Shrinking the kernel with gcc
Posted Jan 24, 2004 7:02 UTC (Sat) by bronson
In reply to: Shrinking the kernel with gcc
Parent article: Shrinking the kernel with gcc
Are you "making money" using a kernel that runs closed-source drivers? If so, then why??? Just go buy a video card that has open-source drivers and sleep better at night. Problem solved.
Back when Linux had fairly poor hardware support (1996), I was very much in favor of closed source drivers. I remember wanting Linus to freeze an ABI so drivers wouldn't break with every kernel upgrade. I was perfectly happy running random code.
Times have changed. Hardware support in Linux is _excellent_. And just imagine how bloated and incompetent the kernel would be if a driver ABI had been established. RCU, elevator, preemt, etc. -- all these changes would have been effectively impossible (not without _massive_ amounts of cruft anyway).
Watching Linux over the past few years has convinced me: binary-only drivers seriously impede development. They're also a security risk (heck, I might even consider them a downright threat). New hardware is cheap. There's just no need to put up with them anymore.
to post comments)