Re: GPL vs non-GPL device drivers

From: linux-os \(Dick Johnson\)
Date: Fri Feb 16 2007 - 10:30:24 EST

On Thu, 15 Feb 2007, Robert Hancock wrote:

> linux-os (Dick Johnson) wrote:
>> There are a lot of device drivers that will never make it into the
>> mainline kernel because they are for one-of-a-kind devices or boards
>> that companies embed into their products. Nobody would even want a
>> copy of the software to interface with something that they would
>> never even have. When Version 2.6 started, it became necessary to
>> use special tools and procedures to compile a module that was not
>> inside the mainline kernel. However, it was still quite easy. Recently,
>> somebody, apparently with an advanced degree in obfuscation, has made
>> that more difficult. This is abuse, pure and simple. That, in my
>> opinion, is one of the major reasons why people who use Linux in
>> embedded systems end up using very old versions.
> What are you talking about? There's nothing wrong with external module
> compilation in current kernels. You need about a 5-line makefile that
> calls the kernel build system, and it works fine.
> --
> Robert Hancock Saskatoon, SK, Canada
> To email, remove "nospam" from hancockr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Home Page:

Have you tried it recently? Attached is a compressed session
showing compiling fine. Then the same thing is attempted
with 2.6.19. It fails with some "improper configuration" errors.
This script shows that I execute the demanded commands
as 'make oldconfig' and 'make prepare'. Then I try to compile
again resulting, again with the exact same errors.
This was reported on the Linux kernel list and somebody stated,
with much authority BTW, "we don't support out of tree
drivers anymore."

I took that as a clue to create an environment where I don't give
a damn what the obfuscators do anymore. I made some tools that
will allow me to compile my modules. Of course that doesn't fix
the fact that the names and calling parameters of many macros keep
getting changed. I've fixed that by making my own replacements.


Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version on an i686 machine (5594.84 BogoMips).
New book:

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