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Comments for WinDriver

13 Dec 2000 12:00 omerz

WinDriver Security Issues - Comment on klaus Remarks
Programs access the WinDriver kernel module using the windrvr.o kernel module.
The access is via a device file, just like any other device file. Its the responsibility of the system administrator to ensure that this access is not misused.
All of Linux's security and permissions apply to WinDriver access as well.

WinDriver does not subvert the security of Linux. The superuser may allow all users to access the WinDriver kernel module. He may just as well write the superuser password on the walls of his company.

We provide a GUI on Linux (in V5.00 soon to be released) that users can use to correctly define the hardware's access registers and limits.
WinDriver checks that the limits are enforced. Such runtime checking helps write safer code.
If you go wrong by mistake, WinDriver will probably tell you so. If you want to go wrong, that's your business.

Please try WinDriver yourself before commenting, and please give more informed details. Whatever concerns you have, we can address them in a constructive way.

13 Dec 2000 11:51 omerz

WinDriver is GOOD - Comment on Rentar Remarks
Think of hardware engineers who have been told by their bosses to write a new driver for Linux, because Linux is hot! What's the poor guy going to do ? Read Rubini's book in two weeks, and churn out a Linux kernel module in the next two weeks ? Have you seen the number of hardware engineers posting questions about writing Linux device drivers ?

You have a mistake in your comment, WinDriver does not move kernel level code to user level. It simply allows you to access hardware directly. It goes to great lengths to make this access safe. We will provide a GUI on Linux (in V5.00) that users can use to correctly define the hardware's access registers and limits. WinDriver checks that the limits are enforced. Such runtime checking helps write safer code. Programmers can do good things with WinDriver, or they can blunder. The same people can also blunder with a kernel mode driver. There are good programmers and bad programmers, even evil programmers. There are no good programs and bad programs, and no evil programs.
It does not facilitate kernel level code to have hooks in user space. We'll need to look at the review of the german Linux magazine to understand whether it was accurate or mistaken.

The name does not suggest windoze-esque techniques. Whats in a name? Windows also does not really allow kernel mode code to have hooks in the user mode.
Since some of the premises you used to draw your conclusion are not accurate, your conclusion is also not very accurate.

13 Dec 2000 11:42 omerz

WinDriver IS NOT EVIL - Comment on Claudio Remarks
Since WinDriver aids to produce user mode drivers, these are loaded and unloaded with the applications that use them. They do not therefore bloat the kernel.
The WinDriver kernel itself is not bloated. It is heavily tested, efficient and optimized.
Linux lets good (not clueless) application programmers gain access to useful hardware whose manufacturers don't care about providing Linux drivers.

07 Dec 2000 11:02 philcc

WinDriver Linux Easy and Fast Tool
I have used Windriver/Kernaldriver to create device drivers for my Linux machine.
This development tool has made my development of these device drivers so simple and fast that it has
cut my development time by over 50%.
Windriver/Kernaldriver are excellent products, and I would recommend them
to anybody doing driver development on any type of system.

PHIL

04 Dec 2000 12:50 kaiserk

WinDriver - DOS style "security" for Linux
I have read about WinDriver in the Linux Magazin, a german magazine. It is indeed the crudest possible way to acess hardware: A kernel module which gives user mode processes low-level access to any device on the computer - just like DOS. A machine running driver software developed with WinDriver can be rooted by any user. Of course, this applies to the Windows version of WinDriver too.

The article in the Linux Magazin does mention how to recognize driver software developed with WinDriver - it comes with a kernel module named something like windrv (I don't have the magazine at hand now, so I can't give more details)

04 Dec 2000 12:01 rentar

WinDriver IS evil!


Simple - No operating system or kernel knowledge needed.
Stable / Safe - Keeps unexperienced developers AWAY from the Linux kernel.

Well, these two facts where given as Advantages on the homepage! Simple: Yeah, anyone can write kernel-level code an fsck up his maschine, great. Keeps unexperienced developers AWAY from the Linux kernel: ... and moves kernel-level-code to user-level, even better!

I read a review of this system in a german Linux-Magazine, can't remember which one it was, but it seems that WinDriver essentially allows you to write user-level libraries that have hooks in kernel-space (and kernel-level-code, that has hooks in user-level), thus bluring the difference between the two.

As you can easily see those are windoze-esque technologies (as the name suggests) and should be either a.) kept far away from any serious OS or (more drastic) b.) taken out on the street and shot.


02 Jan 2000 08:38 cmatsuoka

Is WinDriver evil?

WinDriver for Linux is a device driver development toolkit, which enables you to develop a Linux device driver without having to be familiar with the Linux kernel. All development is done in the user mode. WinDriver's kernel module is a generic device driver
which resides in the Linux kernel mode. Your application calls
WinDriver through a defined API in the user mode, thereby
eliminating the need for you to understand the internals of the
Linux operating system.


Now this sounds scary to me. I suppose this could help the development of bloated, inefficient or unoptimized drivers. The mysteries inherent in the system kernel have been acting as a good barrier to rule out the bad programmers so far. Could this situation change with clueless (in the kernel sense) people using WinDriver to write binary-only device drivers?

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