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Attached to Project: Packages
Opened by Megver83 - 10/04/2018
Last edited by Emulatorman - 25/04/2018

FS#692 - [kernel-firmware] split out firmware projects from linux-libre-firmware and create a group

Since Linux 4.14, the in-tree kernel firmware was dropped[0][1], and Hyperbola uses linux-libre-lts-firmware from 4.9 which still supports that firmware.

However, I’d like to request upgrading to the new libre replacement of linux-firmware.git: linux-libre-firmware[2][3].

This version has no LTS releases (well, firmwares commonly don’t have LTS versions and the in-tree firmware was always the same in post-4.9 generations), but it has the same firmwares as Linux-libre-lts plus some others.

This is the list of firmware files in linux-libre-lts-firmware and its dependencies:


And here are the firmware files of the new linux-libre-firmware:


It has openfwwf and ath9k-htc-firmware included, plus some others. If actual versions of Hyperbola don’t get the update at least consider it for future releases. You can get the new PKGBUILD[4] and its new build dependencies at Parabola’s abslibre.git libre tree[5]

The new dependencies are:

  • sh-elf-gcc (which depends on sh-elf-binutils)
  • sh-elf-newlib
  • arm-linux-gnueabi-gcc (which depends on arm-linux-gnueabi-binutils)
  • xtensa-unknown-elf-gcc (already at Hyperbola)



Updated Note:

Since Linux-libre-firmware contains a lot of independent firmware, tools and assembly projects, it should be built from its official tarball separately and create a group called kernel-firmware to follow the our packaging guidelines. Tools and assembly projects shouldn’t be included in kernel-firmware since those ones are firmware dependencies.

Closed by  Emulatorman
25.04.2018 04:50
Reason for closing:  Implemented

Since Hyperbola is a LTS distro that follows its own packaging guidelines, drastic changes are rejected and it could be consider to the next release (Canis Major); but as far as you know, 4.9 series will expire to the next year and since kernels contains recurrent critical vulnerabilities, we have an amendment about backporting to solve it (see 7th point).

However since Linux-libre 4.9 will need many modifications spread across multiple files of the code and it is inefficient to be backported from 4.14, then we will upgrade it from 4.9 to 4.14 with the appropriate suffix -backports until the next release (eg. linux-libre-lts-backports and linux-libre-lts-firmware-backports), but meanwhile, we will maintain 4.9 since it is active for now.


Now, since i am paying attention, it is a new project, not a upgrading (eg. similar to dnscrypt-proxy case [0] ). So since the in-tree kernel firmware was dropped, we could consider it as abandonware and upgrade from linux-libre-lts-firmware to linux-libre-firmware as replacement project.


Following our packaging guidelines, all packages should be built from its official tarball, therefore we should decentralize all firmware files like our current ath9k-htc-firmware and openfwwf packages instead of put all-in-one package. Also Hyperbola is a minimalist distro, so decentralization is the way for all our packages.


Also, since we will distribute GNU/Hurd, it will be useful for both systems.

I doubt about the convenience of having the firmwares split in different packages, due to a thing of simplicity and security, considering that linux-libre-firmware tarball has exactly the same sources as ath9k-htc-firmware and openfwwf for example and it is signed with GPG (which ath9k-htc and openfwwf tarballs are not) and has HTTPS (the site, where openfwwf is located, has no HTTPS).

I think we could use linux-libre-firmware without problems and without violating the Hyperbola packaging guidelines

Now, if you really want to decentralize everything with no mercy :-P the firmware files, you could create a split package and a metapackage (which would be linux-libre-firmware) that depends in the rest of firmware pkgs.


In fact, all Hyperbola packages should be built from the source through its official tarballs. Linux-libre-firmware project is not the official one, and its gpg signature doesn't come from the true developer (eg. ath9k-htc and openfwwf are independent projects).

However i agree about create a meta package called "kernel-firmware" or something like that with a list about all firmware packages distributed by Hyperbola for GNU/Linux and GNU/Hurd, so users could choose which one firmware they would install in their machines. It is the meaning about minimalism and malleability, reason about Hyperbola Project using Arch's designing for that.


I've created a group called kernel-firmware instead of meta package to users choose which one firmware package would install in their machines.

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