GPL flag for drivers

Ross Vandegrift ross at
Tue May 15 09:06:10 PDT 2007

On Tue, May 15, 2007 at 01:17:36PM +0200, Andreas Girlich wrote:
> > Well, since's licensing doesn't prohibit _any_ use of the code,
> > while GPL does, it's probably going to be difficult to phrase the question
> > in a sense that won't offend someone.
> Why is it difficult to discuss an improvement (it is IMO) which will
> help everybody?
> Current politics must not be an obstacle.

I am as frustrated with binary-only drivers as you.  However, the X
culture is substantially different than the GPL/FSF culture that Linux
is more directly associated with.

It's always been an explicit goal of X to allow binary-only
distributions and parts.  So when you say "current politics must not
be an obstacle" and you call your plan an "improvement", you are
explicitly going against the culture and history of X.

As a user, I agree with you that binary drivers are a bummer.  But I
use and appreciate X, so I accept the culture that has been in place
since before I was born.

The place to change this is to encourage Intel and AMD's announcements that
they'll be producing more drivers with source available.  Hopefully,
this will snowball into such practices becoming more and more common.
But you need to realize that you're in a very different context with

Ross Vandegrift
ross at

"The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who
make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians
have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine
man in the bonds of Hell."
	--St. Augustine, De Genesi ad Litteram, Book II, xviii, 37

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