Novell Partner Linux Driver Process
May 18, 2006 Leave a comment
Novell recently did a press release entitled “Novell Delivers Device Driver Breakthrough to Accelerate Linux Adoption. With device drivers being a sometimes maligned aspect of Linux, I was interested in exactly what Novell was going to do. After reading the press release, I really had no idea. After poking around the Novell site a little, I have a slightly better idea, *I think*, but there's still not a lot of technical detail available (or I am missing it). It appears that if you join the program and develop your driver in accordance to the Suse Kernel Module Packagers Manual, then your driver will be available via YaST and you'll also be notified in advance if an ABI change will break your driver. If the driver is certified, you can also get some level of support for it from Novell. At a certain level of certification, you can even ensure that your driver is available at the same time a kernel security update is released. Once nice thing here, is that Novell appears to be making an attempt to encourage development to take place in the mainline kernel, while allowing this as a way to obtain a driver either 1) before the driver is accepted upstream or 2) without having to upgrade your kernel. Both of those are nice, but hardly a “Breakthrough”, so I think I must be missing some other aspect. I'll have to keep reading. Once thing I don't really see mentioned is binary drivers. Will they be allowed as part of the process? If so, will a binary driver be allowed to certify somehow (say a Novell NDA)? I'm also waiting to see if Greg K-H comments on this, so I can see the nonmarketing side of things.
Novell, Suse, Linux, kernel, NOVL, Open Source