Subject: Porting FreeBSD "sys/compat/ndis/" drivers to NetBSD
To: None <>
From: Alicia da Conceicao <>
List: tech-net
Date: 01/31/2004 06:43:47

How difficult would it be to port the FreeBSD "sys/compat/ndis/"
drivers to NetBSD?  For those of us who are not familar with
porting drivers, how different is the FreeBSD and NetBSD Wi/Fi
driver architecture from each other?

The FreeBSD NDIS drivers provide a network driver wrapper that
allows one to use Windoze NDIS binary drivers under FreeBSD.
Linux also opensource & commercial NDIS support as well.

So for those of us with with Laptops containing horrible Intel
Centrino minipci Wi/Fi cards (that Intel refuses to provide
any type of opensource support), NDIS support for NetBSD would
allow us to use our built-in Wi/Fi.  This is especially
useful, considering that NetBSD's cardbus support on ACPI only
systems is not working on many notebooks, so I can't even use
a PCMCIA Wi/Fi card.  And I can't even find any NetBSD supported
minipci cards (like a prism) that have the same or smaller size
than the Intel Wireless Pro 2100 minipci card, and my notebook
does not have the space for a larger minipci card.  (If anyone
knows of any NetBSD supported Wi/Fi minipci card for sell that
has the same or smaller height than the Intel Wireless Pro 2100
minipci card, please let me know.)

NDIS drivers are far from ideal, but when no native NetBSD
drivers exist, it is much better than nothing.