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"Because it has to be free" - Wireless support in OpenBSD
The OpenBSD project produces a free, multi-platform 4.4BSD-based UNIX-like operating system. Their efforts emphasize portability, standardization, correctness, proactive security and integrated cryptography.

The developers of OpenBSD are very careful about licensing issues and the consequent use of free software in their base system. Recently, this has most notably resulted in missing support for many Wireless LAN chipsets due to the non-openess of manufacturers - either they require the usage of their very restrictive licensed firmware or the usage of precompiled, binary only kernel objects which control hardware access to the chipsets.

This speech addresses these problems and how various manufacturers could be convinced to release their firmwares under less restrictive licenses, how the Open Source HAL module for the ath(4) driver was developed as well as details about the enhanced WLAN support with new drivers and features for the upcoming OpenBSD release 3.7. The Open Source community has support for nearly all Ethernet, SCSI and RAID chipsets and why shouldn't there be Open Source support for all of the Wireless LAN chipsets? Or is "Wireless 802.11 a Microsoft only technology?"

speaker: Reyk Floeter

location: SITE B0138

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