FreeBSD Kernel Internals Documentation

Polytropon freebsd at
Fri Dec 30 15:57:29 UTC 2011

On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 09:59:14 -0500, Jerry wrote:
> On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 14:22:30 +0100
> Polytropon articulated:
> > >From "man iwn":  
> > 
> > 	Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965/1000/5000/5150/5300/6000/6050
> > 	IEEE 802.11n driver
> So they actually got support for one such device. I refer you to
> <>
> which does not even list support for "n" protocol devices.

In a web forum (where certain kinds of users expect
documentation to take place), the following list for
support in 9.0-RELEASE can be read:

Airlink101 AWLL6090
Belkin F5D8051 ver 3000
Belkin F5D8053
Belkin F5D8055
Belkin F6D4050 ver 1
Buffalo WLI-UC-AG300N
Buffalo WLI-UC-G300N
Buffalo WLI-UC-GN
D-Link DWA-130 rev B1
D-Link DWA-140
DrayTek Vigor N61
Edimax EW-7711UAn
Edimax EW-7711UTn
Edimax EW-7717Un
Edimax EW-7718Un
Gigabyte GN-WB30N
Gigabyte GN-WB31N
Gigabyte GN-WB32L
Hawking HWDN1
Hawking HWUN1
Hawking HWUN2
Hercules HWNU-300
Linksys WUSB54GC v3
Linksys WUSB600N
Mvix Nubbin MS-811N
Planex GW-USMicroN
Planex GW-US300MiniS
Sitecom WL-182
Sitecom WL-188
Sitecom WL-301
Sitecom WL-302
Sitecom WL-315
Sweex LW303
Sweex LW313
Unex DNUR-81
Unex DNUR-82

This clearly is more than "one such device". If you
employ a common means of finding documentation for
a certain kind of users - using google - you'll be
able to determine the source of that list.

> I am not sure if this is an introductory level chip or used in higher
> end devices although I have my strong suspicions. In any case, newer
> and more fully functional "n" devices still lack any significant, and I
> use that word graciously, support.

You can see from the list that there is work being
done. I'm sure as soon as "all" devices are fully
supported, this kind of devices will be obsoleted
and replaced by something different - which _then_
will lack support.

> As for your inquiry as to why I don't write one myself, fair enough. I
> have a family to support, various organizations I work with or
> contribute to, etcetera. To actually invest the time (and I have no
> idea how much time it would entail), thereby taking it away from other
> ventures I am involved in, i.e "work" for example, not to mention the
> documentation that I would probably have to buy to learn how to
> actually write a driver for such a device and make it work on FreeBSD
> since I have never done it before, and acquire whatever other skills
> and material I might need all for a grand ROI of "$0" is beyond absurd.

Luckily, FreeBSD documentation comes for $0. The
required documentation to access the hardware...
well, that's a different question.

Again, as we did discuss (and agree upon) before,
supporting FreeBSD is not in the scope of hardware
manufacturers. Supporting more than the platform
they get "aliments" for simply wouldn't pay. The
unit sales for _this_ world of IT are simply to
low to justify the work.

The alternative would be to release all the specs
for the hardware. But if a manufacturer doesn't
want to do this, primarily to _not_ publish
essentials of the business, it is okay. Of course,
this makes it harder for _free_ volunteers to
write a driver. One could argument: The manufacturer
_doesn't_ want you to use his hardware on any OS
that is not "Windows" - which again is his right.

> I am not a socialist asshole.

I'm happy to hear that, so please don't behave like one.

> I don't expect the government to bankroll
> me while I sit on my ass working on a hobby.

So why do _you_ bankroll the government with your
tax money for sitting on their ass spying at you
or doing nothing? :-)

> If FreeBSD really wanted to make a quality product they would hire
> competent programmers to create the drivers, etcetera that are seriously
> needed. I would gladly pay any reasonable charge for a product that
> worked. I am not a socialist/fascist asshole and I despise those who
> are. Other OSs have all ready gone this route.

I would also be willing to buy FreeBSD as an OS if
the functionality I require can be purchased that
way. It's not that I'm using free software exclusively.
I can't do that because _my_ reqirements are 99% met
by free software, and 1% isn't, and this is where I
happily pay to get things working.

(On the other hand, I often, nearly _regularly_ see
products people pay for that do _not_ work, and they
don't have any chance to get their money back, or
get any other kind of compensation from the makers
of that software.)

On the other hand, I'd be happy to provide such kind
of driver support, even for free, to contribute back
to the community that provided me a versatile, safe
and fast OS for $0 which allows me to get my work
done without trouble. You may call this "socialist"
(but I'd call it "social"), because I feel it's not
wrong to give something back if I'm allowed to take
something for free. Unlike a typical setting in sales,
this is not mandatory. Sadly, I'm not skilled enough
for this kind of device driver hacking, I really lack
experience in this particular field.

Regarding 802.11n WiFi support, maybe you're interested
in reading the interview with Adrian Chadd on 802.11n
support in FreeBSD:

> By the way, just out of morbid curiosity, how are ASLR and KMS support
> coming along? Doing a quick perusal it would appear that everyone but
> FreeBSD supports them. I am sure if I am in error and FreeBSD has full
> support for them you will inform me of same.

I think KMS is still a Linuxism, such as Wayland. But
it's possible that it will arrive in FreeBSD when an
urgent need by its users is expressed. As long as this
is a "niche application", I don't think support will
be created. You know, it's _very_ deep inside the
bowels of the OS where this work has to be done...

"Initial support for the NX bit, on x86-64 and x86
processors that support it, first appeared in
FreeBSD -CURRENT on June 8, 2004. It has been in
FreeBSD releases since the 5.3 release." from WP;
SSP should be present since 8.0, if I remember
correctly. Regarding ASLR, I'm not sure if this is
an attack vector to FreeBSD (or if the threat which
ASLR compensates is just present on "Windows").

> Poly, you are an admitted liar.

Proof not provided, claim rejected.

> Read your own statements; you have
> admitted so yourself.

No, I haven't. You must have been reading something

> I fail to see where continuing a dialog with an
> admitted liar serves any purpose.

It seems that whenever your own logic turns against
your argumentation, you cancel the discussion. Of
course - it wouldn't lead anywhere for you.

> Have a Happy New Year. A year in which you can contribute to
> discussions regarding subjects you may or may not know anything about
> depending on what fabrication you had previously spewed. I wonder if
> the "Liar paradox" would be of interest here? Ah, so many things to
> contemplate in the new year.

Same to you. Maybe you'll have the chance to review
your logic, your way of concluding and dealing with
different kinds of expressions (facts, assumptions,
conditionals, conclusions, experiences, feelings),
and become more polite by avoiding offending terminology
that you seem to not fully understand (as you are
particularly "cherry-picking" both in what you take
into discussion and what you want to seen interpreted
into your own words). If your discussion culture would
benefit from such a correction, I'd be glad to exchange
arguments with you on a polite and usable discussion
basis, but as long as you're failing to maintain the
basics of discussion culture, I fear that this is not
possible (even though I'm trying)...

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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