Wireless Guide / NTFS Guide / New writing

Rahul Sundaram sundaram at fedoraproject.org
Mon Jul 3 13:30:15 UTC 2006

Adam Moreland wrote:

> I am for such a thing. Also can i ask for some verification, as as far 
> as i know, fedora dfoes ship with supports for some wireless NIC's and 
> ndiswrapper is an open source program. In fact can i ask for 
> clarification on the definition of wireless ebing restricted and 
> prohibited.
> The usage of ndiswrapper is to allow proprietry software to intergrate 
> into the kernel, but this seems not to be an issue in other distros 
> and in fact fedora ships with support for some Intel wireless cards 
> already. Surely for the sake of fedora this type of distinction (of 
> wireless being forbidden) is rediculous. 

Wireless is not forbidden. Ndiswrapper is.

> After all it is an open source solution, using open source materials, 
> to allow the open surce communtiy to have legal access to the drivers 
> they already paid for once they purchased the wireless NIC.
> I cannot see how a guide on the usage of ndiswrapper (which is open 
> source) cannot be achieved, so long as the guide doesnt explicitly 
> promote the proprietry software. After all isnt this the point?? To 
> intergrate the open source to merge the experience into one community 
> solution?? Wireless is still a massive problem for Linux users, but i 
> have guides for both SUSE 9.x/10.x and FC5.
> Please can i have clarification as to the reasons that ndiswrapper 
> cannot be used in the fedora etras repo, and why the use of 
> ndiswrapper contradicts the policy of fedora-docs on the use of 
> proprietry means. I read the policy as meaning that you cannot use 
> nVidia, as they make it, but ndiswrapper is a middle man, and is open 
> source. We (linux community) have used the same workarounds to get 
> Logitech keybaords, HP devices, most printers, laptops, speakers, 
> sound cards, and other methods. The user need not support proprietry 
> means, because by using the open source ndiswrapper, they are surely 
> curcumventing the need to be protected by the policy on forbidding 
> proprietry terms.
> I can see the huge gap caused by the lack of clarification from fedora 
> on the use of such means like wireless, and also NTFS. The confusion 
> is unwarrented surely. Cant there be a solution where the NTFS modules 
> can be brought into fedora extras, and a guide be used accordingly. 
> FAT32 is supported, and other forms and file systems, so why not NTFS, 
> which has had a long history with fedora and is clearly completly open 
> source.

The explanation is given here at 
There are other technical reasons such as the issue of 4k stacks being 
the default (http://lwn.net/Articles/160138/).  Many of the windows 
drivers would not work with Ndiswrapper since they require more than 16 
k stacks in the kernel. The only purpose of ndiswrapper is to enable the 
loading of binary only modules within the kernel from a different 
platform. Fedora will not formally support or endorse such efforts.

If you the read the forbidden items page you would know that Fedora does 
not provide any software that is patent encumbered. Merely having the 
source does not satisfy all our requirements for inclusion.


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