Firewire - Operating System Support

Operating System Support

Full support for IEEE 1394a and 1394b is available for Microsoft Windows, FreeBSD, Linux, Apple Mac OS 8.6 through Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, NetBSD, and Haiku.

In Windows XP, a degradation in performance of 1394 devices may have occurred with installation of Service Pack 2. This was resolved in Hotfix 885222 and in SP3. Some FireWire hardware manufacturers also provide custom device drivers which replace the Microsoft OHCI host adapter driver stack, enabling S800-capable devices to run at full 800 Mbit/s transfer rates on older versions of Windows (XP SP2 w/o Hotfix 885222) and Windows Vista. At the time of its release, Microsoft Windows Vista supported only 1394a, with assurances that 1394b support would come in the next service pack. Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Windows Vista has since been released, however the addition of 1394b support is not mentioned anywhere in the release documentation. The 1394 bus driver was rewritten for Windows 7 to provide support for higher speeds and alternative media.

In Linux, support was originally provided by libraw1394 making direct communication between user space and IEEE 1394 buses. Subsequently a new kernel driver stack, nicknamed JuJu, has been implemented.

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