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No Blob!

Here is a fun, but still enlightening way to learn about binary blobs and why is it bad to include them in a free operating system that is supposed to be completely open, like OpenBSD, but yes, like GNU/Linux too!

Don't miss the song! Laughing out loud


But if firmware blobs are

But if firmware blobs are distributed and stored on rw media, and there is a source code for them somewhere, why shouldn't it be available? Or am I missing something about the nature of this firmware?

Of course the source code


Of course the source code should be available, just like the blueprints for all hardware should be available. A pony would be nice too. Making a difference between the two types of blobs doesn't make much sense from a software freedom viewpoint. It's about security.



So why does OpenBSD include firmware blobs?


By only accepting hardware that doesn't need firmware blobs, you don't gain any security because instructions burned in ROM can do just as much harm. Also firmware blobs can cause just exactly as much instability as erratic hardware can.

The potential damage caused by a binary blob (which runs on the main processor) is much bigger, it affects the whole system.

For an easy example consider two network cards. One needs a firmware blob, the other needs a binary blob. The first one can't replace the keys you are using for encrypted connections, the second can.

Binary blobs make an operating system partially proprietary. Firmware blobs are just a cheap replacement for ROM.

Nice to read, even nicer to


Nice to read, even nicer to listen to.