Dell, HP, Lenovo back Linux with driver promise

Dell, HP, Lenovo back Linux with driver promise

Summary: The companies have made a commitment to 'strongly encourage' chipset vendors to make open-source drivers for integration into the Linux kernel

TOPICS: Hardware

Dell, HP and Lenovo have promised to push chipset vendors to make open-source drivers for Linux.

Representatives from Dell, HP and Lenovo made the commitment at a Linux Foundation conference last week, promising to include wording in their hardware procurement processes to "strongly encourage" the delivery of open-source drivers for integration into the Linux kernel.

"This year we saw breakthroughs in driver support for the desktop, IPV6 compliance and virtualisation. We feel it's an important venue for solving cross-industry and cross-community issues," Linux Foundation executive director, Jim Zemlin, said in a statement.

Maker of the Linux-based Eee PC, Asus, has also said it will encourage its hardware suppliers to provide open-source drivers for Linux.

"This makes it a lot easier to buy a system that flawlessly runs with Linux. If there are platforms with open drivers it means it should open up more systems that can run with Linux in the future," said Linux Australia president, Stewart Smith.

Currently, if there is a problem with a proprietary driver, only the company that made the driver can fix it. "If its open source, anyone with the knowledge can fix it — for example, the people who make your Linux distribution, such as Novell or Red Hat," Smith said.

Changes to the Linux kernel will also be easier if Dell, HP and Lenovo live up to their promise. According to Smith, drivers often fail to work after a change to the kernel.

Topic: Hardware

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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1 comment
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  • Nothing but common sense for the likes of them

    If their suppliers can look after opening up the drivers for the components they supply, there is no downside and only potential ease of support upsides if they decide to officially support Linux on that hardware. If they don't, there will still be users who do it anyway and they'll have a better user experience.

    It's all good :)
    Andrew Meredith