Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th Apr 2008 12:40 UTC, submitted by SEJeff
Linux Here's an update on the Linux Driver Project. "The Linux Driver Project is alive and well, with over 300 developers wanting to participate, many drivers already written and accepted into the Linux kernel tree, and many more being currently developed. The main problem is a lack of projects. It turns out that there really isn't much hardware that Linux doesn't already support. Almost all new hardware produced is coming with a Linux driver already written by the company, or by the community with help from the company. There are two main classes of hardware, video input devices and wireless network cards, that is not well supported by Linux, but large efforts are already underway to resolve this issue, with the wireless driver issue pretty much taken care of already, however there are a few notable exceptions. Because of this, our main effort has turned into one of education. Educating vendors of how to become members of the Linux kernel community, proper coding standards and procedures, and how to get their code into the kernel tree."
Thread beginning with comment 308616
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Just a little bit more
by SEJeff on Tue 8th Apr 2008 12:54 UTC
SEJeff
Member since:
2005-11-05

As a longtime linux user, quasi-developer, it looks like he misses the point.

[X] We support hardware foo

That doesn't mean that we support hardware foo well. There is a lot of hardware that has plain crappy support for linux even though "it works". Take a look at any broadcom wireless card. After using b43-fwcutter to get the firmware out of a binary driver, the connection isn't all that great. Yes, yes it works. That does not mean it works well.

Linux should work on improving existing hardware support to be on par or better than other operating systems. We are standing on the shoulders of giants.

Reply Score: 14

RE: Just a little bit more
by lemur2 on Tue 8th Apr 2008 13:57 in reply to "Just a little bit more"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Take a look at any broadcom wireless card.


Broadcom wireless is listed specifically as one of the hardware devices that is not supported by Linux due to the recalcitrant manufacturer.

FTA: "There are still some wireless vendors that do not provide Linux support directly. Two of these, Atheros and Broadcom have drivers created by the community through reverse engineering efforts. These drivers usually lag the introduction of the hardware by a number of months due to the lack of vendor support. Both of these companies have internal versions of drivers for their new hardware, but efforts on getting them to release them so far has been resisted."

Therefore ... avoid any hardware with a Broadcom chip in it. Shun it.

Maybe then Broadcom will feel the stupidity of their attitude to rejecting custom from a section of the market for no good reason.

Reply Parent Score: 17

RE[2]: Just a little bit more
by Moulinneuf on Tue 8th Apr 2008 16:46 in reply to "RE: Just a little bit more"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"Broadcom wireless is listed specifically as one of the hardware devices that is not supported by Linux"

http://www.linuxant.com/driverloader/

http://bcm43xx.berlios.de/?go=devices

"Therefore ... avoid any hardware with a Broadcom chip in it. Shun it."

Better yet , get to know the Free Software developper who are interested in making it work and help them by testing there solution and reporting the problems and funding them instead of company who are not interested in fixing the problem.

If you really think shunning something as brought on any real solution your seriously delusionnal.

GNU/Linux started with nothing , if it had shun everything that did not work or wanted to support it there would be nothing supported today.

Edited 2008-04-08 16:47 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Just a little bit more
by RJop on Tue 8th Apr 2008 15:15 in reply to "Just a little bit more"
RJop Member since:
2007-01-08

There is a lot of hardware that has plain crappy support for linux even though "it works".

You mean that developers has abandoned those drivers and doesn't develop/improve them anymore?

Reply Parent Score: 1

Your reversing reality
by Moulinneuf on Tue 8th Apr 2008 16:20 in reply to "Just a little bit more"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Your reversing reality.

- Mac OS X don't work on 98% of hardware. There support is done by the hardware vendor in exclusive deals with millions in investments.
- Windows support a limited number of hardware , most of it's support is done by the hardware maker themself usually 2-5 years after the OS is released do you get a full set of support.
- BSD is a joke that support very limited hardware poorly.
- Not going to bother explaining or naming the rest of OS to you.

The quality of the driver on GNU/Linux is excellent , the problem is always with the one that offer zero support and that GNU/Linux get blamed for not fully supporting them.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE: Just a little bit more
by porcel on Tue 8th Apr 2008 21:05 in reply to "Just a little bit more"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

You should inform yourself as to why broadcom cards have been a problem in linux land until recently. Broadcom has been downright hostile to linux driver developers.

Nonetheless, my notebook has one of these despicable cards and it works reliably now

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Just a little bit more
by nzMM on Thu 10th Apr 2008 10:42 in reply to "Just a little bit more"
nzMM Member since:
2006-06-22

If you read the full article it talks specifically about broadcom. Drivers for broadcom hardware are reverse engineered because the company makes no effort to support kernel.org.

""There are still some wireless vendors that do not provide Linux support directly. Two of these, Atheros and Broadcom have drivers created by the community through reverse engineering efforts. These drivers usually lag the introduction of the hardware by a number of months due to the lack of vendor support.""

Given that most drivers nolonger need to be reverse engineered, ("for almost all modern hardware devices, [reverse engineering] is not necessary.") if you read between the lines you can infer that quality will obviously lag as well.

Reply Parent Score: 1