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Intel Opens Up Video Drivers

Open source driver availability has long been an issue of contention for Linux distribution, particularly in the video space where most remain proprietary.

It's about to get a whole easier thanks to Intel.

Late yesterday, Intel developer Keith Packard announced the immediate availability of open source software drivers for the Intel 965 Express Chipset graphics controller.

The software drivers include support for both 2-D and 3-D graphics.

With the release of Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 and its XGL-based 3-D graphics capabilities, Intel's move comes at a very auspicious time.

"We're releasing them now to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to providing free software drivers for Intel hardware," Packard wrote.

"By open sourcing the drivers for this new technology, Intel enables the open source community to experiment, develop and contribute to the continuing advancement of open source 3-D graphics."

Free and Open Source operating systems, such as Linux, have legal and ethical problems in bundling proprietary drivers alongside free and open source code.

In his mailing list announcement, Packard noted that the drivers are the first release of the code and will require testing and fixing before being considered production ready.

It is not clear whether Intel's chief rival, AMD, will follow suit.

An AMD spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.