Out-of-tree Kernel Drivers

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FireWire drivers for Linux which are (or were) not part of the mainline source distribution, for varying reasons


Out-of-tree drivers

  • fireworks, an audio driver with ALSA interface for Echo Audio, Gibson, and Mackie Onyx FireWire devices, currently in development
  • gp2lynx, a lowlevel driver for Texas Instruments' GP2Lynx TSB12LV32 (unmaintained)
  • liSight, an audio driver with ALSA interface for Apple's FireWire iSight camera (ieee1394 based driver; superseded by the firewire-core based snd-isight driver in Linux 3.0)
  • mem1394, a highlevel driver for debugging and forensics of remote nodes
  • mlanalsa a.k.a. Linux ALSA-AMDTP Module, a Linux 2.4 driver which exposes MLAN/ IEC 61883-6 compatible audio devices via ALSA interface.


Highlevel drivers may also be implemented in userspace on top of libraw1394 or libdc1394. This approach is actually taken by most of the projects in the audio, video, or data acquisition domains.

If you have a driver project which you think is best implemented in kernelspace, don't hesitate to submit it for integration into mainline. See Submitting Drivers For The Linux Kernel. If you are past the decision-making pro mainline submission, see Linux Kernel patch submission checklist.

Drivers which have been merged recently

Merged in 2.6.36

  • nosy (snapshot at archive.org) turns a PCILynx card into a bus analyzer. Written by Kristian Høgsberg. It was previously hosted in a stand-alone source repository. The driver is now located in drivers/firewire/ of the mainline kernel sources. The userspace frontend nosy-dump is provided in tools/firewire/ of the kernel sources.

Merged in 2.6.29

  • firedtv (formerly known as firesat)
V4L/DVB driver for FireDTV and FloppyDTV devices from digital everywhere. These are DVB capture devices which are attached vie FireWire. Similar devices are available from Elgato under the EyeTV brand, but their firmwares are not supported by the driver for now.
The driver went through linuxtv.org's v4l_experimental repo and through Greg KH's staging tree and is now updated in firedtv branches of linux1394-2.6.git in order to prepare it for mainline merge.
Further resources:
Ben Backx' site
Henrik Kurelid's site
digital everywhere's user forum
a discussion of firesat at the Linux Driver Project's mailinglist
a note to lkml and linux1394-devel and v4l-dvb-maintainer
how to fetch the latest code via git or quilt or as single patch
review posting to lkml and linux1394-devel and linux-media
mainline merge commit pre 2.6.29-rc7

Merged in 2.6.25

  • ohci1394_earlyinit, a minimal OHCI lowlevel driver for early debugging from remote — This driver has been included in Linux 2.6.25 under the name init_ohci1394_dma which can be enabled by the option PROVIDE_OHCI1394_DMA_INIT (Provide code for enabling DMA over FireWire early on boot) in the "Kernel hacking" menu of the kernel configuration. See also linux/Documentation/debugging-via-ohci1394.txt
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