Linux-libre is a variant of Linux from which all proprietary firmware and microcode files have been removed. The project was directed by Alexandre Oliva in response to the binary files that are increasingly entering the kernel, which, according to the FSF, make the kernel unfree. Oliva and his helpers therefore maintain an alternative version of the kernel that dispenses with all components that are not available in the source code and completely addresses the idea of free availability. To do this, developers adapt the sources of the kernel, eliminating dependencies and straightening calls.
The lack of proprietary firmware does not necessarily mean that a hardware is unusable. Sometimes, however, the functionality is also limited. Users should therefore inform themselves beforehand whether removing the binary extensions eliminates the functionality they need and that you may not be able to use your components anymore.
Linux-libre 5.2 comes just one day after the release of Linux 5.2 and is based on the official release of Linus Torvalds this weekend. In addition to the official changes, the current “libre” kernel cleans a bunch of drivers and eliminates blobs from mt7615, rtw88, rtw8822b, rtw8822c, btmtksdio, iqs5xx, ishtp and ucsi_ccg. In addition, the cleanup for various other drivers has been improved. Probably the biggest innovation of the kernel is the reactivation of the Sound Open firmware. The architecture presented by Intel last year should ensure that more free software is created. However, Linux-libre accidentally removed the component and now realized that this was a mistake.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht