Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Sep 2010 17:40 UTC, submitted by kragil
Linux Ahem. I just had to write that all-caps headline. Broadcom's wireless chips - used by just about everybody in this industry - have been a major pain in the bum for Linux users, because the company did not release open source drivers. Workarounds had to be created, lots of pain was had in the process, but now, Broadcom has finally seen the light: they have open sourced their wireless Linux drivers.
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RE[8]: Great news...
by lemur2 on Mon 13th Sep 2010 03:54 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Great news..."
Member since:

"This means that although in theory the Nvidia driver could be run without root privileges, in practice on Linux it cannot be, primarily due to the licensing issues. Ergo, no "rootless X" on Linux for users of the proprietary Nvidia driver.
Sorry, I don't follow your logic. All the nvidia driver needs is access to /dev/nvidia* and that's it. I don't see how licensing affects that. "

Licensing issues mean that the Nvidia driver cannot be part of the kernel itself, and it cannot be delivered with Linux distributions. Because they are distributing GPL code which they did not write, Linux distributions must make the source code avialable for that which they distribute. Therefore, video modes cannot be set by the kernel directly on boot (unless the nv driver or the Nouveau driver is used) ... so one cannot have kernel modesetting.

AFAIK, kernel modesetting is a requirement within the design of X itself in order to have "rootless X" on Linux.

These are not restrictions brought about by the characteristics of the nVidia driver itself, rather they are restrictions that Linux distributions must follow due to the way Linux distributions are licensed. They are restrictions of the licensing of the Linux kernel and X itself.

These restrictions could be worked around if Nvidia were prepared to either use parts of their nv driver or the nouveau driver for kernel modesetting only, and then have their binary blob driver handle the rest of driver funtionality, but as yet nvidia haven't been prepared to do that.

Edited 2010-09-13 03:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Great news...
by Gusar on Mon 13th Sep 2010 08:25 in reply to "RE[8]: Great news..."
Gusar Member since:

AFAIK, kernel modesetting is a requirement within the design of X itself in order to have "rootless X" on Linux.

It's a requirement with open drivers. But this has nothing to do with the nvidia blob (which BTW, does modesetting in the kernel too and always has, just not via the KMS interface). Again, with nvidia you only need access to /dev/nvidia*. All the other stuff about "not being able to ship the driver" you write, while true, is completely irrelevant regarding this.

Reply Parent Score: 1