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Old 10-13-2013, 08:02 AM   #1
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Is is it possible to thunk windows drivers to linux?

I am having a discussion about linux having more problems with device drivers than windows and MacOS X.

And some people state that all those problems with drivers (including proprietary problems) are because of bad linux driver model. They say that it is easy to make something that would thunk windows drivers into p-code for linux, and that would solve all the problems. As a example they mention when Microsoft created 16-bit thunk on windows 95 so that it could run all 16-bit applications and drivers from windows 3.x.

I am interested if it is actually possible? And if it is what are advantages/disadvantages of that?
Old 10-13-2013, 08:51 AM   #2
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I am having a discussion about linux having more problems with device drivers than windows and MacOS X.

You know, people keep bringing this up, but other than Broadcom wireless drivers I've never really experienced it in my decade plus years of using Linux as my daily OS.

Anyways, you might want to look into the ndiswrapper project. That was born out of desperation when the fools at Broadcom refused to support Linux in any way, shape or form. That is the only project I'm aware of that made a serious attempt to get Windows drivers working on Linux (which isn't to say it is the only one, I certainly may have missed some).

The advantages are that, well, you might get hardware working in Linux that you wouldn't otherwise (certainly the case with Broadcom's crap). The disadvantages are that it is usually a monstrous hack and the bugs and unexpected behaviors are legion. And in general, I've found as long as you do some basic homework, Linux drivers simply aren't an issue.

Last edited by Hangdog42; 10-13-2013 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:57 AM   #3
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Not sure I'd ever say linux has a bad driver model.

As stated, ndiswrapper was designed to be a one stop way to allow windows drivers of any kind to be used in other OS's. It currently doesn't allow every type of driver or device but it could.

The model of 16 bit and 32 bit doesn't really apply here.

Porting a drive isn't easy, trust me. You are welcome to try to fix what you have or port a driver.
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