A Set Of Obscure Drivers Out-Of-Tree Since Linux 2.x Will See Mainline For Linux 5.2
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 21 April 2019 at 09:00 AM EDT. 17 Comments
Should you have any Daktronics scoreboards, video displays, or digital billboards, mainline Linux kernel support appears to be in the works.

While shielded off by Kconfig build switches and not enabled by default, what some will surely point to the growing size of the Linux kernel and its laissez faire approach to accepting new drivers, a set of drivers that have been out-of-tree since the Linux 2.x kernel days are now on their way to the kernel's staging area with Linux 5.2. Not only that, but the code quality is admittedly less than stellar, hence the staging route.

These are drivers around Daktronics hardware, a company specializing in high-end digital scoreboards, digital billboards, and other large displays for sporting venues, arenas, and more.

Greg Kroah-Hartman merged into staging-next the initial set of Daktronics drivers. "These drivers have been outside of the kernel tree since the 2.x days, and it's time to bring them into the tree so they can get properly cleaned up." He points out there is a lot of low-hanging work of areas to clean-up this code, such as for those wanting to get involved with kernel development. There's also logic and API clean-ups and even one driver not merged yet because Greg KH couldn't get it to build. These kernel drivers are for exposing the PCI/SPI/I2C devices and don't appear to be a complete solution yet for driving Daktronics hardware.

These long-time out-of-tree drivers for Daktronics/Kaktronics amount to just under three thousand lines of code and will be part of the staging tree in Linux 5.2.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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