Owners of the Raspberry Pi have received some good news with the announcement that all of the tiny ARM computer’s SoC drivers are now available as open source. Better still, all of the open source drivers are vendor provided (direct from the chip’s manufacturer) rather than reverse engineered.
This marks an important milestone, not only for Raspberry Pi, but also for the industry as a whole. Opening up the Pi has been possible only with the cooperation of Broadcom, who willingly released their VideoCore drivers for the BCM2835 used by the Pi. Driver code has so far been tightly guarded by SoC manufacturers.
With this new code, it will be possible for developers to offer fully functional drivers for any Linux distribution. Throwing out the need to reverse-engineer the code will make the process of creating drivers quicker and will help developers ensure that drivers are fully compatible, fast and short on bugs. The Raspberry Pi foundation has cited FreeBSD, NetBSD, Plan9, RISC OS and Haiku as distributions that they hope will soon support the newly open drivers.
Anyone looking to grab the drivers can do so by going to the userland repository set up on Github. This repository includes not only the video drivers just released but also all open-source drivers available for the Pi.
Source: Raspberry Pi Foundation
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