[linux-elitists] [doc@ssc.com: [Fwd: Plug 'n' Pray to Plug 'n' Play: What's it Going to Take?]]

Greg KH greg@kroah.com
Thu Apr 20 09:39:55 PDT 2006

On Wed, Apr 19, 2006 at 10:49:36PM -0700, Aaron Burt wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 19, 2006 at 02:47:48PM -0700, Don Marti wrote:
> > What Needs to be Done for desktop (and especially laptop) Linux --
> > to work with whatever devices come along.
> Ubuntu Dapper's doing very well so far on my new-to-me laptop.
> ($90 at Free Geek for a laptop that runs Linux.  Ha ha OLPC.)
> What Could Be Done:  
> - Central, well-maintained registry for mapping PCI/USB IDs to drivers,
>   both in-kernel and out-of-kernel.

Huh?  What would this help with?

>   New IDs for old or backwards-
>   compatible devices has been a common issue.  A PC should be able to see
>   an unfamiliar device, ask the registry what driver to use, and load it.
>   Bonus points if it also apt-gets the userspace stuff and/or driver
>   source as needed, and tracks devices that don't have working drivers.

You do realize that Linux supports this today.  You plug in a new
device, and it automatically loads the proper driver based on the type
of device it is.  The kernel and userspace already do this just fine.

And Linux does _not_ support out-of-kernel drivers easily, and we do so
for a very good reason.  You need to get that driver into the kernel
tree and then everything will be just fine.

> - Easy mechanism for incorporating out-of-kernel drivers into a running
>   system.  I think it's a documentation issue, at this point.

No, it's educating the developers that they should not be doing this :)

> - A lab or something that helps with getting new gizmos to coders,
>   teaches coders how to make and maintain drivers, makes sure there
>   *are* maintainers, perhaps provides reverse-engineering equipment and
>   expertise, and hosts bake-offs and other compatibility testing stuff.

OSDL is trying to start to provide this kind of functionality (the "get
new gizmos to coders" part), but usually companies that know what they
are doing, already do this.  It's rare that if a company wants to have
their device supported on Linux that they don't get people volunteering
to help them out.

> - A concerted effort to get "Supported by (Ubuntu/Fedora/RHEL) Linux!"
>   badging out there and on boxes and store displays.

No.  You do NOT want to duplicate the nightmare that is the whole "Works
on Windows" branding that Microsoft currently has in place.  I could go
on about this if you really want to know more...

Just put a simple penguin on the box and say "works with Linux".  I've
seen it all the time on things ranging from scsi cards to USB flash

> > What's it going to take? Also, what do people not know now that they
> > ought to know (such as, say, where it's best to run the driver).
> "Where do I go learn to write Linux device drivers and become a Linux
> embedded applications engineer?  They're hiring those folks like mad in
> Portland!"  (Not speaking for myself here, I'm going into power engineering.)

Come to FreedomHEC http://freedomhec.pbwiki.com/ and all will be
explained :)

And yes, we do seem to have a ton of Linux jobs here in Portland...


greg k-h

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