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Old 02-13-06, 06:23 PM   #1
ZicoTheTux
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Default gpl-only modules for linux in the future (?)

Hi there

Last days and weeks there where much discussions about only allowing gpl-modules running in future kernel versions.
Now it seems to be clear. 2.6.17 will probably never allow non-gpl modules to run.
How will this affect nvidias support?
Will nvidia continue to implement it's drivers? probably user space drivers?

To be clear:
I like linux very much and i use it as my main system. But i do NOT like this idea. I would mean Nvidia needs to make it's driver opensource and i DO understand if they wouldn't ....

Is that the end for my GeForce 6800Ultra on Linux?

I can't understand this. Nvidia provides superb support... and now this.
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Old 02-13-06, 07:15 PM   #2
energyman76b
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Default Re: gpl-only modules for linux in the future (?)

Hi,

where did you get this?
Who told you that?

Plus 2.6.17 is far in the future in the moment.

I think, if something like this really happens, nvidia will provide us with a technically and legally sound solution, like a gpl'ed kernel module that connects a userspace driver with the card.
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Old 02-14-06, 04:29 AM   #3
ZicoTheTux
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Default Re: gpl-only modules for linux in the future (?)

This is the patch file:
http://lkml.org/lkml/2006/2/8/273

There where several news on some german linux sites. Seems Novell (and I started to like SuSE) had this idea ...
Basically it seems to have something to do with the GPL rules. I don't understand it that exactly why it isn't allowed to let a non-gpl module interact with a GPL program, but nevertheless i don't see ANYTHING useful in that idealism.
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Old 02-14-06, 09:54 AM   #4
energyman76b
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Default Re: gpl-only modules for linux in the future (?)

and when Greg posted this first, Alan Cox found some words against it here:
http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=linu...0865815311&w=2

and to be honest - I don't see that this patch has been applied anywhere so far.
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Old 02-14-06, 10:02 AM   #5
energyman76b
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Default Re: gpl-only modules for linux in the future (?)

oh,

and I forgot: the RCU changes are because of IBM's patent, which should not hurt nvidia, and the USB change is not only two years in the future - if you want to write closed source usb drivers ,you can do it. That is, what libusb is made for. You have to put them in userspace, but that should be no problem.

So please stop panicing.
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Old 02-14-06, 10:55 AM   #6
ZicoTheTux
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Default Re: gpl-only modules for linux in the future (?)

Hm i'm totally confused.

I know this one patch only affects USB system ans libusb is a more than reliable interface but in some articles (golem.de - german) it's said it (whatever patches are meant) would affect Nvidia drivers as well.

I pray that this will not happen.
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Old 02-14-06, 12:51 PM   #7
wizdom
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Default Re: gpl-only modules for linux in the future (?)

You're all totally misinformed. Read the LKML.

Greg's patches are about indicating what symbols, exported from the kernel currently for use in proprietary modules, part of a "kernel ABI", should be made GPL only. In his case, he's responding to a recent complaint that he "closed" some of the USB API calls without giving people time to adjust (something GPL_FUTURE is meant to avoid).

Of course, he maintains that the USB drivers in question should have been implemented in a different way which is fully compatible with proprietary vendors and reduces the risks involved in running that code in kernelspace, by using usbfs/libusb..

I seriously doubt Linux will blanket block access to proprietary vendors, and this patch categorically is not an attempt to do that.

Cheers!
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Old 02-14-06, 01:23 PM   #8
zander
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Default Re: gpl-only modules for linux in the future (?)

@ZicoTheTux: and as far as the golem.de article you're likely referring to (http://www.golem.de/0602/43285.html) is concerned, it mentions the potential API entry point licensing changes discussed above and notes that Novell/SuSE intend to stop distributing non-GPL drivers with their distributions, but there is no mention of plans to actively prevent such drivers from being installed. You should still be able to download the NVIDIA Linux graphics drivers from nvidia.com and install them on future SuSE-based systems.
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Old 02-14-06, 04:15 PM   #9
PrakashP
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Default Re: gpl-only modules for linux in the future (?)

It is understandable that Novell doesn't want to ship binary drivers anymore, because support for non-working kernels is very hard, as kernel folks won't give support for tainted kernels. If you followed the discussions about suspend2 on lkml, you'll see that kernel devs highly dislike packing hunks of stuff into kernel space, as this destabilizes the kernel more easily. And looking at the nvidia driver you got a huge amount of code pushed in. A kernel dev would rather shoot himself before allowing that officially. Of course NVidia would argue, to get maximum speed they need to put this much into kernel space... Well, at least on my current machine the Nvidia driver is very stable, so I don't mind too much right now.
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