GPL flag for drivers

Andreas Girlich xorg at
Wed May 16 09:01:04 PDT 2007

On Tue, 15 May 2007 10:39:07 -0700
Kean Johnston <kean at> wrote:

> > I would definitly not a driver call a plugin. A program with plugins
> > runs without them, too. X without driver is useless.
> That is only true if there are NO drivers. You have choices. I don't
> believe for a minute that there is only *ONE* video card on the market
> that serves your purposes. As a systems integrator you should be
> focused on finding a solution, not pushing one you have found or
> are comfortable with. Just my $0.02.
I agree. I'm an employee for a SI¹ and finding solutions is our primary
work. Provisional or temporary solutions are not what we and the
end-user wants. Actually, we went very deep into debugging, what is
normally not our business. But while we want to have a solution which
satisfies everybody we we're forced to do it. I'm sure that every party
of this issue saves lots of money and time when the vendors make an
effort to erase their secrets.

> I agree with previous posters that while it may be unfortunate that
> some HW vendors dont publish the source to their drivers, that those
> closed source drivers are prefereble to none at all. Its a dangerous
> game to play when you try to push hardware people around. The Linux
> community accounts for such a tiny percentage of video card sales
> that if people rock the boat too much, it may very well be in the
> vendor's best interest to simply drop all support for it simply to
> avoid the headaches.
Linux is not a niche market any more. You'll find Linux in ticket
automates, phone booths (=the embedded market), all kinds of servers
and workstations, monitoring systems and so on. Many big companies stand
behind these machines and they are happy with Linux, cause it works
(until they need to debug xorg w/ binary drivers). The end-user doesn't
want to know what is behind the screen, but these big companies which
take Linux to build innovative systems are big enough to put the
pressure on the vendors to have an ear for us.


¹: Please, I speak for my own, not for any company. I'm an apprentice
and I recognised this awful lot work that happens around me. This is
why I opened this discussion. Just well-intended.

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