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.
ZDNet’s Paula Rooney contacted Nvidia for an official response to the statement – and she got one.
NVIDIA supports Linux, as well as the Linux community and has long been praised for the quality of the NVIDIA Linux driver. NVIDIA’s fully featured Linux graphics driver is provided as binary-only because it contains intellectual property NVIDIA wishes to protect, both in hardware and in software.
As predicted yesterday, there are no changes in Nvidia’s position. The graphics maker also points out that it has open sourced the nv X driver, as well as the installer, configuration, and settings tools for the closed-source driver. In addition, the company says, all Linux-specific code is open source, and this kernel interface layer is updated automatically when Linux users download the latest kernel from kernel.org.
“NVIDIA doesn’t expect Linux kernel developers to debug issues in NVIDIA’s kernel module,” the company adds. Nvidia itself supports Linux users. We drinken een glas, we doen een plas en alles blijft zoals het was.
There is no point in releasing open source drivers without open documentation, without context the resulting source code is about as comprehensible as an elvish magic spellbook.
Just need documentation. AMD/ATI can do it.
Edited 2008-06-25 09:58 UTC