User: Password:
Subscribe / Log in / New account

UIO: user-space drivers

UIO: user-space drivers

Posted Jun 5, 2007 10:01 UTC (Tue) by hjkoch (guest, #45353)
In reply to: UIO: user-space drivers by xav
Parent article: UIO: user-space drivers

Yes. And if it's an in-kernel driver, they either violate the GPL and/or
hack up something completely unmaintainable. UIO gives them the
possibility to do the dirty part of the driver in user space, and it can
simply become a part of their application. They can use the tools they
know, and don't have kernel version issues. And they can choose any
license they want for the userspace part. BTW, all userspace drivers I'm
aware of are GPL.

(Log in to post comments)

Printer drivers

Posted Jul 23, 2007 5:54 UTC (Mon) by ringerc (subscriber, #3071) [Link]

Some printer drivers are implemented in userspace and are not GPL.

The Samsung monstrosity recently covered by LWN is one such example. Another is the CUPS filter & backend shipped with the Xerox CentreWare suite, which is a living fossil, complete with dropping its self into random bits of /usr .

This issue concerns me too. On one hand, I'd prefer a closed source driver to no driver much of the time. On the other hand, if it's a bad driver it's not much better than no driver at all, and lacking the ability to fix or debug it because it's just a binary blob would be seriously annoying.

Hopefully this won't lead to a large surge in closed source userspace drivers. Still, if it does, at least they'll have to work harder to bring the machine down.

Printer drivers

Posted Oct 10, 2007 2:36 UTC (Wed) by Richard_J_Neill (subscriber, #23093) [Link]

It should also be easier to reverse-engineer a userspace driver by just watching what it does. What is *really* nasty are binary drivers with a dependency on a specific (usually 3-years obsolete) kernel version.

For example, I bought an expensive ($500) fast 32-bit parallel I/O card 4 years ago, which claimed to have Linux support. This turned out to be "but only on RedHat 7.3 with the default kernel". In the end, we threw out the hardware. Actually, we replaced it with another "Linux-supported" hardware item, called a QuickUSB. This also had only a binary driver, but it used libusb, and we were able to reverse-engineer it to write a GPL-driver. (But it still wasn't good enough in the end).

Printer drivers

Posted Oct 6, 2009 9:07 UTC (Tue) by Nisok (guest, #61161) [Link]

Hi Richard
Could you please give me these GPL drivers?

Copyright © 2017, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds