2020: Will BSD and Linux be relevant anymore?

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Thu Jul 21 14:32:17 UTC 2011

On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 10:52:28AM +0200, C. P. Ghost wrote:
> I'm not familiar with Windows, but I don't think a typical windows
> driver as written by a hardware vendor would manipulate the windows
> kernel internals (data structures) directly, right? If that's correct,
> we "merely" need to catch the ABI up- and down-calls from and to the
> windows driver, and translate them into regular FreeBSD syscalls (maybe
> augmented by a compat helper library?).
> Since this is exactly the approach taken by the Linuxulator, I fail to
> see why a similar method hasn't been tried for those windows kernel
> driver (binary blobs). Maybe some artificial restrictions like, say,
> patents are standing in the way? Or a technical restriction like such
> binary blobs being encrypted with a public key, and only usable from
> Windows kernel with their own secret key?

It may not be anything so exotic.  On a per-release basis, the MS Windows
ABIs and APIs change far more dramatically than the Linux kernel, and are
far less transparent to developers; they must in many cases be discovered
by experimentation, being closed source software.  Over a given period of
time, the changes to Linux may be greater in number and magnitude (I'm
not a kernel hacker, so I wouldn't know for sure), but they're spread out
over time rather than bundled in a major collection of changes with a new
marketing campaign.  This might make it much more difficult to target the
MS Windows ABIs and APIs.

I'm just speculating, though.  As I said, I'm not a kernel hacker.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
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