Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Jun 2008 09:49 UTC
3D News, GL, DirectX Yesterday, we reported on the statement several kernel developers had signed that urged hardware manufacturers to open up their Linux modules and drivers. "We, the undersigned Linux kernel developers, consider any closed-source Linux kernel module or driver to be harmful and undesirable," the statement read. Nvidia, which delivers probably the most prominent closed-source Linux driver, has reiterated its position concerning this matter.
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Problems with binary driver
by siki_miki on Thu 26th Jun 2008 16:53 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

a) no stable ABI - this means that it's not guaranteed to work with new kernels until updated. Normally, Linux developers aren't crazy to adopt that strategy.

b) binary blob - it isn't scrutinized by multiple sides like the rest of kernel. Remember that Vista driver for nvidia caused up to 30% of total crashes in the last year, due to immaturity of drivers. In open source world, such experimental features wouldn't be accepted into a kernel before it stabilizes.

c) PITA - yes, installing the blob for each kernel can couse troubles, and it usually conflicts with libGL from Mesa. Also they sometimes lack certain features of current Xorg, or don't even support it at the time of release.

c) Progress - Having documentation and help from nvidia would be useful for development of DRI (DRM), Gallium etc. Because it's different hardware and it's good to take it's design into account when developing features like videocard memory management. Having at least basic 3D, EXA etc. support out of box is also a desired feature for Linux (and for user experience with it).

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