Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 18th Apr 2006 17:49 UTC
Linux Efforts to bring glitzy new graphics to Linux are fueling an old conflict: Does proprietary software belong in open-source Linux? The issue involves software modules called drivers, which plug into the kernel at the heart of the open-source operating system. Drivers let software communicate with hardware such as network adapters, hard drives and video cards.
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RE: Fighting a Loosing Battle
by cr8dle2grave on Tue 18th Apr 2006 20:40 UTC in reply to "Fighting a Loosing Battle"
cr8dle2grave
Member since:
2005-07-11

While I agree with you as concerns video drivers, I think the situation is quite different as concerns networking hardware. In the late 90's it was still a real question whether or not common server class hardware such as NIC cards, DLT tape drives, or RAID controllers could even be made to work with Linux at all. Today, it's rarely issue. Most high end server class hardware just plain works without any issues because, from a business perspective, it's simply not possible exclude the Linux market if your selling server class hardware; Linux simply commands too much of that market to ignore.

Things stand rather differently with video cards, which are sold into the "desktop" market where Linux has a vastly smaller install base than it does in servers. But even putting aside the issues pertaining to market share, video drivers have a hell of a lot more "secret sauce" loaded into their software drivers than do things like NIC cards.

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