Re: Maybe a stupid question
On Mon, Oct 18, 2004 at 11:00:31PM +0200, Nicolas Sergent wrote:
> I have a laptop (Acer Aspire 1511LMi) with a broadcom wlan card which
> has no driver for linux, and ndiswrapper does not work in pure64 as
> there is no 64 driver for MS Windows... I think many of us have the same
> As far as I can understand it, the only way to get this card working
> (until Broadcom release the specs) is to run a 32 bits kernel, but in
> that case, what would be the point in having a AMD64?
It's a fast CPU (significantly faster than Athlon), with SSE2, and with
good power-saving when idle. (Down to 22W max at 1GHz, from 89W max at max
speed.) It's not like it's crippled in 32bit mode.
> Isn't it possible
> to run a minimal 32 bits kernel in user-mode (in a kind of virtual
> machine), just to run ndiswrapper on?
Hmm, you mean route all your net traffic through vmware? That's so crazy
it just might work. (I wrote the paragraph below about the kernel-userspace
boundary before I read this carefully...) Maybe vmware even wouldn't be
needed if UML can talk to hardware. Anyone care to comment on getting Linux
under vmware to talk to hardware?
> If this is totaly stupid
I'd say having to use ndiswrapper is totally stupid, but I guess there's
not much choice in AMD64 laptops at this point :(
> and couldn't work, can please someone tell me
> why (for my own culture)? Is this can be done, how can I help?
the kernel-user boundary is well definined and has a limited number of
system calls. The in-kernel stuff is constantly changing with new kernel
releases, and probably would be harder to wrap in an emulation layer.
(Besides, in-kernel function calls don't go through a context switch
normally, and you'd have to introduce that, or put an x86 emulator like
bochs in the kernel if you wanted to actually run 32bit code.) Perhaps
pre-translating the ia32 code to amd64 code, like what gcj can do for java
binaries -> machine code, would be better.
It all boils down to open souce: good and flexible, closed source: bad and
limiting. Depending on binary-only drivers from anyone puts you at their
mercy. But you probably already knew that and didn't need me to lecture
#define X(x,y) x##y
Peter Cordes ; e-mail: X(peter@cor , des.ca)
"The gods confound the man who first found out how to distinguish the hours!
Confound him, too, who in this place set up a sundial, to cut and hack
my day so wretchedly into small pieces!" -- Plautus, 200 BC