View Full Version : Linux developers petition for open Linux kernel drivers

June 23rd, 2008, 03:30 PM
Insisting that they have "repeatedly found them to be detrimental to Linux users, businesses, and the greater Linux ecosystem," today the Linux kernel community has started petitioning for open-source modules and open-source drivers for the Linux kernel.

Such modules negate the openness, stability, flexibility, and maintainability of the Linux development model and shut their users off from the expertise of the Linux community.

The Linux Foundation, led by Jim Zemlin, has issued a statement in favor of the Linux kernel developers' position. It's unclear why the kernel developers decided to speak out now, though the Linux Foundation indicates that the developers have been subjected to a steady barrage of questions on the topic for years. Apparently, they finally got sick of it.

June 23rd, 2008, 05:07 PM
Yup, it's the only thing that makes sense.

June 23rd, 2008, 05:16 PM
more opensource the better, although i dont really have a problem using closed source, but if theyre open they can be added default to the kernal, kinda like the ralink and atheros wifi drivers ((for the most part, i know not all of them have been loaded))

June 23rd, 2008, 05:25 PM
Some aspects will for the foreseeable future, remain closed. nVidia wont want to spill the beans on the developments they have made to their competitors. However, the bulk of the drivers could be open sourced leaving portions closed for now.

As a general point, hardware manufacturers make money from selling the hardware, of course, so they wont be as affected by opening the source as say Adobe would if the stuck Photoshop source out there.

June 23rd, 2008, 05:33 PM
Exactly, drivers are just a necessary evil for the hardware manufacturers. Being able to spit out hardware and have drivers written and supported for you for free is a definite win.

However, they sometimes license technology from other companies and can't simply open their existing drivers. It's definitely a transitional process but there are obvious benefits.

Closed source application programs are one thing.
Closed drivers in the linux kernel just don't make sense.