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GNU Linux-libre 5.4-gnu (Fi For GNU)

From: Alexandre Oliva
Subject: GNU Linux-libre 5.4-gnu (Fi For GNU)
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2019 01:55:39 -0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

GNU Linux-libre 5.4-gnu sources and tarballs are now available at
It didn't require any deblobbing changes since -rc7-gnu, the first
published rc-gnu.  Binaries are on the way.

The bulk of the changes in deblob-check this cycle have to do with an
attempted broadening of the potential firmware name patterns, that led
to the addition of matchers for many false positives.  I couldn't
complete it in this cycle, but I left the new false positives in place,
and a WIP comment next to the potential firmware name pattern indicating
what I was getting at.  Contributions are welcome ;-)

There was only one new driver that required deblobbing, or rather
disabling of blob loading: an ethernet driver for Intel Ethernet
Connection E800 Series.  Various other drivers needed adjustments to
account mostly for updated blob names, but also occasional code
movement: safexcel, amdgpu, i915, i2400m, i1480u, nitrox, r8169,
touchscreen_dmi, and skylake sound.  The last remnants of the netx
driver were removed, and so the corresponding deblobbing could be
dropped as well.

I noticed that cleaned-up scripts were losing the executable bit, and
arranged for it to be retained.

The one decision I wasn't so sure about in this cycle was in a new
driver in drivers/net/wireless/ath/ath9k, namely ath9k_pci_owl_loader.c,
activated by ATH9K_PCI_NO_EEPROM.  IIUC, it's initialization data, such
as the MAC address, for ath9k cards that have had the EEPROM chip
holding it removed.  If there's any actual code there, since it's ath9k,
I assumed it would be Free Software, though I couldn't quite find any
evidence that there's any code whatsoever in there.  Even if there is,
the firmware image, with MAC address and all, is specific to an
individual card, presumably extracted from it or custom-designed for it,
so I conclude there's no harm done in enabling it to be loaded.

Please let me know if you find that I've based my reasoning on incorrect

For up-to-the-minute news, join us on #linux-libre of
(Freenode), or follow me (@lxoliva) on Twister <>,
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in the signature) for direct links.

Be Free! with GNU Linux-libre.

What is GNU Linux-libre?

  GNU Linux-libre is a Free version of the kernel Linux (see below),
  suitable for use with the GNU Operating System in 100% Free
  GNU/Linux-libre System Distributions.

  It removes non-Free components from Linux, that are disguised as
  source code or distributed in separate files.  It also disables
  run-time requests for non-Free components, shipped separately or as
  part of Linux, and documentation pointing to them, so as to avoid
  (Free-)baiting users into the trap of non-Free Software.

  Linux-libre started within the gNewSense GNU/Linux distribution.
  It was later adopted by Jeff Moe, who coined its name, and in 2008
  it became a project maintained by FSF Latin America.  In 2012, it
  became part of the GNU Project.

  The GNU Linux-libre project takes a minimal-changes approach to
  cleaning up Linux, making no effort to substitute components that
  need to be removed with functionally equivalent Free ones.
  Nevertheless, we encourage and support efforts towards doing so.

  Our mascot is Freedo, a light-blue penguin that has just come out
  of the shower.  Although we like penguins, GNU is a much greater
  contribution to the entire system, so its mascot deserves more
  promotion.  See our web page for their images.

What is Linux?

  Linux is a clone of the Unix kernel [...]

(snipped from Documentation/admin-guide/README.rst)

Alexandre Oliva, freedom fighter   he/him
Free Software Evangelist           Stallman was right, but he's left :(
GNU Toolchain Engineer    FSMatrix: It was he who freed the first of us
FSF & FSFLA board member                The Savior shall return (true);

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