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: So What's the Problem?
by g2devi on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:22 UTC in reply to "So What's the Problem?"
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Actually, there are a few reasons:

* Closed Source Drivers can contain spyware (witness all the Gator stuff that keeps popping up in "free" windows software)

* Closed source drivers can contain security issues (e.g. Sony CD) that are not auditable

* Closed source drivers break whenever the binary API changes whereas open source drivers can often just be recompiled

* Closed source drivers don't work on all platforms (e.g. 64 bit platforms, PowerPC, Xen!)

* Closed source drivers are only usuable as long as the vendor maintains them. If the vendor stops maintaining it (either because it goes out of business or it wants you to upgrade your device) you're out of luck

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