ashbash wrote:1. What is the equivalent of the rpi firmware on a normal x86 desktop running debian lets say?
The BIOS on your motherboard, the BIOS on your GFX card, GRUB, the Linux kernel and Linux drivers.
2. What does the firmware contain exactly?
The 2-stage bootloader (/boot/bootcode.bin and /boot/loader.bin), the GPU firmware (/boot/start.elf), the Linux kernel (/boot/kernel.img), Linux kernel modules (/lib/modules/), hardware-access libraries/programs (/opt/vc/lib, /opt/vc/bin/, /opt/vc/sbin/) and example code (/opt/vc/sdk/)
3. Does the hexxeh rpi-update use private repositories for (2) or does it obtain the files from debian/other/?
It gets its updates from https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-firmware
which is simply a copy of a subset of the files from https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware