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sktrdie
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Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 153

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 7:05 pm    Post subject: Driver emulator Reply with quote

Ive heard about emulators on x86 of windows drivers for linux(ex. wireless stuff... ecc.)
So i was thinking, why dont they create emulators for PPC of Mac os X drivers for Linux?
Is there any difference? i mean, if it can be done with x86 with windows (where drivers are still closed source), why cant it be done on PPC with Mac OS X (the same kind of drivers)?
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i92guboj
Bodhisattva
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Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 10306
Location: Córdoba (Spain)

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose you are talking about this:

http://www.linuxant.com/company/press_bcmwl5dldr.php?PHPSESSID=6bb535a57b3a67322ded9507ffc11c02

Well, the thing is not as easy. Even in this case, the drivers that can run under this technology are only a few, and there is no guaratee that they will do it well. Using drivers in other platform that the one they are made for is not a trivial task, since they operate at a very low level.

Im no expert in such things, but, to make an idea, there is a need for a layer that adds the ability to interconect such heterogeneous systems and traduct the calls and such stuff. The way that a linux kernel and the windows one works is not similar in anyway. Regarding to what you say, it would be much easier to port a driver from linux to mac (or viceversa) that it is for windows-linux binomie, but, there is a problem. As I stated above there is no easy way to implement a generic layer that would work in all drivers, so there should be lots of layer, each for a concrete driver of set of drivers. In fact, I think that to write a new drivers would be much easier task.
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sktrdie
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Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 153

PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

6thpink wrote:
] In fact, I think that to write a new drivers would be much easier task.

yes, inded writing a new driver would be better...
But how is it possible to create a driver for linux, if the driver is "closed" source?
I mean is it a long and hard process?
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JoseJX
Retired Dev
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Joined: 28 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of the hardware that Linux runs on now was reverse engineered because companies don't give out the specifications. It does take a lot of work and time to reverse engineer a driver, and driver wrappers are really just band-aids for the problem. I know it stinks that your hardware isn't supported yet, but complain to the hardware manufacturer. :) For progress on the broadcom chipset (used in the Airport Extreme) and an idea of what a project like this takes, see http://linux-bcom4301.sf.net
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