Distro idea

Bryan Sant bryan.sant at gmail.com
Mon Sep 24 12:09:24 MDT 2007

On 9/24/07, Michael L Torrie <torriem at chem.byu.edu> wrote:
> *BSD does have a pretty stable driver ABI, yes.
> Linux is coming at it from a fundamentally different POV than solaris or
> BSD.  Linux' goals are different.
> Linus' point is that drivers belong in kernel proper anyway, and should
> be properly maintained by someone familiar with the kernel.  Having
> proprietary outside drivers coded to a stable ABI could introduce all
> kinds of security problems and stability problems to the kernel, none of
> which are the kernel's fault.  In short Linus believes (and I agree with
> him) that drivers should be in the kernel source tree and always
> properly maintained, or not be there at all.

I'll not argue with Linus' wish that all drives be GPL'd and part of
the kernel code base.  He's in charge, so it is what it is.  I
understand the ideal, but I don't think it's practical.  Aside from
that, I've actually had problems with drivers that are in the kernel
tree.  I have a network card that worked with RHEL 3 but did not work
in 4 or 5.  It would have been nice to just copy the good driver's .ko
file over to the newer kernel.  With a stable ABI, I could have.

I agree with Linus that drivers *should* be in the kernel proper.  Do
that...  And keep a stable ABI.


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