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(?) Version incompatibility

From John Karns

Answered By John Karns, Jim Dennis

Dear Sir/Madam,
I have downloaded a driver for the Metrabyte Dash-16 daq card. The driver has been compiled for version 2.2.x. But the version on my computer is 2.4.7. How do I make the driver compatible for this version?
(!) [John K.] I would suggest contacting the mfr to ask about their intentions to provide it. You might also search www.google.com/linux for metrabyte.
(!) [JimD] If the driver is in source form (you patched a 2.2 kernel source tree and built your kernel therefrom) then another option would be to port (update) the driver to the new kernel. Try applying the patch to 2.4, look at rejects and errors, and then hunt about to find what changes are needed from the old kernel to the new one.
Of course that approach is for C programmers only -- and it's good to have prior experience with Linux kernel programming. Then again it is a good way to learn Linux kernel programming, too. If you take that approach be prepare to spend alot of time reading the sources to similar drivers (in both kernel trees), alot of time cutting your own diffs on those sources, alot of time searching the kernel mailing archives, possibly some time reading books like the O'Reilly Linux device drivers and Linux kernel internals books. (Search http://www.ora.com for the exact titles). You may also have to ask some questions on the Linux kernel mailing list, the newsgroup or on the IRC channel on openprojects.net.
If it's a binary driver ... contact the manufacturer and explain your needs to them. If they are unresponsive then you have the same problem as you would with any other vendor of proprietary hardware and/or software. Cope!

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