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Thread: Drivers for Linux: Great article

  1. #1
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    Drivers for Linux: Great article

    Have you ever wondered why it is easy to install 3rd-party drivers from a CD in Windows or Mac OS while the same is hard on Linux and almost always involves compiling kernel modules that break when you upgrade the kernel?

    Well, today I found an article that explains this and offers potential solutions:

    http://www.linuxdevcenter.com/pub/a/...iver_ease.html

    I could not agree more. And here comes an idea:
    Why can't we have a "binarydriverloader" kernel module with a standardized API that loads binary kernel modules written for it (similar to what we do with windows binary drivers)?

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    I can not agree. (as usual )
    Most of my devices work, and have in-tree-source-drivers.
    The winmodem has no working (source-) driver.

    And some first-party Win-drivers don't work too.

    Distros should install the kernel-source allways, and show the user how to patch his kernel.
    Voila.

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    Here's what you said, UU:

    Quote Originally Posted by user unknown
    Distros should install the kernel-source allways, and show the user how to patch his kernel.
    Here's what Windows users trying Linux will take from that:

    Blah, blah, blah-blah, blah-blah-blah, blah-blah.
    Meanwhile, their machines will be broken in Linux, but work in Windows. They will get frustrated, and they will bail. That's the point. Using Windows is easy. Using Linux is hard. I can use my wlan card in my laptop with Windows, because the drivers are autodected and loaded when plug-n-play detects my card. I cannot use wlan with Linux, because, even though the driver is on the disk, right there in its hip pocket, Linux can't seem to find it with both hands on its butt. Accordingly, I can't get the wlan to work. Guess which OS I'm going to rely upon when I'm on the road using a hotspot.

    Who benefits from making Linux hard to use? [Hint] He's one of the world's richest men.[/hint]

    jd

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    Ask most windows what a kernel even is and they'll likely reply "popcorn".

    Of course you cannot simply change kernels in windows, you're stuck with whatever M$ gives you (what else is new on that front?) . I like alot of the ideas mentioned in the linked article but does it address the fact that many drivers for linux simply do not exist?

    It's true, most users don't care to know anything more than how to power on the pc and use it. While I think that the new generation of pc users will have a much easier time of learning about thing such as kernels the existing pc users do not nor do they have the time required to learn about them.

    Of course building every driver know to man into the kernel is a loser. I at least would never even consider using a kernel that was so large. It takes me all of 15 minutes to build a new kernel.

    Frankly I think it's silly to have an icon appear on my desktop when I plug in a USB device. I can mount and unmount it much faster then clicking that stupid system tray icon that tells me "it's ok to unplug your device now" Bah! Like I need that using up my resources too!

    Linux does however need a better way to build and load drivers. As long as they do not expect me to reboot my box every time I install something (like another well know OS ) or use non-OSS then I'm all for it. I wish this projectthe best of luck.

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    Well, after thinking more about the problem, one thing became apparent to me: If it was easy to write binary drivers that are compatible to more than just one kernel version, then hardware makers would probably starting to release Linux drivers in very large and uncontrolled quantities, which would

    a) decrease quality
    b) make it impossible for Knoppix to include them (nearly) all

    So what initially seems like a problem (the impossibility of binary-compatible drivers) is perhaps actually an advantage of Linux?

    But still, things like Nvidia need a solution.

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    Who benefits from making Linux hard to use? [Hint] He's one of the world's richest men.[/hint]
    Are you interested in this question?

    It's a boring question to me.

    But I'm interested in open source.
    And what if I plug-in my usb-stick with no desktop at all?
    With a desktop, which doesn't have icons?
    When booting into runlevel 1,2,3?

    With a multi-card-reader, I would have 5 icons poping up!

    I like the idea of basic functions and having control over my system.
    And I don't like the idea of making linux a low-cost windows.

    I know a lot of people having these wonderful easy to manage, iconheavy OS.
    They cannot install the OS, they have viruses and worms, it's often broken and needs a complete reinstall, and is shutting down for suspicious reasons.
    Then I arrive with my knoppix-cd, and make it work again - remove viruses, fdisk, hardwarechecks and so on.

    Last time the wonderful icon-OS didn't find the network stuff - I found it in a xy20.cab-file, but I couldn't tell the system, where the programs are, because there where buttons and icons but no button to tell where the cab-files are, and no commandline of course.

    And I fear the day, linux will look alike.

    Fight the icons!
    Kill the buttons!
    Run the commandline!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mzilikazi
    Ask most windows what a kernel even is and they'll likely reply "popcorn".
    "Son, I don't know any Colonel Lennox. Is he in the Army?"

    jd

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    Hmm I wonder why people want this out of linux...
    Why not just use *BSD ??

    Compiling a kernel doesnt need to be hard, gentoo have made it incredibly simple but some people object to even typing make!!

    The wifi problem is a special problem for opensource and is due to FCC regulations .. so dont blame linux blame your government regulators.
    And even so don't expect WEP since this is encryption and hence must also be banned.

    Frankly I think it's silly to have an icon appear on my desktop when I plug in a USB device. I can mount and unmount it much faster then clicking that stupid system tray icon that tells me "it's ok to unplug your device now" Bah! Like I need that using up my resources too!
    Exactly, not to mention starting to play DVD's or transferring from my Camera automatically when I really want to upload a photo???

    [/quote]

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    Quote Originally Posted by user unknown
    Fight the icons!
    Kill the buttons!
    Run the commandline!
    Well, have you ever used Mac OS X? You should...
    And having drivers work without compiling anything shouldn't be a privilege of paying users.

    "make" is for the developes, not for the users!
    Users want usability, not cryptic codes!
    Commandline is ok, but only in the backend!

  10. #10
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    Well said, indeed!

    I love having the ability and the freedom to compile, edit, rewrite, modify, remaster, etc. But to require that of users simply to run apps and devices is annoying at the very least, and very frustrating. I don't think anyone suggested that power users couldn't modify at will - only that new users wouldn't have to.

    If this is to be a viable desktop replacement OS for a home or office use, then nobody should ever be required to know how to compile anything.

    jd

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