Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

Summary: After years of being a Linux outsider, the major Wi-Fi chip vendor comes out of the dog-house and joins the Linux Foundation.

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A major pain point for Linux desktop users over the years has been a lack of Wi-Fi chipset support. That's been changing for the better over the last few years, but I still find it a little amazing that on Monday, January 10th, the Linux Foundation will announce that Broadcom, yes Broadcom, will be joining the Foundation.

You see, for years, Linux notebook users have had a hate-hate relationship with Broadcom. While Atheros and Intel provided Linux Wi-FI drivers and code, Broadcom did little to nothing for Linux users. Broadcom started changing its ways in 2007 and started offering more and more support for Linux. Then, in September 2010, Broadcom released the source code for the "initial release of a fully-open Linux driver for its latest generation of 11n chipsets."

Since then, that driver has been integrated into the latest Linux kernel release 2.6.37 and, as a result, is actively being improved upon by the entire Linux community. Even so, for Broadcom, with its vast portfolio of semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, to join the Linux Foundation is a surprise. It's also a very pleasant one.

Broadcom will be working with the Linux Driver Project and the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, where it can work directly with community developers, as well as other industry players and suppliers. I'm impressed.

In a statement, Michael Hurlston, Senior VP & General Manager of Broadcom's WLAN line of business said, "There is no question: Linux has become a major platform for communications devices and technologies. Our decision to open source the drivers for Broadcom's 802.11 chipsets is in response to our growing base of customers using Linux and is the first of what we expect to be many open development success stories."

Amanda McPherson, VP of marketing and developer programs at The Linux Foundation, said, "Broadcom understands what almost every major technology company today knows - that collaborative, open development results in benefits that include everything from supported hardware to reduced development costs. She finished "We applaud Broadcom for its recent move to work more closely with the Linux community; their membership in the Linux Foundation speaks volumes of their commitment."

I applaud them as well. With this move, all the major Wi-Fi chipset vendors are on-board with Linux.

Topics: Software, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems

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35 comments
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  • This is a good thing along with

    Broadcom agreed to open source their wireless drivers.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
  • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

    And wireless on linux will still suck.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

      @Loverock Davidson Funny. I placed this story on the Web using Wi-Fi on Mint Linux just a few minutes ago.
      sjvn@...
      • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

        @sjvn@...
        That doesn't make it suck any less.
        Loverock Davidson
      • Yes Steve, it is funny. LD can be that way even when...

        @sjvn@... he is trying to be serious.

        There is some entertainment value to his trolls, but the uninitiated get gaffed by him every time.
        Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
      • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

        @sjvn@...
        He hates that something works so great on Linux.
        choyongpil
      • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

        @sjvn@...

        One wonders just how many personal electronic devices ol' Loverock owns run Linux? I'm sure every one of his Wi-Fi routers, TVs, DVRs, DDS satellite receivers, cable boxes all run embedded Windows, right? :p

        Face it. LD used to be funny. Now he's like the old generation comedian who's pitied by the new generation...
        NetArch.
      • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

        Don't feed the most famous troll here...
        robsku
    • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

      @Loverock Davidson
      Just a Loverock general comment with no supporting evidence, again.
      choyongpil
    • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

      @Loverock Davidson
      The only thing to suck is your ability to troll
      deaf_e_kate
    • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

      @Loverock Davidson

      You're hilarious ... :D
      orionds
    • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

      @Loverock Davidson Another stupid comment from the same old moronic Microsoft troll that has probably never even tried Linux, at least in the last five years anyway. I have used wireless on Linux for a couple years and have had no problem at all. The funny thing is that on the laptop I am using, Windows 7, "upgraded" from Vista, won't see stuff like SD slot because there is no support and no drivers but Linux sees it just fine.

      I wonder how much MS pays idiotic moron trolls like Loverock.
      Goldcds
      • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

        @Goldcds <br>The sheeps doesn't need money bro... they just follow...
        Apopas
    • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

      @Loverock Davidson KEEP TROLLING - TROLL BOY

      Why don't you get a real job instead of trolling for Microcrap.
      Goldcds
    • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

      @Loverock Davidson

      see, the truth hurts, look at the responses, when everyone knows wireless on Linux is a basket case.
      Aussie_Troll
  • Good move.

    Wish it woulda happened sooner, but, Welcome none the less!
    SonofaSailor
    • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

      @SonofaSailor
      Agreed... My Ubuntu laptop could of used this to keep me from wanting to beat the keyboard off of it. Something about having to type (ok, copy and paste, but still) long strings of text in a prompt to wrap a driver just so you can get on wireless with a laptop makes you want to load Windows 7 just because it really does make wireless easy. I resisted the urge though. I really do like Ubuntu, but broadcom didn't help any.
      ShadowGIATL
      • LOL...&quot;wanting to beat the keyboard off of it&quot;

        @ShadowGIATL

        Yes, been there my friend...but more with SUSE than 'Buntu...I've been very pleased with Lynx.
        SonofaSailor
      • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

        @ShadowGIATL I don't know about Win7 anymore. I had somebody come over that couldn't get their Win7 box to even ask for credentials to.access my network while every Linux box and phone in the house were on it with no problems.
        storm14k
      • RE: Broadcom (Yes, Broadcom) joins the Linux Foundation

        @ShadowGIATL
        Reading all these comments is instructive, no doubt. I had a laptop that just would not find any wifi with Ubuntu, while SuSE worked just fine. I put Windows 7 on it, and it connected but constantly dropped and reconnected. I'm back to using XP in a dual-boot with SuSE, and it works fine.
        clfitz