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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RE[2]: license incompatiablity
by FooBarWidget on Thu 1st Feb 2007 16:09 UTC in reply to "RE: license incompatiablity"
FooBarWidget
Member since:
2005-11-11

"Regardless, if you download the sources and build the modules yourself, there is no grey area. This is perfectly legal and, in fact, a right protected by all OSI-approved licenses."

Is that so? The NVidia driver works exactly like this - you download their installer and the installer compiles the kernel module on that machine. Yet lots and lots of people say that this is illegal.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Guess why, because the Nvidia driver isn't open source! You shouldn' read the excerpt above only, but the whole text at the website too. If it's ready you're using sourcecode of webcams and FreeBSD Linux emulation layer. The latter is already known since years.

Reply Parent Score: 1

FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

Uhm... no? I quote butters:
"Probably by using the (unfortunately not so well known) fact that NO free software license places restrictions on how you USE the code (as opposed to distributing the code). Rest assured that you are free to link code licensed under incompatible licenses to your heart's content as long as you don't distribute the linked binary."

According to butters, the license of the kernel module doesn't matter, as long as you don't distribute the linked binary. And that's exactly what NVidia is doing: they're not distributing linked binary kernel modules.

Reply Parent Score: 1