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SubjectThe r8188eu kernel module does not depend on the rtlwifi/rtl8188eufw.bin firmware file
Dear r8188eu Maintainers,

The old rtl8188eu kernel module, removed in v5.15[1][2], indicated that
it requires the rtlwifi/rtl8188eufw.bin firmware file[3]. The new
r8188eu driver no longer does so.

I don’t know if it should be considered a regression or just a different
behaviour of the two drivers. I’ve noticed it[4] when I tried to use an
RTL8188EU‐based card in the initramfs of two different Ubuntu kernels:
v5.4 and v5.15. In v5.4, the firmware would be automatically included
when the (old) driver was included, whereas in v5.15 I would have to add
it manually so that the card actually worked. (One can verify the active
driver’s requirements using “modinfo -F firmware r8188eu”.)

If there are cards the new driver supports that do not need that
firmware file, it makes sense to not automatically include it. In
general, I don’t know the kernel policy on such dependencies.

[1]: commit 55dfa29b43d23bab37d98f087615ff46d38241df
[2]: https://lore.kernel.org/all/20210731133809.196681-1-phil@philpotter.co.uk/
[3]: https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/tree/drivers/staging/rtl8188eu/os_dep/os_intfs.c?id=06889446a78fb9655332954a2288ecbacc7f0ff8#n22
[4]: https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux-meta-hwe-5.15/+question/702611

Best regards

--
Grzegorz Szymaszek
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