The future of third-party driver installation

Registered by Martin Pitt on 2012-05-02

This blueprint has been superseded. See the newer blueprint "The future of third-party driver installation" for updated plans.

We have had Jockey for quite a while now to perform the installation
of proprietary (e. g. NVidia), alternative (e. g. fglrx vs.
fglrx-updates), third-party (e. g. from openprinting.org) drivers.

However, I feel that this needs some refreshing:

 * The code base of Jockey is quite complex, it was meant for a lot
   more stuff than we are actually using it for. We also came up with
   simpler ways of mapping hardware to packages, mostly with
   additional tags in the apt package lists. We also have a more
   upstream friendly API in PackageKit/aptdaemon now to do this kind
   of thing.

   We can simplify the jockey code base and backend logic a lot (up
   to the extend of completely dropping it) by making full use of
   above new technologies and dropping the extra features we don't
   use. The exception is the openprinting.org detection, but that
   could go into system-config-printer or python-cups directly.

 * We install some drivers (like Broadcom wifi) straight from Ubiquity
   now, which certainly makes sense for devices where there is no free
   alternative. For the others (e. g. NVidia) we pop up a notification
   and offer to install them. I'd like to walk through the current UI
   and discuss how this could be made more steamlined and less
   confusing (e. g. for NVidia it can potentially offer 6 different
   drivers for you!)

 * We might consider merging the jockey UI functionality, which is
   mostly a shallow GUI around "install that package" now) into
   software-center, control-center, or something similar to the codec
   installer. I'd again appreciate if someone from the design team
   could participate in that (hello Matthew!).

Blueprint information

Status:
Complete
Approver:
Sebastien Bacher
Priority:
Undefined
Drafter:
Martin Pitt
Direction:
Needs approval
Assignee:
None
Definition:
Superseded
Series goal:
None
Implementation:
Unknown
Milestone target:
None
Completed by
Martin Pitt on 2012-05-02

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