The Linux Kernel and Open Source Drivers
Jul 23, 2009, 23:02 (0 Talkback[s])
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
"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."
DRM in this context means "Direct Rendering Manager", not
"Digital Rights Management". --ed.