Linux 6.1 Drops Old Driver For High Speed Serial / TTY Over IEEE-1394 Firewire

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 12 October 2022 at 03:00 PM EDT. 5 Comments
HARDWARE --
The staging changes for Linux 6.1 aren't particularly notable but of the code churn is lightening the kernel a bit by dropping the old "fwserial" driver that allows for TTY support over IEEE-1394 Firewire connections.

The Linux "fwserial" driver allows for TTY over IEEE-1394 (Firewire) to allow for high-speed serial connectivity between cabled peers. The fwserial driver allows for an ad-hoc transport protocol between Linux-to-Linux systems. It was a neat concept back in the day but given Firewire being increasingly rare and these days there is Thunderbolt tunneling/networking between systems and the like, there isn't much value to this driver these days. Plus no one has been maintaining the driver.

In dropping the driver from the Linux kernel, Greg Kroah-Hartman noted that since this driver was merged back in 2012, no one has stepped up to maintain this driver and get it into a stage promoted out of staging. Thus it's being removed but could return if someone were interested in this high speed serial/TTY connectivity over Firewire and willing to invest in maintaining the support. Removing the fwserial driver lightens the Linux kernel source tree by just under four thousand lines of code.

Dropping fwserial led the staging changes for Linux 6.1 along with some rtl8723bs and r8188eu driver clean-ups and other code cleaning throughout this staging area.
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