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    SubjectRE: The tainted message
    Well a smart user could eliminate the tainted stuff and get support

    What's the point of having such a message ? I think it's trivial to get
    rid of it anyway.

    - Enrico

    -----Original Message-----
    [] On Behalf Of Richard Thrapp
    Sent: April 26, 2002 9:52 PM
    To: linux-kernel;
    Subject: The tainted message

    I originally took this up with Keith Owens, but he said I should bring
    the discussion here since the message was chosen here (although I could
    not find where in the archives), and that he might change it if I get
    the approval of Alan Cox.

    I just discovered semi-recently (a couple of months ago) that newer
    versions of modutils have an insmod that prints out the tainted warnings
    for non-GPL licenses. While I agree that printing a warning when
    installing a non-GPLed module is important to inform the user that their
    kernel is no longer supported by the kernel maintainers, I have issues
    with the exact message printed.

    First of all, the current tainted message is not really useful.
    "Warning: Loading %s will taint the kernel..." isn't very informative at
    all. Most people don't know what it means to "taint the kernel". It's
    a vague phrase in English, and only if you know the current kernel
    source (or at least some of the semi-recent discussions on kernel
    tainting) is its meaning clear. As a matter of fact, it makes it sound
    like the module has a virus in it that has just infected your kernel.
    As Linux becomes more common for non-experts, it becomes even more
    important for error and informational messages to be clear.

    Secondly, loading the module doesn't actually 'taint' the kernel, but
    instead it mostly invalidates your chances for support from the core
    kernel maintainers.

    Thirdly, the warning that loading the module "will" taint the kernel is
    an inaccurate use of tense. It implies that the module wasn't loaded
    (which might be true at that time from the point of view of the code,
    but is not true from the point of view of the user, which is who the
    message is written for). I have actually had bug reports where users
    complain that a module won't load because of the tense of this message.

    I would like to propose that a clearer, more direct message be used.
    Something like "Warning: kernel maintainers may not support your kernel
    since you have loaded %s: %s%s\n" would be much more informative and

    Opinions? Comments?


    -- Richard Thrapp

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