As part of the Linux Foundation Technical board, we confront the issue of closed source Linux kernel modules all the time, and we wanted to do something that could be seen as a general "public statement" about them that is easy to understand and point to when people have questions.

So, after working on this for a while, and asking some of the other major contributors and maintainers of the kernel, what we have is below.

There is also a site that contains a link to a statement from the Linux Foundation about this topic, as well as some more descriptions and background information, and a copy of the full statement as well.

I've also put a pretty pdf version here in case people want to print it out.

If there are any kernel developers who want to add their names to this statement, please let me know by private email and I will be glad to add it.

Position Statement on Linux Kernel Modules June 2008

We, the undersigned Linux kernel developers, consider any closed-source Linux kernel module or driver to be harmful and undesirable. We have repeatedly found them to be detrimental to Linux users, businesses, and the greater Linux ecosystem. Such modules negate the openness, stability, flexibility, and maintainability of the Linux development model and shut their users off from the expertise of the Linux community. Vendors that provide closed-source kernel modules force their customers to give up key Linux advantages or choose new vendors. Therefore, in order to take full advantage of the cost savings and shared support benefits open source has to offer, we urge vendors to adopt a policy of supporting their customers on Linux with open-source kernel code.

We speak only for ourselves, and not for any company we might work for today, have in the past, or will in the future.

Dave Airlie
Jens Axboe
Ralf Baechle
Arnd Bergmann
Vitaly Bordug
James Bottomley
Josh Boyer
Neil Brown
Mark Brown
David Brownell
Michael Buesch
Franck Bui-Huu
Adrian Bunk
Ralph Campbell
Mauro Carvalho Chehab
Denis Cheng
Jonathan Corbet
Glauber Costa
Alan Cox
Magnus Damm
Ahmed S. Darwish
Robert P. J. Day
Helge Deller
Jean Delvare
Mathieu Desnoyers
Alexey Dobriyan
Daniel Drake
Alex Dubov
Randy Dunlap
Michael Ellerman
Jan Engelhardt
Mark Fasheh
J. Bruce Fields
Larry Finger
Jeremy Fitzhardinge
Mike Frysinger
Kumar Gala
Robin Getz
Liam Girdwood
Thomas Gleixner
Brice Goglin
Cyrill Gorcunov
Andy Gospodarek
Thomas Graf
Harvey Harrison
Stephen Hemminger
Michael Hennerich
Tejun Heo
Benjamin Herrenschmidt
Kristian Høgsberg
Henrique de Moraes Holschuh
Marcel Holtmann
Mike Isely
Takashi Iwai
Olof Johansson
Dave Jones
Jesper Juhl
Matthias Kaehlcke
Kenji Kaneshige
Jan Kara
Jeremy Kerr
Russell King
Olaf Kirch
Roel Kluin
Hans-JÃŒrgen Koch
Auke Kok
Jiri Kosina
Mariusz Kozlowski
Greg Kroah-Hartman
Michael Krufky
Aneesh Kumar
Clemens Ladisch
Christoph Lameter
Grant Likely
John W. Linville
Yinghai Lu
Tony Luck
Pavel Machek
Matt Mackall
Roland McGrath
Patrick McHardy
Kyle McMartin
Paul Menage
Thierry Merle
Eric Miao
Akinobu Mita
Ingo Molnar
Andrew Morton
Paul Mundt
Oleg Nesterov
Luca Olivetti
Pierre Ossman
Venkatesh Pallipadi
Nick Piggin
Nicolas Pitre
Richard Purdie
Mike Rapoport
Sam Ravnborg
Gerrit Renker
Stefan Richter
David Rientjes
Stefan Roese
Francois Romieu
Stephen Rothwell
Maciej W. Rozycki
Mark Salyzyn
Yoshinori Sato
Holger Schurig
Yoshihiro Shimoda
Sergei Shtylyov
Kay Sievers
Alexey Starikovskiy
Alan Stern
Hirokazu Takata
Eliezer Tamir
Doug Thompson
FUJITA Tomonori
Dmitry Torokhov
Marcelo Tosatti
Steven Toth
Theodore Tso
Geert Uytterhoeven
Arjan van de Ven
Ivo van Doorn
Wim Van Sebroeck
Hans Verkuil
Anton Vorontsov
Daniel Walker
Dan J. Williams
Darrick J. Wong
David Woodhouse
Chris Wright
Bryan Wu
Rafael J. Wysocki
Herbert Xu
Vlad Yasevich
Peter Zijlstra
Bartlomiej Zolnierkiewicz

posted Sun, 22 Jun 2008 in [/linux]


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