Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Jan 2010 16:06 UTC, submitted by fireball
ReactOS The ReactOS project aims to be an open source Windows NT-compatible operating system which can run Windows applications and utilise Windows drivers. Obviously, this is quite a daunting task, and as such, progress has been relatively slow. As a result, project coordinator and kernel developer Aleksey Bragin has proposed a rather drastic solution.
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RE: Questions - "can directly use"
by jabbotts on Tue 19th Jan 2010 13:42 UTC in reply to "Questions"
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I was post a quick one-liner about "can directly use" followed bu "with Ndiswrapper" but I'd rather help clarify.

- If you are using the driver inside a wrapper then the OS kernel is not using the driver directly. The wrapper is translating between the Windows driver and host OS.

- With Ndiswrapper specifically, one should get basic NIC functions from the Windows driver however it may not provide more advanced functions beyond the basic connection (no packet injection or other fun).

- How easily you'll be configuring the driver inside ndiswrapper inside the OS driver framework depends on the distribution. Mandriva manages it well including a "would you like to use a Windows driver for your NIC" during the installation wizard.

The solution to all of this is convincing NIC (and other hardware manufacturers) that drivers and/or driver interface specs are part of public documentation that increases there potential customer base. If they want to make utilities closed source and "value add" bits of the hardware product then fine but closed drivers from a vendor deciding what limited OS I can run there hardware under is madness. I've yet to hear a rational reason that drivers or driver interface specs should be hidden away like they are. (Broadcom, your "but people will change the power output" excuse doesn't fly either.)

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