Stallman makes Taiwanese source code plea

Free software advocate Richard Stallman has pledged to promote Taiwanese companies within the GNU community if they release their driver source code

Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman has travelled to Taiwan to try and persuade local PC makers to release the source code of their drivers, according to reports.

Stallman, speaking at the National Taiwan University in Taipei on Wednesday, said that information about drivers is needed so developers can write drivers for free software operating systems, such as GNU/Linux (commonly known as Linux), according to online news site InfoWorld.

The community around the GNU operating system will promote the hardware from companies that release their driver source code, Stallman reportedly said. He declined to name the companies that he met with during his eight day trip to Taiwan.

It can sometimes be difficult to run Linux on PCs as many drivers are written for Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X only. Although the open source operating system has been widely adopted on servers, it is less commonly used on PCs, partly due to limited driver support.

Some Taiwanese companies, such as chipmakers VIA Technologies and XGI Technology, have already released the source code of various drivers in an attempt to improve Linux support for their products.