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littlebigman 04-09-2012 03:53 AM

Kernel dependency when adding driver?

I just read this:

What is happening now is Broadcom and Qualcom/Atheros now work with the Linux kernel community providing a better set of drivers and technologies for wireless on Linux.
Out of curiosity, why does the kernel need to be modified when adding a driver (module)?

Since drivers can be either compiled statically in the kernel, or dynamically as independent files and loaded when needed, why does the kernel need to be changed to include new drivers?

Is this due to Linux being a monolithic architecture vs. eg. Minix being a micro-kernel architecture? I don't have the technical knowledge to understand this.

Thank you.

syg00 04-09-2012 04:02 AM

The kernel devs won't accept binary blobs. However they "bent" the rule a bit and allowed proprietary firmware to remain as a blob but (sorta) "out-of-tree". However the interface code had to be in the mainline (i.e. open), and of acceptable quality.

Some vendors needed more arm-twisting than others.

littlebigman 04-16-2012 08:35 AM

Thanks for the explanation.

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