Re: The end of embedded Linux?

Date: Tue Oct 08 2002 - 05:11:44 EST

On 7 Oct 2002, at 21:22, Alan Cox wrote:

> On Mon, 2002-10-07 at 18:15, wrote:
> > a serial port and an interupt controller. What I was trying to explain
> > was that I would not mind making my code available for these
> > kernel changes. Although I don't understand why anyone would
> > want it. Apart from API changes, why do this ? The kernel is not
> > easily or frequently changed on this type of system. It would bloat
> > the kernel and I would expect to have to address problems of this
> > nature myself. However I would not like to make code available for
> > the more specialised hardware.
> That depends how specialized the hardware actually is. I think I've see
> six different non free implementations of 68360 sync serial code around
> all proprietary for example.

The UART and Interrupt controllers in question are built into a gate
array. I can't see how any external or parts from other vendors
would be compatible. To get the board to boot Linux I have to
modify the kernel and lilo. I understand that under the GPL rules I
would have to make this code available. I am willing to do this but I
don't see the point.

There is also more specialized hardware for which I have written
modules. Although there appears to be some unwritten rule about
releasing objects, I believe that the GPL rules state that these
modules must conform to the GPL also, as they contain header
files. I cannot see how any module can not contain Linux headers
or headers derived from Linux headers if it is to be loaded on a
Linux kernel.

These modules again drive gate array hardware for which nobody
else will ever have a compatible. Although I would dearly love to
use Linux as the platform for my project I feel I cannot release this
code under the GPL.

This is my dilemma and I am sure it is shared by others. For this
reason I cannot see how anything but an embedded PC with
applications or a perhaps a very simple hardware device could be
considered as an opportunity for embedded Linux.

I have based these thoughts on my experiences so far. If you feel I
have drawn an incorrect conclusion I would be grateful for your

Many Thanks


> Also my original comments were much more aimed at the core stuff. People
> who made existing and especially core stuff smaller could send the stuff
> out. Several of us want to compile a CONFIG_TINY option, and suprisingly
> enough small is good on high end boxes. My L1 cache is 8 times faster
> than my L2 cache is 7 times faster than my memory. Or to put it another
> way, going to main memory costs me maybe 100 instructions.
> My Athlon thinks small is good too!


Simon Haynes - Baydel
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