New, Updated Drivers Coming To Linux 2.6.32
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 9 September 2009 at 06:49 PM EDT. 5 Comments
With the Linux 2.6.32 kernel merge window opening up this month, open-source developers around the world have been busy working on their code that they wish to push into this next major kernel update. There is already 3D and KMS support coming to the R600/700 hardware from ATI with this next kernel release along with the KMS page-flipping ioctl and other graphics-related changes, but now Novell's Greg Kroah-Hartman has written a lengthy message detailing the status of the different drivers in the staging tree for Linux 2.6.32.

Over three dozen Linux staging drivers are mentioned, but there's a few interesting comments in particular. For instance, Google's Android drivers may end up being dropped from the staging tree within the Linux 2.6.32 cycle. While Android uses Linux and Google is quite friendly with Linux and different open-source projects, the developers working on the upstream Android drivers aren't caring whether or not this code enters the mainline kernel. Instead these developers are just concerning themselves with running the drivers on the Linux 2.6.29 kernel they currently are using. If this continues to occur, the Android drivers will disappear from the staging tree. In a similar situation, Microsoft's Hyper-V drivers may end up getting dropped in the Linux 2.6.33 release.

Microsoft generated quite a bit of publicity back in July when they announced they had written drivers for Linux in the form of Hyper-V drivers so that Linux guests could run well with their Hyper-V virtualization platform. Those Microsoft drivers are now in the Linux 2.6.32 kernel staging tree, except Greg mentions that the Microsoft developers have disappeared and stopped answering his emails. If these Microsoft developers do not return to finishing off these drivers, they will be removed in Linux 2.6.33.

Some of the new drivers that will appear in the Linux 2.6.32 kernel within the staging directory include the vt66* wireless drivers, new rt3090/rtl8192e wireless drivers, a Quatech USB 2.0 driver, VME bus drivers, SEP and RAR drivers, Industrial I/O drivers, pohmelfs and dst, and cowloop. Several wireless network drivers have also seen new work and are getting into shape for merging into the mainline, non-staging tree.

Greg Kroah-Hartman's information regarding the staging tree status for the Linux 2.6.32 kernel can be found on his blog.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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