphical interface.

That seems to be a problem with an implementation not the idea. This doesn't have to happen. Also, if someone is smart enough to go and install some driver the non debian way they should be able to handle making sure the correct things are loaded.

I will say yes because running module-assistant for every new kernel can get annoying. I for one don't mind making something easier if it makes good sense.
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Postby BioTube » 2007-07-25 03:36

Wouldn't it be easier for the module sources to depend on build-essential and your kernel's headers and for the packages to automatically run module-assistant?
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Postby Lavene » 2007-07-25 04:55

Actually, if the driver/ modules/ whatever is free as in no money and you are allowed re-distribute I believe it can go into non-free. Even so, someone will have to make the package...

But very often such things, even if they are freely downloadable from the vendors site, you are not allowed to redistribute it and then it will be impossible for Debian to have it in the repos simply because they would breach the license.

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Postby b9anders » 2007-07-25 09:35

perlhacker14 wrote:If a newbie is not willing to do some work, they have no place with Debian.
After they STFW, they should be able to get the stuff and install it, as most of it has a manual.
This is not Ubuntu or Windows; this is real Linux.


I really dislike the attitude that Linux and user (or even newbie) friendliness are somehow opposed to each other, especially considering that some of the biggest advances in userfiendliness has come from Debian. If it weren't, we'd all still be compiling from source. Ubuntu is as much real Linux as Debian. Just becuase they are taking additional steps to ease the process for the end user and riding the popularity of that doesn't make it 'less linux'.

If it is possible to make things easier for the end user without compromising 'the debian way' of doing things then I see no reason why it shouldn't be done.
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