Linus Torvalds and Microsoft drivers in Linux

    Linus Torvalds has publicly expressed his opinion on adding drivers to the Linux kernel by Microsoft. In an interview with Linux Magazine, he answered the following questions:

    Q - Have you looked at the Microsoft source code?
    A - No. Mainly because I don’t do everything that gets into the kernel driver code (it doesn’t affect anything), especially when I don’t use this code myself. In such things, I trust the maintainers (maintainers). As a rule, I look at the code when bugs are found in them, or if the code affects many subsystems or this code is part of an important subsystem of the kernel, in which I actively participate (for example, code like VM, processing kernel resources, base kernel code and etc). Most likely I’ll look at this code when it is actually presented to the maintainer (in this case, it’s Greg Kroah-Hartman), just out of curiosity.

    Q - How do you feel about including this code? After all, he is from Microsoft.
    A - Oh, I sincerely believe that technology must be superior to politics. I don’t care from whom the technology comes from, as long as there is reason for the code to appear and until there is a licensing issue and other issues of the same nature.

    In fact, due to the fact that this is the code of a new member of the community, I would rather include this code than not include it (again, I would like to note that the drivers are special. They do not affect other parts of the system, so there may be integrated much more painlessly than other possible changes to the kernel).

    I used to poke fun at Microsoft from time to time, but at the same time I think that hating Microsoft is a disease. I believe in open source development, and this largely involves not only opening the source code, but also refusing to try to exclude people or companies from the development process.

    There are extremists in the world of free software, and this is one of the main reasons why I no longer say that I am doing what is called "free software." I do not want to be associated with people for whom this is a source of marginalization and hatred.

    Q - Should Microsoft have a different attitude?
    A - I agree that Microsoft is pursuing its interests in this matter with the publication of code. But this is the same reason all other open source is written! We all pursue our own goals. In my own interests, I started writing Linux and because of them I continue to do this. Self-profit - this is what is pursued in one way or another, all who are involved in open source.

    So complaining that Microsoft is working on code for its own interests is stupid. Of course, they pay attention to what benefits them. This is what open source stands for - the ability to make code better for your specific needs, whenever you personally need it.

    Does anyone complain when hardware companies write drivers for devices they make? No, this is crazy. Does anyone complain when IBM finances everything related to POWER and works on enterprise functions because they sell them on the corporate market? Not. That would be crazy.

    So people who complain that Microsoft writes drivers for their own virtualization engine should look in the mirror and ask themselves why they are so hypocritical.

    - Source:

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