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Date:   Wed, 24 Apr 2019 10:47:49 +0200
From:   Paul Bolle <>
To:     Arnd Bergmann <>, Karsten Keil <>,
        Holger Schurig <>,
        Tilman Schmidt <>,
        Al Viro <>,
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/5] isdn: deprecate non-mISDN drivers

Arnd Bergmann schreef op di 23-04-2019 om 17:11 [+0200]:
> When isdn4linux came up in the context of another patch series, I
> remembered that we had discussed removing it a while ago.
> It turns out that the suggestion from Karsten Keil wa to remove I4L
> in 2018 after the last public ISDN networks are shut down. This has
> happened now (with a very small number of exceptions), so I guess it's
> time to try again.

The Dutch consumer grade (voice and data) ISDN network will be shut down on
September 1st of this year. I'm not sure what other networks there still are,
worldwide. Does someone know of an overview somewhere?

> We currently have three ISDN stacks in the kernel: the original
> isdn4linux, the newer CAPI, and finally mISDN stack.
> As far as I can tell, anyone using ISDN with mainline kernel drivers in
> the past few years uses mISDN, and this is typically used for voice-only
> PBX installations that don't require a public network.
> The older stacks support additional features for data networks, but those
> typically make no sense any more if there is no network to connect to.
> My proposal for this time is to kill off isdn4linux entirely, as it seems
> to have been unusable for quite a while. This code has been abandoned
> for many years and it does get in the way of maintenance.

Fine with me. I haven't bothered testing gigaset's i4l code in ages.

> CAPI in turn is not quite as obsolete, but as I have been unable to find
> any users, I would suggest moving it to drivers/staging while we
> figure out if anyone is using it. If not, it can then be removed
> as well. If it turns out that there are users that are on 5.x kernels
> or need to update to them, we can decide to leave parts of it for
> longer, or move them back.

(Has any driver ever returned to drivers proper after exile into

> If anyone is still using isdn4linux and CAPI with modern kernels, please
> speak up now.

I'll try to test gigaset's drivers (in CAPI mode) until 5.2 is released (end
of July/early August). Whether that will be under staging or not is
unimportant. I have only very little evidence of people actually using the
code. That is unsurprising: for data ISDN is now expensive and really slow.
About the only things actually usable are "git fetch" and the like. So that's
what I test.

>       Arnd
> [1]
> Arnd Bergmann (5):
>   isdn: gigaset: remove i4l support
>   isdn: remove hisax driver
>   isdn: remove isdn4linux
>   isdn: hdlc: move into mISDN
>   isdn: move capi drivers to staging

For some reason 5/5 didn't hit my INBOX.


Paul Bolle

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