GPL flag for drivers

Alan Cox alan at
Tue May 15 10:57:13 PDT 2007

On Tue, 15 May 2007 10:43:00 -0700
Kean Johnston <kean at> wrote:

> > Fact is, that vendors call their drivers "Linux compliant". So I expect
> > a program which runs fine under Linux _and_ X. This is a pair you
> > cannot bisect after such statement.
> I think what nVidia and ATI do *are* "Linux compliant". I can install
> Linux, I can install, and I can drive my nVidia or ATI hardware
> with their drivers. Thats as "compliant" as it needs to be. I think
> wher you err is that you assume that because it runs on Linux it MUST
> be open source. Thats not "Linux compliant", thats "open source
> compliant" and those are two extremely different things.

You confuse "can" and "are permitted to" once you get into the kernel
code they ship. The X11 userspace doesn't mind.

You can drive at 250km/hour. You may not be permitted by the law to do so.

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