LinuxTag 2009: Better Bad Drivers than None

Jun 29, 2009

In the conference's traditional "Kernel Kwestioning" seminar this year in Berlin, 11 kernel developers addressed questions from the public. The result was that the panel of experts invited the entire community to send Linux drivers to the kernel mailing list, quality notwithstanding.

The topic turned to drivers when one panelist mentioned that defective drivers were making their way to kernel staging, where code may linger unintegrated. This announcement prompted Hans-Jürgen Koch from Linuxtronix to remember Greg Kroah-Hartman's invitation from a few years back: as many Linux drivers as possible should end up in the mainline kernel.

Koch underlined his statement with, "Every code in the mainline kernel is better than code wasting away on someone's hard drive. It's good that we have staging,... There are so many drivers for hardware found only in some embedded devices." He appealed to all those attending: "Bring your drivers to the mainline kernel!" Even a questionable driver can, under circumstances, serve as the basis for further development.

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