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Sunday, June 22, 2003

Can you really port a Windows device driver to Linux?
Actually "NO", but just during the search found a very good article on this issue. What really matters when you are a hardware manufacturer or developer. Whether the term "port" is appropriate depends on how much of the device driver code is Windows-specific. If most of the code is concerned with controlling the device, then it seems reasonable to call it "porting". If most of the code is concerned with the Windows API, then it would be more appropriate to call it "re-writing". Whatever you call it, being able to refer to the source code of a working Windows driver can help us with the implementation of a Linux driver - particularly by alerting to us to potential problems in the hardware interface that may not be immediately apparent from the hardware documentation.
It may also be case changing the way we write drivers to eliminate the Widows specific code or by modulating it in the functions so that it becomes easy to replace. The first option is always bad because it may get into performance related issues over the time and would require a lot of testing for a small small functions. [via : WingPath Software]