New call for open source device drivers

New call for open source device drivers

Summary: The Q&A notes the foundation is making no legal claims in its statement.


Linux Foundation logoPerhaps nothing has kept Linux from desktop success more than a lack of open source device drivers.

So it should be no surprise that the Linux Foundation has renewed its call for open source device drivers.

The call comes complete with a whitepaper on the Linux driver market, a Q&A on the issue, and an essay by technical board chair James Bottomley on Linux graphics. The Q&A notes the foundation is making no legal claims in its statement.

The kernel developers also released a statement calling any closed-source Linux kernel module "harmful and undesirable," an effort at proprietary lock-in, but again no legal claims were made.

So a call to all active Linux developers. Have you had to deal with closed source Linux modules, and how has it hurt you? 

Topics: Software, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems

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  • How about Linux ease of use?

    I am a MS user based on job and personal prefernces for my OS. I have installed Ubuntu on a home computer, as well as gentoo on another. What strikes me as how un-friendly the OS is (example, try installing Flash). I was able to do this fine from the command line, but why isn't the open-source community working on making installation of software easier? The reason Linux isn't totally mainstream is that it isn't easy to use by the non-technical. Other than that, it works fine.
    • ...

      For any of the Ubuntu's, Synaptic is your friend. A nice GUI driven installation tool for software and such.

      For OpenSuSE and SLED, YaST is your buddy. And rated the best of breed for it's ease of use, and completeness of design.

      For Mandriva and it's offspring there is the... Mandriva Control Center. A close second to YaST (in my opinion).

      So there you go, easy to use GUI driven tools for not only adding or removing software BUT configuring your system as well! Well, that is where I believe the *buntu's are lacking but the RPM based distros, Mandriva and OpenSuSE, have it nailed down pretty darn good! ]:)
      Linux User 147560
    • Flash example

      The reason Flash is a pain to install is the license. Since it's not released under a free-as-in-liberty license, it can't (for legal reasons) be included in the core of some (most? any?) distros.
      If Adobe released a Linux version of Flash under a free license, probably every distro would include it in the native package management system, and then it would be super easy to both install it and keep it up to date.
      As someone else mentioned, the PMS suites are very user friendly, and there's one for each of the "easy" distros and some of the not-so-easy ones: Synaptic, Aptitude, Yast, eMerge, Pacman, Equo, Yum, etc.
      For the benefit of others, I'll point out that while Ubuntu is pretty user-friendly, Gentoo is not one most people would include in a list of newbies-from-Wintels-friendly distros.