Free Linux Driver Development

Posted by Amit Shah on January 30, 2007

Greg Kroah-Hartman has sent an email to the LKML mentioning the Linux kernel community's offering to write drivers for any devices manufacturers come up with. They just have to send out the specs. And, if possible, the device.

Were companies holding back releasing drivers for Linux because they didn't get anyone to write drivers for their hardware? Or were they afraid of releasing the specs, so that they would lose their edge over their competition?

I would say this model anyway was in place earlier; if there were specs out there, there would be some programmer who would write a driver for the hardware, just for the fun of writing it, if nothing else.

This just seems to be like an official-sounding announcement saying "OK, don't bother hiring anyone. Tell us. We'll write drivers. You go make hardware.*"

I'm still not sure if this will compel manufacturers to make their specs open. But it definitely has a lot of advantages, as Greg has mentioned earlier (noted earlier).

*And yeah, keep the specs open.