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SubjectRe: Intel Microcode loader, tg3 driver, and the -rc8-mmotd New World Order firmware...
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On Thu, 03 Jul 2008 10:23:48 BST, David Woodhouse said:

> The recent firmware changes haven't modified this. The important change
> seems to have been here (in 2006):
>
> http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux-2.6.git;a=commitdiff;h=a30a6a2c

Aha. That's the part I was missing. :)

From the changelog for that commit, Shaohua Li wrote:

"with the changes, we should put all intel-ucode/xx-xx-xx microcode files
into the firmware dir (I had a tool to split previous big data file into
small one and later we will release new style data file). The init script
should be changed to ..."

And apparently I got stuck between the unreleased tool to split the file,
and the release of the new style data file.

Anyhow, it appears the firmware_request() was just a bullet loaded in the
chamber waiting for me to pull the trigger 2 years later by setting
CONFIG_FIRMWARE_IN_KERNEL=n :)

The behavior is explained, and presumably Intel will eventually release
a method of getting the new-format bits, and all will be right with the
world (or at least this part of it.. ;)
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