ethical ubuntu

Alexander Jacob Tsykin stsykin at
Tue Jun 6 23:19:36 BST 2006

> Code that links into the kernel and runs in the same address space is
> where the kernel developers draw the line.  So acceptance of closed
> source drivers is definitely bad for Linux and probably violates the
> GPL.  Yes, this means that you can't ethically "use your computer
> completely" if you have an ATI or Nvidia card and need 3D acceleration.
> Closed source firmware, BIOS, disk microcode etc is not as bad as it
> does not run on the same CPU in the same address space as the kernel and
> thus does not make debugging the system impossible.  It's more like
> communicating with a Windows box over TCP/IP.
> It does not matter whether Nvidia or whoever responds to bug reports -
> this does not change the fact that if a binary only driver is loaded, no
> one but the vendor of that driver can debug the system.  Furthermore,
> accepting closed source drivers encourages more vendors to produce them.

On the other hand, not accepting them makes your computer unusable if you use 
it for anything involving 3d, and Nvidia haven't done anything too horrible 
that I know about, so I'm willing to accept their binary only drivers.


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