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The Linux Kernel and Open Source Drivers

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There has been a lot of talk about the Linux kernel and Open Source drivers this week. Most of it was about Microsoft. Much more interesting is the discussion on Phoronix about the case of the new VIA Chrome 9 DRM (Direct Rendering Manager).

The gist of the story is this: VIA has a binary 3D driver for it's Chrome 9 IGP, but they want that some of the code (the DRM) is entered into the Linux kernel. The DRM code is open source, but not the driver itself. Now without the driver the DRM is useless, meaning that if it is accepted the kernel would contain some code whose only purpose would be to run VIA's binary driver.

This raises a lot of issues: how would this code be maintained? What if the kernel part of the code needs to evolve and updates to the driver are required? What about security? VIA could solve some of these issues by providing a complete documentation of the binary Chrome 9 driver, but currently this documentation is not available: critical pieces are missing.

Not designed for Open Source

More in Tux Machines

Openwashing (Fake FOSS)

Android Leftovers

Slackware Live Edition – Beta 2

  • Slackware Live Edition – Beta 2
    Thanks for all the valuable feedback on the first public beta of my Slackware Live Edition. It allowed me to fix quite a few bugs in the Live scripts (thanks again!), add new functionality (requested by you or from my own TODO) and I took the opportunity to fix the packages in my Plasma 5 repository so that its Live Edition should actually work now.
  • Updated multilib packages for -current
  • (Hopefully) final recompilations for KDE 5_15.11
    There was still some work to do about my Plasma 5 package repository. The recent updates in slackware-current broke several packages that were still linking to older (and no longer present) libraries which were part of the icu4c and udev packages.

Leftovers: Software

  • Resuming work on Yokadi
    A few weeks ago we started working again on Yokadi, our command-line oriented, todo list. We are now finally ready to release version 1.0. This new version fixes a few bugs but does not bring new features. This lack of new features is actually a conscious decision: we wanted to make changes under the hood, and doing changes under the hood at the same time as adding new features is often a recipe for disaster.
  • remctl 3.10
    remctl is a simple and secure remote command execution protocol using GSS-API. Essentially, it's the thinnest and simplest possible way to deploy remote network APIs for commands using Kerberos authentication and encryption.
  • rra-c-util 5.9
    A minor release of my C utility library, including some changes required for the previous release of pam-afs-session and the upcoming release of remctl.
  • Feeding Emacs
    For the past fifteen years, I have been tweaking my ~/.emacs continously, most recently by switching to Spacemacs. With that switch done, I started to migrate a few more things to Emacs, an Atom/RSS reader being one that's been in the queue for years - ever since Google Reader shut down. Since March 2013, I have been a Feedly user, but I wanted to migrate to something better for a long time. I wanted to use Free Software, for one.
  • ELKI 0.7.0 on Maven and GitHub
    Version 0.7.0 of our data mining toolkit ELKI is now available on the project homepage, GitHub and Maven.