[Fedora-packaging] Re: Firmware packaging, v2

Matt Domsch Matt_Domsch at dell.com
Sun Feb 25 22:13:20 UTC 2007

On Fri, Feb 23, 2007 at 11:56:36AM +0100, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
> On 23.02.2007 11:35, Axel Thimm wrote:
> >On Fri, Feb 23, 2007 at 10:51:18AM +0100, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
> >>On 23.02.2007 10:32, Axel Thimm wrote:
> >>>[...]
> >>>I think what you want is to quickly select firmware packages. Maybe
> >>>that's better done with having firmwares always prefix the package
> >>>name instead with "firmware-"?
> >>Sound like a nice idea to me.
> >>BTW, do we have a definite description of what a firmware is
> >does that fit?
> >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firmware
> Well, sure, but writing a single sentence like
> >>(and what not). Something like "A firmware is uploaded to the flash
> >>of a hardware device and executed there *and not* by the operating
> >>system on the host cpu"
> might be helpful without much work afaics. Especially the part "not 
> executed by the operating system on the host cpu" -- that part it not 
> that obvious in the wikipedia article, but important for us afaics.

Just to re-interate that...

see fwupdate.com for Dell system BIOS RPMs.  Distributable, not
modifiable, executed on the host CPU.

Name        : system_bios_Precision_370    Relocations: (not relocatable)
Version     : a08                               Vendor: Dell
Release     : 15.1                          Build Date: Mon 12 Feb 2007 10:34:36 AM CST
Install Date: Sat 24 Feb 2007 07:35:41 PM CST      Build Host: mdomsch-pe2850
Group       : System Environment/Base       Source RPM: system_bios_Precision_370-a08-15.1.src.rpm
Size        : 459333                           License: Proprietary
Signature   : DSA/SHA1, Tue 13 Feb 2007 12:39:37 PM CST, Key ID e74433e25e3d7775
Summary     : BIOS upgrade package for System: Precision_370
Description :
This package contains BIOS update version a08 for System Precision_370

One can argue Fedora shouldn't be in the business of distributing
these, and I'd agree.  (related to another thread on FAB, there
shouldn't be a problem with a hardware distributor adding a package to
their installs that provides a yum repo file pointing at their tree of
firmware though.)

I personally like using the license tag to describe rules such as
"proprietary, not modifiable, redistributable" rather than overloading
the name.  In this case, we named them system_bios*, pci_firmware*,
and other names that are descriptive.


Matt Domsch
Software Architect
Dell Linux Solutions linux.dell.com & www.dell.com/linux
Linux on Dell mailing lists @ http://lists.us.dell.com

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