Re: ATI drivers also tainted ?

Måns Rullgård <mans@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Wrong again. In the Linux kernel context "tainted" means that a
closed module has been loaded, thus "tainting" the running kernel as a
whole. The taintedness is not an attribute of the module on its own.

I think the term "tainted module" when used in the context of Linux
kernel modules, would be interpreted as a module without corresponding
source code.

It is also not a matter of morality. It is merely a flag indicating
that unknown code has been loaded, and thus debugging a crash is with
that kernel is likely to be difficult since source code is not

The important thing here is that a module without source code may not
work on a modified or forked kernel variant, and fixes to the module
will probably be difficult to make.

(Have you ever tried to make patches to proprietary operating system
software without the source code? Even with a hardware debugger, it is
not easy.)

It is better that the source code is available and that the modules are
under an open source licence, to make it easier for developers to change the
module as required to suit the revised kernel.

I definitely recommend open source modules over proprietary ("tainted")
modules, and I certainly do not want proprietary modules on any of my


Mark Hobley
Linux User: #370818