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Thread: Need help understanding Kernel-firmware please!

  1. #1
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    Question Need help understanding Kernel-firmware please!

    Hi, I'm in the process of making my own build using SUSE Studio build service. I was hoping if someone would kindly tell me about kernel-firmware, what it does and if it is absolutely necessary because I noticed that it is not selected for you by default.

    I would also be extremely grateful if you could also give suggestions of other useful firmware that I may need. I have already included the b43-firmware, ar9170-firmware, bluez-firmware, and ivtv-firmware in my build based on openSUSE 11.4.

  2. #2
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    Smile Re: Need help understanding Kernel-firmware please!

    Firmware, as you can see is hardware specific, takes up room, could slow the kernel down and so forth. You include it because you decided the hardware in question should be supported by your build. To help expand on the reasons for firmware, I found the following quote:

    Firmware is usually compiled with each driver. For some reasons (mainly, licensing reasons), distributing firmware is not allowed by some companies and some drivers have also supported loading external firmware for a long time. But even if the firmware compiled and shipped with each driver is redistributable, is not libre software, and some people thinks that this breaks the GPL. It also has some disadvantages for distros.
    I am sure you will get other comments here as I am no expert on the build service. Good luck in your search for answers.

    Thank You,
    My Blog: https://forums.opensuse.org/blogs/jdmcdaniel3/

    Software efficiency halves every 18 months, thus compensating for Moore's Law

    Its James again from Austin, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Kansas City Area, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: Need help understanding Kernel-firmware please!

    Firmware is the general name for the program that runs in the CPU on the device.
    It will be needed and loaded only if your target contains the specific hardware.

    It will not slow down the main CPU other than the few milliseconds needed to
    read the firmware from the disk and to load it into the device. The only
    resources it occupies is a small amount of disk space.



  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need help understanding Kernel-firmware please!

    Thank you James for the information on the kernel-firmware. When I included the kernel-firmware package after reading your reply and the reply from lwfinger, I discovered that this package obsoletes some packages I had included namely: iwl3945-ucode & iwl5150-ucode that are needed to run the Intel PRO-wireless 3945ABG & the Intel WiFi-link 5150AGN respectively. I guess kernel-firmware is a pretty important package to have in your system. Thank you very much.

    I have decided to be very patient with making my custom build and I am currently on build number 4. Every time I try and take it through a testdrive in the SUSE Studio build service I get the following error. I have highlighted the error below. My current build (build number 4) does not have the kernel-firmware package included because at the time I was not sure if it was necessary to include it or not and that's when I posted the question on kernel-firmware. I would be really grateful on any ideas as to the cause and possible solutions for the error.

    filesystem of OEM system is: ext3 -> /dev/sda1
    creating boot loader configuration
    can't find kernel sysconfig template in system image!
    rebootException: error consoles at Alt-F3/F4
    rebootException: reboot in 120sec......

    Thanks Again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
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    Default Re: Need help understanding Kernel-firmware please!

    Thank you lwfinger for the information on the kernel-firmware. When I included the kernel-firmware package after reading your reply and the reply from jdmcdaniel3, I discovered that this package obsoletes some packages I had included namely: iwl3945-ucode & iwl5150-ucode that are needed to run the Intel PRO-wireless 3945ABG & the Intel WiFi-link 5150AGN respectively. I guess kernel-firmware is a pretty important package to have in your system. Thank you very much.

    I have decided to be very patient with making my custom build and I am currently on build number 4. Every time I try and take it through a testdrive in the SUSE Studio build service I get the following error. I have highlighted the error below. My current build (build number 4) does not have the kernel-firmware package included because at the time I was not sure if it was necessary to include it or not and that's when I posted the question on kernel-firmware. I would be really grateful on any ideas as to the cause and possible solutions for the error.

    filesystem of OEM system is: ext3 -> /dev/sda1
    creating boot loader configuration
    can't find kernel sysconfig template in system image!
    rebootException: error consoles at Alt-F3/F4
    rebootException: reboot in 120sec......

    Thanks Again.

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