Mar 6th, 2007 by Tim
The use of proprietary drivers is quite controversial in the Linux community. Some argue that they have to be included to make Linux competetive, others warn that they compromise what Linux as free software stands for in the first place.
Some popular distributions, for example Fedora and openSUSE decided to boycott proprietary drivers by not shipping them at all.
Starting with Feisty, Ubuntu trys to strive a middle way between the merits to the user and free software ethics by excluding propietary drivers by default but providing an easy way to enable them.
As of today, the Ubuntu development branch includes a tool called “Proprietary Drivers manager” that trys to accomplish this task.
Once started, the software presents a list of available proprietary drivers:
Drivers can then easily be enabled by checking the box or selecting the desired hardware and clicking ‘Enable’ and is then presented by this dialog:
After the confirmation the particular driver is enabled and as in my case I can enjoy the Desktop Effects without any command line voodoo.
Please note that this is by no means final software and it will probably look different when feisty is released.