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05 June 2009, 16:48

Status Report: The Linux Driver Project

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The Linux Driver Project (DLP), started by kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman about two and a half years ago, is a group of Linux kernel developers and project managers that focus on developing and maintaining Linux kernel drivers for device manufacturers. The group works with manufacturers to create free drivers for various hardware. The project also aims to make sure that work on new and experimental drivers, takes place publicly.

To a large extent, many of the projects objectives have been achieved: the developers have created a large number of drivers for a wide range of different hardware devices and the group receives about two queries a month for drivers from different companies. Several of the companies have also ended up becoming maintainers for their own codebases within the kernel and can now take part in the kernel development process.

However, while working with some companies on their drivers, the group noticed that there is still a lot of work to be done to educate companies: both in terms of the Linux kernel development process, as well as in the basics of writing drivers for Linux. Kroah-Hartman hopes that, through new training from the Linux Foundation, the increased demand can be met.

Overall, the Linux Driver project has been so successful that major changes do not need to be introduced. The developers will continue to write drivers with and on behalf of companies and show them how to merge their existing Linux kernel drivers into the main kernel tree. The group will also continue to help them learn about how the Linux kernel development process works and provide the technical knowledge needed to participate within it.


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