1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

MadWiFi Abandons Proprietary HAL

Free Software

Published on 26 September 2007 09:40 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
2 Comments

We missed reporting this news last week due to the Intel Developer Forum, but the MadWiFi team has announced that they will be abandoning the proprietary HAL currently required to make this Linux wireless driver functional. In fact, new work on the MadWiFi driver will really cease as they are now focusing their work on a new completely free and open-source driver. For those that do not know, MadWifi is a Linux driver for use with Atheros 802.11 Wireless Chipsets, but it had depended upon a proprietary Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) for regulatory reasons.

The new Atheros driver for Linux being worked on, ath5k, is based upon the MadWiFi driver but integrates OpenHAL, which is an open-source HAL derived from the Atheros driver found in OpenBSD. Fortunately, all legal matters have been cleared up. The "central regulatory domain agent" will allow the driver to be completely open-source without any binary blobs, but at the same time to comply with all wireless communication laws depending upon the user's location. Once the ath5k reaches a stable status it will hopefully be included upstream with the Linux kernel. More information is available at MadWiFi.org.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux News
  1. Libdrm 2.4.62 Is An Important Update For Open-Source GPU Drivers
  2. The State of Unity 3D Game Engine, Editor On Linux
  3. ZFS On Linux 0.6.4.2 Brings Linux 4.1 Support, Fixes
  4. Old Net Burst Tests, Ubuntu Phone & Assembly x86 Were Popular Topics Last Month
  5. Qt 5.5 Officially Released
  6. Global Shortcuts In KDE Plasma Under Wayland
  7. LLVMpipe FP64 Support Knocks Off Some GL4 Extensions
  8. Dell Gets An Airplane Mode Switch Driver In Linux 4.2
  9. I Gave Up Waiting On The Water-Cooled Radeon R9 Fury X
  10. NVIDIA Tegra X1 Chromebooks Appear Closer, Support Added To Coreboot
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. How KDE VDG Is Trying To Make Open-Source Software Beautiful
  2. Attempting To Try Out BCache On The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  3. CompuLab's Fitlet Is A Very Tiny, Fanless, Linux PC With AMD A10 Micro
  4. AMD A10-7870K Godavari: RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Linux Drivers
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Kubuntu 15.10 Could Be The End Of The Road
  2. NVIDIA Starts Supplying Open-Source Hardware Reference Headers
  3. KDBUS Won't Be Pushed Until The Linux 4.3 Kernel
  4. The Staging Pull For Linux 4.2: "Big, Really Big"
  5. The State & Complications Of Porting The Unity Editor To Linux
  6. SteamOS "Brewmaster" Is Valve's New Debian 8.1 Based Version
  7. Jonathan Riddell Steps Down From The Kubuntu Council
  8. ARM Posts Pictures Of AMD's New Development Board