"Blob" and FreeBSD

Erik Trulsson ertr1013 at student.uu.se
Wed Mar 29 15:22:38 UTC 2006


On Wed, Mar 29, 2006 at 09:45:52AM -0500, Adam Stroud wrote:
> I have been using both Open and Free BSD for a few years.  Here is a 
> Quick question about FreeBSD and the use of third party closed source 
> binary drivers (known as "blob" to the OpenBSD community).  I was just 
> doing some reading on the OpenBSD website about their views on third 
> closed source drivers (they are completely against them).  Are the 
> FreeBSD developers/community also against the use of closed drivers? 

Most people involved with open source projects dislike closed drivers, and
FreeBSD are no exception here.  FreeBSD does however tend to take a somewhat
more pragmatic approach then the OpenBSD people do, and do not absolutely
refuse to use binary-only drivers if that is the only option available.

> Are these type of drivers currently being used in FreeBSD?

Yes.  hptmv(4), nve(4) and ath_hal(4) are examples of drivers where a
significant portion of the driver is only available as binary "blob."

>  Any 
> comments/pointers to relevant information would be greatly appreciated.



-- 
<Insert your favourite quote here.>
Erik Trulsson
ertr1013 at student.uu.se


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