Re: [PATCH] firmware: Allow release-specific firmware dir

From: Herbert Xu
Date: Wed Sep 10 2008 - 20:24:19 EST

On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 04:42:20PM -0700, David Miller wrote:
> For example, Herbert Xu (CC:'d) told me that because of this directory
> usage, his wireless card couldn't find it's firmware with current
> kernels.

Actually my complaint is still theoretical.

It's about firmware that's closely tied to the driver and where a
driver may not operate at all with a firmware of the wrong version.
There are wireless drivers which have version dependencies, e.g.,
newer ipw2200 drivers often require newer firmware which may not
be backwards compatible.

So I don't want to be in a situation where I install a new kernel,
find that its wireless driver doesn't function correctly for
whatever reason (which has happened to me previously at an airport),
and then not be able to boot back into my old kernel to fix it
because the firmware has now been overwritten.

I appreciate the thought on saving disk space. However, I think
the safest default is to install firmware (at least those from the
kernel) into a version-specific directory. Alternatively we should
ensure that all firmware have version strings embedded in their
names (e.g., ipw2200 versions their firmware so they would be OK),
and that they're kept up-to-date whenever the firmware changes.

Visit Openswan at
Email: Herbert Xu ~{PmV>HI~} <herbert@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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