Linux community pushed Microsoft to hand over its code

Microsoft was actually pushed by the Linux driver project team to make this week’s historic code submission to the Linux kernel.

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Microsoft was actually pushed by the Linux driver project team to make this week’s historic code submission to the Linux kernel.

The Linux driver project team, a part of the Linux kernel development group, is known for pursuing companies and asking them if they want their drivers included in the kernel, according to Greg Kroah-Hartman, who leads the team and is a Novell fellow.

"Another kernel community member noticed the [Microsoft] drivers and pointed them out to me," he said. "Through the contacts I have at Novell and through the Microsoft/Novell interoperability agreement, I contacted Microsoft and worked out the details."

Kroah-Hartman said that work started a few months ago.

On Monday he accepted 22,000 lines of Microsoft's code that will be available as part of the next Linux public tree release in the next 24 hours. The code will become part of the 2.6.30.1 stable release. The first main kernel release to include the open source driver technology will come in December as part of the 2.6.32 release, Kroah-Hartman said.

Kroah-Hartman said the driver project community member found the drivers on Microsoft's Web site.

"For anyone who wanted to run Linux on the Hyper-V environment Microsoft provided some pre-built Linux kernel drivers," Kroah-Hartman said. "They had versions for Red Hat and one for Novell's Suse."

Now with the drivers headed for open source and the Linux kernel, every Linux distribution can take advantage of the code in order to run on Hyper-V.

"In the past we worked with Red Hat and Novell to get those Linux distros certified and supported," said Sam Ramji, who runs the Open Source Software Lab for Microsoft and is the company's director of open source technology strategy.

"By contributing code to the kernel it enables any distribution, commercial or otherwise, to use the code without having any other relationship with Microsoft."

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