freshmeat: Speeding up Linux Device Driver Development

“Recently, I got a Logitech USB Web camera which I wanted to use
with my laptop, which is running Linux Mandrake. I eagerly
connected it. The USB daemon recognized that I had plugged in a
device and tried to find a module which would be suitable for it.
Unfortunately, none was found. At that point, I knew Hell was
waiting for me. I searched the Web and Usenet for information on
how to make my new camera work under Linux, but with no luck. I
read the kernel documentation about Logitech Web cameras. I even
found some support, but only for the parallel version. The
documentation also stated that Logitech refuses to give any specs
or info on their products. I downloaded the 2.4 kernel, compiled
and installed it — but still with no luck. I even thought about
modifying that parallel driver to support USB, but had no time for

“As an average programmer, I’m skilled enough to make necessary
modifications to the kernel, but an average desktop user surely
won’t cope with it; he has problems even with compiling downloaded
kernel source. In order for Linux to become a desktop OS, this
should be fixed very soon.”

Not very happy with the situation, I decided to write this
article and share some ideas on how things should be done to
improve device drivers for various hardware devices under


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