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Closed Linux Driver Problems Described

Nov 25, 2008, 18:04 (5 Talkback[s])

"Binary kernel modules have long inspired legal, philosophical, and even moral debate in the community. However, Welte focuses only on technical reasons to avoid binary drivers. Instead, companies should work with the Linux kernel developer community, through resources such as the Linux embedded mailing list.

"Welte explained that unlike some OSes, the Linux kernel offers no ABI (application binary interface) for external binary modules. So, there is not really any way for a driver to exist outside of the kernel.

"Furthermore, Linux is not intended to have a stable kernel-space API (application programming interface), Welte said. That means that if you build a binary module, there is no guarantee it will work with a later kernel, including even the most minor of interim dot releases. "Every minor new Linux kernel release can and will break the API," Welte said."

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