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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.
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.