Novell writing open-source drivers...on its dime

Novell does something very right for Linux.

Here's some welcome news from Novell: it is paying for an engineer's time to write free (as in cost) open-source (as in transparency and freedom) Linux device drivers for those who release the hardware specs of their devices. From the developer's blog:

Yes, that's right, the Linux kernel community is offering all companies free Linux driver development. No longer do you have to suffer through all of the different examples in the Linux Device Driver Kit, or pick through the thousands of example drivers in the Linux kernel source tree trying to determine which one is the closest to what you need to do.

All that is needed is some kind of specification that describes how your device works, or the e-mail address of an engineer that is willing to answer questions every once in a while. A few sample devices might be good to have so that debugging doesn't have to be done by e-mail, but if necessary, that can be done.

Good work, Novell. This is just the sort of community involvement that will improve your reputation in the open-source community. Equally important, it's the sort of work that is necessary to make Linux run more smoothly for end customers.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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