Re: CISCO Aironet 350

From: Vladimir Ivaschenko (
Date: 2002-07-04 20:29:00 UTC


Very informative e-mail. The only thing I think you're wrong in is that ValeMount's StarOS software is based on FreeBSD. They used to use FreeBSD and their free floppy/8 mb flash image is based on FreeBSD. However StarOS is based on Linux. It is obvious if you look at the image file - LILO, initrd, bzImage etc ...

Thu, Jul 04, 2002 at 03:02:39PM -0500 Jim Thompson wrote about Re: CISCO Aironet 350

> I'll give Cisco a shout and see what they have for technical information.
> We've successfully written Fully-functional Access Points for Prism 2, 2.5
> and Lucent, with support from both Intersil and Agere, and would like to add
> Cisco to our arsenal. We don't use Cisco, but many have requested it.
> Good luck, man. I was about as far inside Cisco as you can get. I was
> one of the two people (the other was someone who shall remain nameless
> at MSFT) that convinced them to buy Aironet rather than Symbol, I
> know **the** guy who wrote all the AP4x00 and card firmware, and had
> a really important business relationship with both Cisco and Aironet
> (back when they were Aironet) since I was the CTO @ Wayport, and while
> I have the driver manual for the 4500/4800/350 cards (the Aironet MAC),
> and I know all the biz dev guys there, and both Larry Birnbaum (the VP
> of the BU that has the Aironet division in it) and Charlie Giancarlo
> (his boss, who reports to Chambers), I've never been able to get my
> mitts on the firmware.
> Please do let us all know if you're successful.
> I do have the Agere code (and firmware). Since I can't put it in Linux
> due to GPL restrictions, I haven't bothered to whack the driver into
> accepting the ternairy f/w download, press the button on the MAC, and deal
> with the frames that come up from the card in BSS mode. If there was a
> 'hostap' mode for the Heremes or Ruby chipset, then I'd have finished
> a driver for that by now.
> If you are interested in some of our products we handle, feel free to check our site.
> Your business model is completely broken, I'm afraid. Your choice
> of FreeBSD has locked you to x86 platforms, and btw, where is the source?
> > They only need to give the source code to whatever GPLd binaries they are
> > distributing to those that they have distributed to, not everyone. I don't
> > know if they are doing this or not but I certainly hope so. Of course, any
> > modules that they've created themselves they do NOT have to provide source
> > for.
> Not quite. Read on.
> David Sifry writes:
> > Of course, Tony doesn't need to license the code he wrote (AP drivers, etc)
> > under the GPL. He's the author, and he can create non-GPL'd binary modules
> > if he chooses, amongst other options.
> This isn't true. I've been engaging with Eben Modgen, rms and Linus
> over exactly this issue since last November on a wireless driver. While
> I can't discuss the details, I can say one thing for sure: You are (currently)
> quite wrong, though this is a commonly-held (but still incorrect) belief..
> If Tony's kernel module code uses no Linux code, then he might have a case,
> but its doubtfull. In general, if your code runs in user-space, only links
> against LGPLed libraries, and contains no GPLed code, then you don't have to
> distribute the source. You should, of course, but that is a different subject.
> What is absolutely true is that Tony distributes FreeBSD now, which
> isn't GPLed. However, if any of his code is based on, or contains,
> or links to code covered by the GPL, then he has to make the source
> available. Period.
> By his own admission, Tony allows that there is probably GPL code in
> his product:
> Our product has Linux roots, which, along with the GPL is on our manual, but
> our Wireless drivers are not based on any GPL code, and are developed
> in-house by yours truly.
> I've covered the (entirely unclear) issue of binary loadable modules above.
> Acording to
> The tests for a GPL license violation are roughtly:
> * Does the distribution contain a copy of the License?
> * Does it clearly state which software is covered by the License?
> Does it say anything misleading, perhaps giving the impression
> that something is covered by the License when in fact it is not?
> * Is source code included in the distribution?
> * Is a written offer for source code included with a distribution of just binaries?
> * Is the available source code complete, or is it designed for linking in other non-free modules?
> This all said, Linus has stated that he "probably won't sue" unless a GPL violation
> against Linux is just too wicked to let stand. Since Linux and a whole bunch of
> others hold 'the copyright' to Linux, there is little chance of fixing the issue.
> Still, Eben Mogen is looking for a test case to prove the GPL is
> enforcable.
> I'm not sure that Tony wants to be it.
> Again, good luck.
> Jim
> p.s. sorry this as gone so far off-topic, everyone.

Best Regards
Vladimir Ivaschenko

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