As Linux laptop use - particularly the proliferation of Linux-based smartphone and handheld devices - has grown, making these devices wireless has become a challenge for some users. When 90% of the world runs on another operating system, getting wireless LAN device drivers that are reliable and bug-free isn't always easy.
Network hardware device maker Devicescape Software wants to alleviate this by making WLAN technology a part of the Linux DNA. It recently released code to the open source community that could put WLAN capabilities as a native function in the Linux kernel code base.
The company released its Advanced Datapath Driver, which was a proprietary software driver in the past, to the Linux kernel hacking crowd, with the intention to include it in the Linux 2.6 kernel.
The device-driver developer says inclusion of its software in the kernel will allow Linux-based systems to better move advanced types of Wi-Fi data streams, such as voice or video over WLAN connections. The native WLAN driver inclusion will also allow Linux to work more smoothly with various companies' Wi-Fi chipsets and adapter hardware. This will eliminate the need of users to reverse engineer WLAN drivers for Wi-Fi cards, or make hacks to the Linux kernel every time a new type of WLAN support is needed, the company says.
Devicescape says it will provide ongoing support to its Wi-Fi contribution to the Linux code base, in addition to continuing its proprietary WLAN device driver business.
Linux developers can download the code for the WLAN Linux kernel drivers here.