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GNU Linux-libre 6.9-gnu

From: Freedo
Subject: GNU Linux-libre 6.9-gnu
Date: Sun, 12 May 2024 23:42:17 -0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.1 (gnu/linux)

Hello, everyone,

*waves wings*

Here I am, spokespenguin for the GNU Linux-libre project, to announce
today's release: 6.9-gnu.  You can get it from our git repository:

tags {scripts,sources,logs}/v6.9-gnu

The scripts to clean up the 6.9-gnu series were first written for rc5,
and they didn't need any changes since then.

While I write this announcement, my tutors Jason and Alex are busy
packaging up sources and binaries, that may also be available by the
time your read this:


-- compressed tarballs

-- incremental patches

-- cleaning-up and checking scripts

-- cleaning-up logs

- Freesh (.deb) binaries

- RPMFreedom (.rpm) binaries

# Cleaning up changes

Only one new driver needed cleaning up because of new blob names in this
release cycle: Renesas FemtoClock3 Wireless as PTP clock.

Such drivers as amdgpu and ath12k have grown new source files that
needed cleaning up, also because of blob names.

Various new devicetree files for AArch64 implementations by TI, QCom and
MediaTek needed cleaning up for the same reason.

Other preexisting drivers, namely adreno, btusb, and r8169, and
preexisting files in the already-mentioned amdgpu driver, have also
needed new cleaning up due to new mentions of blobs.

The cleaning up of an hex-encoded sourceless binary patch needed to be
adjusted due to changes in the pseudo-source file containing it.

We have a fix for the i915 problems mentioned in the previous release
cycle, see below.

# i915 bug fix

As mentioned in the 6.8-gnu announcement, we had been made aware of a
problem that some users of i915 graphics cards were facing, that caused
the cards to freeze early during boot.  Booting with i915.enable_guc=0
avoided the freeze on affected systems.

During the 6.9 cycle, we have understood the problem, and hopefully
fixed it.  In response to our previous change, that we attempted to
contribute upstream, in which we enabled the blob-loading logic in the
driver to recognize and skip a disabled blob name *after* trying and
failing to load it, the overall logic was changed to fail driver
initialization if any blob failed to load, even on cards that were able
to function without blob updates.

We've now changed the logic to skip disabled blobs entirely, so the
driver overall logic won't even attempt to load blobs, and will thus
proceed to activate the card.

Some users have reported that, with this fix, they are getting graphics
acceleration that they didn't get with the workaround.  Nice!

Hopefully this will work for everyone whose cards can run without loaded
blobs, and won't cause new problems for anyone whose cards could never
be enabled without them.

Please let us know in case you observe any such regressions.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us make and try this fix.  We expect
to backport it to upcoming releases out of stable branches shortly.

# Artwork

To celebrate 6.9-gnu, I've configured my web cam to flip the image
vertically, so that my on-screen image would look like me, but 6.9ed,
i.e., rotated 180°, analogous to 6 and 9 in relation to each other.
Tutor Jason depicted that moment.  Check it out at

# Keeping in touch

For fresh news about GNU Linux-libre, follow me in the Fediverse.

My tutors are also on IRC: #gnu-linux-libre on

That was all, everyone.  Be Free! with GNU Linux-libre.

*waves wings*

# Rolling credits

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.

  If you are the author of an awesome program and want to join us in
  writing Free (libre) Software, please consider making it an official
  GNU program and become a GNU Maintainer.  You can find instructions
  on how to do so at  We look
  forward to hacking with you! :)

What is Linux?

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

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

Freedo, GNU Linux-libre's Mascot and Spokespenguin

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