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SubjectRe: [bug?] tg3: Failed to load firmware "tigon/tg3_tso.bin"
On Fri, 4 Jul 2008, Alan Cox wrote:

>> External firmware is by design an error prone system, even with
>> versioning. But by being built and linked into the driver, it
>> is fool proof.
>>
>> On a technical basis alone, we would never disconnect a crucial
>> component such as firmware, from the driver. The only thing
>> charging these transoformations, from day one, is legal concerns.
>
> As I said: We had this argument ten years ago (more than that now
> actually). People said the same thing about modules.
>

and they were right then as well. Fortunantly,at that time the kernel
developers listened and retained the possibility to not use modules.

if David W were to make it possible to not use the load_firmware() call to
userspace and build the firmware into the driver (be it in a monolithic
kernel or the module that contains the driver) this would not be a
problem. the default could be to build in the firmware (avoiding breakage)
and those people and distros that see a reason to seperate the firmware
would be able to by changing that setting.

we have also had the same argument about initrd/initramfs where people
have wanted to make them mandatory by moving things (like partition
detection) out of the kernel. so far this hasn't happened, and I hope it
doesn't.

David Lang


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