Non-opensource drivers

Colin Watson cjwatson at
Sun Nov 26 20:19:13 GMT 2006

On Sun, Nov 26, 2006 at 02:05:56PM +0200, Jonathan Carter wrote:
> On Sat, 2006-11-25 at 16:56 +0000, Colin Watson wrote:
> > Toby Smithe wrote:
> > > No. This should be separate. People always need wireless more than fancy
> > > graphics.
> > 
> > The reason I ask is: why would you have moral objections to one but not
> > the other?
> My personal policy is to only use proprietary software when needed. On
> some of my PC's, I need proprietary software to do my work, or to get a
> certain amount of required functionality out of my computer. On others,
> I can get away easily by using only free software, and I get a good
> feeling knowing that my computer runs 100% on free software. Limiting
> the amount of proprietary software to only what I need is important to
> me, and I think there are others who feel the same.
> So it's not so much an issue of moral objections, it's more an issue of
> avoiding excessive and unneeded proprietary code.

It's possibly worth noting that it's not entirely trivial for the
installer to know at this point which drivers are going to be needed, at
least in a maintainable way. It's much easier to install a set of things
and then let the kernel's own hardware detection mechanisms work it out.
To that end, I have a preference for options that involve simply
changing the set of packages that are installed in a simple and
deterministic way.

That said, on the desktop CD it would be possible to look through the
set of loaded modules and point out that you're currently using e.g. the
nvidia and madwifi modules. This could provide useful information for
those trying to figure out the potential effects on hardware support for
their computer of disabling the restricted component.

Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at]

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