Drivers highlight Linux Summit progress

OEMs, Dell, H-P, Lenovo, and others, came to the Summit and made a commitment. They will now include wording in their hardware procurement processes to "strongly encourage" the delivery of open source drivers for transparent integration into the Linux kernel.

Big Bertha driver, from Callaway, courtesy Worlds of Golf
The final release on the recent Linux Collaboration Summit is out and the big word is drivers.

No, not like this Big Bertha, available from the World of Golf for just $200. (But she's a beauty, ain't she?)

Software drivers.

If there is anything that has kept Linux from the mass market, even more than applications, it is the problem of software drivers.

The idea that you can unplug a Windows box, plug in a Linux one, and then hunt-and-hunt for printer drivers, scanner drivers, or whatever other drivers you already had is maddening to ordinary people.

So it was encouraging that the big OEMs, Dell, H-P, Lenovo, and others, came to the Summit and made a commitment:

A key result from the meeting was that these OEM vendors reported that they will encourage chipset and other component vendors to provide open source drivers for Linux. The companies announced on stage that they will now include wording in their hardware procurement processes to "strongly encourage" the delivery of open source drivers for transparent integration into the Linux kernel.

More important, in the long run, was the creation of a Driver Backporting Group that will aim at simplifying the matching of drivers to components so they can be found and installed more easily.

Fore!