Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

September 2, 2004

proprietary kernel modules are bad for you

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 4:17 PM

The excellent lwn.net has an outstanding piece in this week’s Weekly Edition on why proprietary kernel modules are bad for you. Well done, sirs! (subscriber only for the next week, but well worth the subscription).

It is thus in the interest of all users to discourage proprietary modules. It is not a question of irrational allergies to end-user license agreements or free software fundamentalism; it is, instead, a matter of creating the most stable and capable kernel possible. Had the kernel been a friendlier environment for proprietary code, the kernel we all use now would be less capable, less stable, and less portable than it is. When you see a proprietary module break, or (as in the case of the PWC driver) be withdrawn, what you are seeing is the risk which is inherent in the use of non-free modules, not irrational behavior on the part of the kernel developers.

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