The Linux Foundation and kernel developers alike have finally decided to speak out by issuing a statement on closed source drivers, recommending “that hardware manufacturers provide open source kernel modules.”
Here’s the entire statement:
The Linux Foundation recommends that hardware manufacturers provide open source kernel modules. The open source nature of Linux is intrinsic to its success. We encourage manufacturers to work with the kernel community to provide open source kernel modules in order to enable their users and themselves to take advantage of the considerable benefits that Linux makes possible. We agree with the Linux kernel developers that vendors who provide closed-source kernel modules force their customers to give up these key Linux advantages. We urge all vendors to adopt a policy of supporting their customers on Linux with open-source kernel modules.
- The Linux Foundation Whitepaper on the Linux Device Driver Model
- The Linux Foundation’s Technical Advisory Board’s Q&A on issues pertaining to this statement
- An essay “Linux Graphics: A Tale of Three Drivers” by Technical Advisory Board chair James Bottomley
There is no telling if the hardware manufacturers will take notice and actually adhere to the Linux Foundation’s statement, but at least they will know where the Linux community developers stand. It’s obvious as to why the hardware companies don’t want to provide open source drivers, in order to remain competitive, but there has to be a tipping point at some point.
Visit the Linux Foundation website for more information.