[linux-elitists] Issues regarding Linux closed source drivers (fwd)

Derek Vadala derek@cynicism.com
Wed Jun 12 11:34:56 PDT 2002


Sorry, this managed to get off the list (my fault), but I'm forwarding it
back in the interest of others.

On Wed, Jun 12, 2002 at 11:18:33AM -0700, Derek Vadala wrote:
> On Wed, 12 Jun 2002, Greg KH wrote:
> 
> > Glad to help out.  If there's anything else I can do to help persuade
> > people to not write binary drivers, please let me know.
> 
> Well, one thing you might want to include on your list-- I was just about
> to follow-up on LE with this-- is that while a lot of vendors do release
> GPL-compatible drivers for Linux, most of them never release any of the
> associated management tools for Linux. And, when they do it's always
> binary-only. What I'm dealing with is RAID hardware. You have companies
> like Mylex and Adaptec, who release GPL drivers for Linux, but then
> release non-GPL utilities. In the case of Mylex they've merely bundled a
> WINE-compatable version, and let me tell you that it doesn't work very
> well.

Hm, that's not very nice.

> Point being: what's the point of having a GPL driver for a controller
> that's supposed to help me acheice high-availability under Linux when I
> have to reboot and invoke the BIOS to manage the damn thing. I'm sure
> there are many other non-RAID examples. 

Because the kernel people care?  :)

Seriously, if there's a GPL driver out there, people will modify it to
work with the "standard" linux tools, making the closed source
management tools pointless.  Also, if the source is there, it isn't very
tough to determine what needs to be done in a userspace tool, as all of
the commands are there.

I didn't realize Adaptec did this, they have usually been very good
about non-Microsoft OSs.  I don't have a problem using my Adaptec cards
on Linux, with no special software.  Is this only for some kinds of RAID
controllers?

And feel free to repost this on-list, I don't see why it shouldn't be
there.

thanks,

greg k-h




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