GPL flag for drivers

Andreas Girlich xorg at
Tue May 15 02:29:59 PDT 2007

Hello everybody,

this is just a mail to raise discussion for a well known problem. As
you might know, some kernel developers want to have a "GPL flag" in the
sources to ensure, that no GPL violation happens due to the use of
closed-source drivers.

What if there is such a flag in The enterprise I'm working in
just enjoyed to debug a X-server which uses a closed-source driver
(see Some big
hardware vendors (ATI, nvidia, matrox) ships its drivers as
closed-source object code (some other do not, e.g. intel and XGI),
which makes everything even more difficult than it already is. At the
same time, they promote the Linux compatibility of their products and
advertise it for use in special environments. Linux compatibility means
also support for X11 window system. This would be no problem, if they
give suitable support for open source developers or system integrators.
But this support lacks often, while the customer (mostly SI) has an
urgent problem which needs to be solved. In our special case (see the
link) we did not get any support by the vendor, but are bound to get a
solution for the problem.

While X11 needs to be stable and less buggy, wouldn't it help us to get
this sources?


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