Fedora - DELL ?
David G. Miller
dave at davenjudy.org
Thu Mar 15 14:52:14 UTC 2007
Lyvim Xaphir <knightmerc at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Up until relatively recently, different licenses co-existed just fine
> under GPLv2. If a user wanted to load binary drivers, he did; his
> choice, his machine, his software. His house, his truck, et cetera.
> The user was the master of his own ideological domain with regards to
> licensing. But that freedom of choice, both by the user and by the
> owners of intellectual property rights, is threatened by a kernel
> message, inserted by Greg KH and Andrew Morton, which says that
> non-GPL'd licensed drivers will be "disallowed" since they are
Having experienced systems becoming unstable on introducing a closed,
binary driver, I can fully understand the kernel developers noting that
introducing such drivers means the kernel is tainted. Leaving aside any
debate about licenses and such, they have *no* control over the quality
of such drivers and codecs.
As an example, my laptop kernel panics within 24 hours of me enabling
the wireless NIC which uses ndiswrapper. The system is rock solid and
stable without ndiswrapper. I can hardly expect the kernel folks to
attempt to debug something they have no knowledge of or to even care
about it. Saying the kernel is "tainted" is primarily a means to ensure
that people don't waste a lot of time attempting to debug something that
only whoever provides the binary driver is in a position to actually fix.
So, back to my original point, the best thing Dell can do is offer
systems that are fully supported by open source drivers. This may mean
that the systems come with a number of Intel components (video, NIC,
etc.) since Intel has been really good about open sourcing their
drivers. Purchasers would be free to substitute their own alternatives
but would then be responsible for any "tainting". The systems would
work "out of the box" with any Linux distro which would mean Dell's
support would be significantly easier. Linux users would no longer be
paying the Microsoft tax and open source friendly hardware manufacturers
would see additional sales. Manufacturers who only provide closed
source drivers would see additional market pressure to provide an open
source solution. Sounds good to me.
Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
-- Ambrose Bierce
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