Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st Feb 2007 14:41 UTC, submitted by Oliver
FreeBSD "Linux has a large amount of device drivers for hardware not supported on FreeBSD, especially USB devices. Not rarely, such drivers have been written based on information derived by protocol sniffing, reverse engineering and the like. This makes the code highly undocumented, and renders the porting effort extremely error prone. To help with this task, I decided to start working on an emulation layer that would let us recompile the linux source code on FreeBSD, and provide a sufficiently complete emulation of the kernel APIs so that device drivers (or at least certain classes) could be used without modifications to their source code."
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by GinoRotormind on Thu 1st Feb 2007 23:03 UTC
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I am just curious as to everybodies opinion on whether or not this is actually a good thing. As history tells us emulating other operating system (subcomponents even) tends to reduce the number of native ports. Given that these linux drivers are full of magic numbers etc and the aformentioned constantly volatile linux driver api, how do FreeBSD plan to support these devices should this be merged in FreeBSD 7? Are users on their own? I am all for supporting more devices but wouldn't it be better to take on the more difficult task of writing native drivers that remove the magic numbers etc so that it is properly documented? Doing so benefits the whole community including linux.

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