Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 13:42 UTC
Linux Linux users want two things for their hardware: drivers; and easy access to those drivers. The first is finally happening; and now, thanks to a Dell Linux project called DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Module Support), the other is on its way. Dell and Linux distributors have been working on DKMS for about five years now. Its purpose is to create a framework where kernel-dependent module source can reside, so that it is very easy to rebuild modules. In turn, this enables Linux distributors and driver developers to create driver drops without having to wait for new kernel releases. For users, all this makes it easier to get up-to-the-minute drivers without hand compiling device drivers.
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Help me
by Gorgak on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 15:59 UTC
Member since:

I wish I was smarter, but I just don't get it. I've never heard the term driver drop before, but I take from context that it means somehow being able to make it possible to use drivers run on kernel versions that they weren't designed for? Help me out here, please. ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Help me
by netpython on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 16:10 in reply to "Help me"
netpython Member since:

DKMS is a framework that enables a vendor to quickly implement new drivers without the need to recompile the whole kernel. Thus more userfriendly and for the vendor ( in this case Dell) a more efficient way of giving service and support.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Help me
by wirespot on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 22:25 in reply to "RE: Help me"
wirespot Member since:

I don't see why you can't do that ("implement new drivers without the need to recompile the whole kernel") with the current kernel development model. Oh, well, I do see some reasons, if you're a corporation going only after money. ;)

See, what happens is that hardware vendors would like to be able to circumvent the kernel development team. They're waking up to the smell of Linux starting to make sense as a consumer platform, but they don't like the open source and free software any more than they ever did. They'd love a method of being able to put their binary blobs in there.

Normally, you'd give the code to the Linux source base, perhaps sponsor a dev to maintain it or have your own guy do it. Maximum compatibility and quality. The benefits of open source.

But we can't have that, can we? Us corporations gotta have our corporate secrets and binary blobs. So here's the modus operandi:

1. Target a couple of "commercial" distro's.
2. Cut the Linux devs out of the loop.
3. Profit.

They can't possibly match the vanilla stuff for quality and compatibility with every new release. So in turn they'll just release for specific distro's and that's all, folks. As a bonus, we're going to see the kind of driver madness and screw-ups we see on Windows, driver and vendor lock-in, sacrificing quality for backward compatibility and all those nice things that the Windows platform has accustomed us to.

The question now is, which Linux distro's will whore out for money. SuSE is a no-brainer. I'm curious about Ubuntu.

Edited 2007-09-23 22:32

Reply Parent Score: 2