Kernel drivers are required to enable hardware or software products and features and new products often requires new or updated drivers to function properly. Hardware and software vendors alike are able to deliver the needed kernel drivers for enabling their products with SUSE Linux Enterprise OSs and this is usually the quickest way to get new support to the customers. In the end, many SUSE customers will be confronted with the task of deploying and utilizing third party delivered kernel modules in their IT environments. Care must be taken as any form of kernel code, including kernel modules, can impact the integrity and stability of the complete system.
The SUSE SolidDriver Program has established standards and best practices for packaging and delivering kernel drivers to be installed on SUSE Linux Enterprise products. These standards ensure ease of installation, compatibility, supportability, as well as trust and integrity that provide customers with confidence and assurance when installing third party kernel drivers.
An overview of the standard and techniques set forth by the SUSE SolidDriver Program has been presented in this document. Customers can use this information to help evaluate the completeness and suitability of drivers that are given to them. SUSE partners can use the general advice that has been provided to consider how they can better deliver their drivers in a standard, compatible and user satisfactory manner.