Drivers with firmware (was Re: Linux-2.0.1)

Paul Gortmaker (
Fri, 5 Jul 1996 02:41:17 +1000 (EST)

- From Alan Cox ( Thu, 4 Jul 1996 10:09:05 +0100 (BST)

> > Developers: I will NOT accept large patches any more. If you find bugs,
> > go for the one-liner obvious bugfix rather than a rewrite. Due to me
> > being abroad I couldn't work as closely with people on 2.0.1 patches as I
> > need to, but I'm back, and this kind of mega-patch will NOT happen again..
> Does this include drivers as we will need to add a fairly large driver
> chunk because the Metricom firmware has changed. That should all be a
> single clean driver not affecting other files.

As the hardware trend seems to be towards downloadable firmware onto
ROM-less cards, it might make sense to encourage associated drivers
to use compressed firmware files in conjunction with lib/inflate.c
at least for those cases where it makes sense to do so.

Here is a case in point:

foo:/tmp/linux/drivers/net> ls -l dgrs_firmware.c
-rw-r--r-- 1 gpg109 users 579161 Apr 20 18:22 dgrs_firmware.c
foo:/tmp/linux/drivers/net> gzip -cv9 dgrs_firmware.c | wc -c
dgrs_firmware.c: 88.6%

It is worth noting however that the dgrs driver has the option of not
directly slurping up the firmware into the driver data.


main(){long i,f,m=19248;f=open("/dev/tty",0);if(!fork())for(;;i++,ioctl(f,m,
(1<<23)+(rand()&2047)),ioctl(f,m+2,rand()%8),sleep(1));} /* Linux Console */