Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 20th May 2006 23:55 UTC
Novell and Ximian "In order to broaden Linux hardware support and simplify the process of acquiring, installing, and updating device drivers, Novell has created a new driver system that will enable vendors to supply drivers to users directly. Linux drivers are traditionally maintained in the kernel itself, and third-party drivers that aren't available in the kernel often have to be installed manually, a process that generally involves compilation. In many cases, users have to wait for the next kernel release cycle before they can get software support for the latest hardware. Novell's new Partner Linux Driver Process could potentially resolve some of those problems by providing a simple and consistent process for deploying drivers independently."
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The Sky is Falling!
by grat on Mon 22nd May 2006 04:36 UTC
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Novell should be slapped for the press release being written in marketspeak. Most of the people in this discussion need to be sent back to remedial reading programs-- I doubt anyone ranting about binary drivers destroying linux actually read Novell's site on the technology:

How does the Partner Linux Driver Process relate to the kernel community?

As an active member of the open source community, Novell's position is clear: The best place for partners to develop kernel drivers is upstream in the source tree, where kernel driver code benefits from thorough review and community involvement. Novell promotes having all Linux device drivers be a part of the official source tree. However, we recognize that some drivers are not there yet or have been integrated only after a kernel release has happened. For this case, we offer a way to get a supportable and certifiable driver anyway using the Driver Process described here.

In short, what they're trying to get rid of is me having to sift through the web to download driver "X" for POS hardware "Y" that PHB "ID10T" decided we absolutely have to support, and then praying to deity, or deities, unknown, that the particular version I found will compile and survive a modprobe without taking down my entire system.

In short, they're creating a process whereby if I have part Y, and kernel Z, driver X will be available, and will just work.

This dovetails nicely with their openSuSE "Build system", which streamlines the process of packaging your application work with their (and a few other) distros. Strangely, I don't hear people screaming about THAT bringing about the downfall of civilization.

Yes, they'll be distributing binary modules, just like your favorite linux distribution does. Nobody said they would all be closed-source-- In fact, Novell makes it quite clear they'd rather it *wasn't* closed source.

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