Kernel Developers Petition Against Closed Source Drivers

Jun 24, 2008

Kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has invited other kernel developers to sign a petition against closed source kernel modules.

This is a permanent issue for the Linux Foundation's technical board, Kroah-Hartman says. The petition is an attempt to present it as simple and understandable a way as possible. When people asked why developers had problems with closed source modules, developers could simply point to the petition.

In the statement the kernel developers call on hardware manufacturers to do without closed source modules in the kernel. Closed source modules are undesirable and damaging to the "Linux ecosystem", and to users and enterprises that rely on Linux. By distributing closed source code manufacturers not only negate the benefits of Linux, they also force users to choose competing vendors, the petition says.

The petition ends with an appeal to manufacturers to revise their policy and support customers by providing open source code. Some 135 kernel developers have signed the petition by now; the Linux Foundation supports the petition with additional background material.

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