FW: Problem with static binutils

Matthias Benkmann matthias at winterdrache.de
Sun Oct 27 07:51:07 PST 2002

On Sat, 26 Oct 2002 17:00:29 -0500 (CDT) "Dagmar d'Surreal"
<dagmar at speakeasy.net> wrote:

> ...but still, I'm certainly more right than that.  If I can get source
> by signing an NDA, then I can get source...

No. *YOU* can't get the source. Try to contact nvidia and tell them "Hey,
I'd like to see the sources. I'm willing to sign an NDA."
They probably won't even answer. Unless you are a representative of a
company whose support is important for NVidia (there's not many of those),
they don't care about you. They have no obligation to give the source code
to anyone, not matter if this person is willing to sign an NDA. They sure
as hell won't give the source code to someone not affiliated with a large
company they can sue for big $$$ if the NDA gets violated.

But this is all beside the point. To get this thread back on track:

Gred said

> The golden rule is: if the kernel crashes
> then it is a bug in the kernel.

And I replied:

> Unless you're running binary only drivers (e.g. nvidia).

In more verbose language:

1) NVidia (and other companies) gives the source code to their drivers
only to selected individuals that are affiliated with large companies and
sign a contract not to disclose the information.

2) None of the Linux kernel developers, none of the XFree86 developers, in
fact none of the open source developers working on any project that could
benefit from seeing the NVidia source code have signed such an NDA,
because it would mean that they could not continue to work on their open
source project, not now and not ever! They could not tell anyone about
what they have seen in the source code. They would just have to stop
working on the project without there being any benefit at all to the
In fact, they would seriously endanger the project because even if some
knowledge is gained through legal reverse engineering by someone other
than the one who signed the NDA, NVidia would sue, claiming that the one
who signed the NDA secretly told his fellow programmer about this

3) As a consequence of 2, the Linux kernel developers do not accept bug
reports from people running any modules like the one from NVidia. The
kernel oops message contains a flag that tells them, that the kernel is
"tainted" and if you post such an oops they will tell you that they will
ignore it unless you can reproduce the problem with an untainted kernel.

I hope it's clear now and this flame war thread can be closed.


Black holes are where God divided by zero.

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