Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Jun 2008 09:49 UTC
3D News, GL, DirectX Yesterday, we reported on the statement several kernel developers had signed that urged hardware manufacturers to open up their Linux modules and drivers. "We, the undersigned Linux kernel developers, consider any closed-source Linux kernel module or driver to be harmful and undesirable," the statement read. Nvidia, which delivers probably the most prominent closed-source Linux driver, has reiterated its position concerning this matter.
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They don't even have to do that.
by JMcCarthy on Wed 25th Jun 2008 09:56 UTC
JMcCarthy
Member since:
2005-08-12

There is no point in releasing open source drivers without open documentation, without context the resulting source code is about as comprehensible as an elvish magic spellbook.

Just need documentation. AMD/ATI can do it.

Edited 2008-06-25 09:58 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: They don't even have to do that.
by Treza on Thu 26th Jun 2008 14:40 UTC in reply to "They don't even have to do that."
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

"There is no point in releasing open source drivers without open documentation, without context the resulting source code is about as comprehensible as an elvish magic spellbook."

If the obfuscated source code is well modularised, with no assembly and a clear separation between IO and processing :
- You can retarget any CPU architecture, instead of x86-only.
- You can retarget any operating system, instead of Xorg on OpenBSD/Solaris/Linux.

I'm convinced that there is no magic in NVidia code, they could actually deliver documentation and, as a buyer, I will prefer ATI for now.

The tough part is with code encumbered with legislative or DRM-like protections, like the WiFi chips. For these kinds of constraints, I could tolerate an obfuscated source code with no documentation.

(Maybe NVidia is hiding the HDMI link and the x264 decoder, not available in the Linux driver, far more than 3D features. Maybe they are ashame of their source code :-).

Reply Score: 1

Nvidia is not needed anymore ..
by kragil on Wed 25th Jun 2008 10:00 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

The new 48XX AMD cards are the best cards around PERIOD

And I have no probs with the AMD Catalyst drivers and from what I have heard Nvidia did not support Fedora9 and KDE 4.1beta2 has problems with NVidia cards too.
And AMD releases a new driver every month.
I think a lot of people are just ill informed or Nvidia/Intel users who complain about the AMD drivers.
The old ones might have sucked, but new ones are really nice.
The version 8.6 is excellent actually.

And soon open source drivers will be avail and ready for AMD cards ..

So why would any Linux user still choose Nvidia?

Reply Score: 8

voidspace Member since:
2008-06-25

"So why would any Linux user still choose Nvidia?"

And if distributions refuse to include Nvidia drivers, why would anyone with an Nvidia card choose Linux?

Reply Score: 5

kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

If you have an old NV card like the TNT2 you are just f--ked .. NO 3D for you in new distros .. even their closed source crap will not help you.
Nvidea does not have the power to support every card anymore .. this problem will only get worse.
So just do not buy Nvidia anymore.
This is something that is unlikely to happen with open source drivers ( just look at the old ATI 7500 cards .. their 3D support is excellent out of the box .. and I am sure this will be case for new cards too by the end of the year. )

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

This is something that is unlikely to happen with open source drivers ( just look at the old ATI 7500 cards .. their 3D support is excellent out of the box

Very true. I have owned several older Radeons and still own a Radeon 9100 and they all are very, very well supported with the open-source drivers. Of course, the development has been slow because they've had to reverse engineer everything and then reinvent the wheel. Still, they work great, out-of-the-box, and even an old 7500 can run Compiz effects and such just peachy with the OSS drivers.

Reply Score: 4

dmantione Member since:
2005-07-06

Of course, the development has been slow because they've had to reverse engineer everything and then reinvent the wheel. Still, they work great.


No, no, you could get R100 and R200 specifications if you did ask. I have the full specifications and Driver Development Kit for those cards, including 3D. I even received them without signing an NDA, allthough they said in clear terms the specs were to be kept confidential.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"So why would any Linux user still choose Nvidia?"

And if distributions refuse to include Nvidia drivers, why would anyone with an Nvidia card choose Linux?


Hot new hardware now includes mini-notebooks, such as the EEEPC, the MSI Wind, the Acer Aspire One and the not-yet-released Dell E. They all run Linux.

None of them will be including Nvidia graphics chips I would imagine ... they all would use either an Intel chip or perhpas now an ATI chip. Since these both have open source drivers and specification documentation made available (so that the open source drivers are no longer based on reverse engineering, but instead are based on actual hardware documentation) ... it means that the kernel can be updated, or Xorg can be updated, and the video driver updated at the same time just by a re-compile.

Therefore, either Intel graphics or ATI graphics is far more desirable for a Linux system than nvidia graphics.

Even Via Chrome graphics might become more viable for Linux than nvidia :

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NjUyMg

Since there is a new and growing breed of machines for which an open Linux driver for all of the hardware is a necessity, nvidia will be missing out on a market opportunity here.

I know that nvidia's attitude on this topic lost me as a customer ... put it that way.

Reply Score: 6

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

some of us use more than the software license when making a choice. If nVidia can provide solid X modules and timely updates then that's fine with me. I don't buy the "we want to protect our IP" excuse but my end user need is functional quality not how it got there.

I'd love to see them release specs see if they can keep up with or contribute too community development. ATI of old couldn't keep up and wouldn't release specs so I voted with my wallet. The license is not the ultimate decision metric for me though.

Reply Score: 4

fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

You can use BSD or Solaris. Period.

Reply Score: 2

MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

"The new 48XX AMD cards are the best cards around PERIOD"

The only concern I have right now is how they perform in Wine. I've run across more than one report of an app (game, obviously) not running in Wine with AMD but running with nVidia. I don't recall which right now, or if they were even apps I use.

That wouldn't be enough to keep me from buying AMD for my next card though. They have been more willing to work with Linux lately, and should gain some share of the Linux market; hopefully enough to start getting possible situations with wine fixed where nVidia works and AMD doesn't.

Obviously some people are happy with the binary drivers. I was for years. But just as I refused to touch ATI before they got bought (when they were moving away from open source, and their closed source drivers sucked) I'm moving away from nVidia for something that I find better.

I'm voting with my wallet. Unfortunately nVidia doesn't seem to care too much for the Linux market so even if every Linux user voted the same way I doubt they'd change things up. But for whatever reason AMD did, and I only need one company to do so ;)

Reply Score: 2

kittynipples Member since:
2006-08-02

The new 48XX AMD cards are the best cards around PERIOD

...

So why would any Linux user still choose Nvidia?


The AMD/ATI chips are inferior to what NVIDIA is putting out. The only reason why their card has better performance is because they stack 2 chips on it.

Reply Score: 2

kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Nope,

the normal 4870 is better in every respect than the GTX 280 ..

( german: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/Radeon-HD-4800-uebertrumpft-Konkurre... )

Reply Score: 4

jibbers Member since:
2008-06-25

I like how they use the theoretical GFLOPS numbers instead of actually running any real applications. Oh right, because that would show how the GTX280 spanks anything and everything AMD has.

Oops. You fail.

Reply Score: 1

TheMonoTone Member since:
2006-01-01

The nvidia chip has a much more elaborate setup and many many more transistors.

I'd say the ATI chip design is very good for what it does. Its cheap to produce, sips power, stays cool, and its *scalable* by adding on die copies or on board copies.

Comparing price to performance its pretty obvious what most sane people would fork over money for.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nvidia is not needed anymore ..
by evangs on Wed 25th Jun 2008 13:44 UTC in reply to "Nvidia is not needed anymore .."
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07


So why would any Linux user still choose Nvidia?


Intel FTW?

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The old ones sucked baddly. I ended up moving to nVidia GPU for the first time in all the machines I've built because of the Grief.

I'm glad to see AMD turning it around though and would buy an AMD GPU next time if the hardware compares too the 20+ processing channels, Array'd random object skinning and similar functions. We'll see, one of my magazine subscriptions has a simplified technical breakdown of nVidia's next generation GPU and it was the 8800 breakdown that provided the final reason to move away from ATI.

Reply Score: 2

don't open source nvidia...
by xushi on Wed 25th Jun 2008 10:15 UTC
xushi
Member since:
2005-08-29

I REALLY really hope they do not open source nvidia... It, to me, shows one of the best example on how open source IS harmful, and does cause damage..

Here we are, years after years of observing ATI's open source drivers just being 10 steps back, and, to put it in one word, SHITE.. I've never had it working properly in any kernel on any distribution of Linux.. After months of trying hard (which is not i want to do), and it eventually works half well, a new kernel is released which breaks everything and you wait again and again forever.. This is personal experience many many years ago. You can check linuxquestions.org for the endless threads i created or participated in.

Nowadays, I end up with an ATI card again, and it's back to square 1 with the problems..

On the other hand, when I switched to nvidia's closed source drivers, believe it or not, they WORK! and they work right out of the box, with no hacking, spending months reading and editing, or any of that sort.. It has been like that for years on end with all the cards I got...

And guess what? I bought a new-ish nvidia card last week to replace the ATI graphics I have, and, yep, it WORKS out of the box, with just a few clicks, and my machine doesn't feel like a 486 anymore...

This to me sells it.. do not open source the drivers, otherwise you'll just ruin the drivers forever... Heck, I don't want to see what happened with Sun's Java, and Solaris, to happen with nvidia. The other two are so lost now with everyone (At least for solaris) making tons of different copies and working on their own instead of improving ONE...

anyway, i've said what i wanted to say. Some things should not be open sourced.. it's not the best solution, or even the solution for many situations.

Reply Score: 0

RE: don't open source nvidia...
by JMcCarthy on Wed 25th Jun 2008 10:22 UTC in reply to "don't open source nvidia..."
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

ATI open source drivers up until recently have had to be reverse engineered. Of course the quality isn't going to be spectacular -- though considering that they're pretty decent.

Your argument fails.

Edited 2008-06-25 10:25 UTC

Reply Score: 11

timefortea Member since:
2006-10-11

ATI open source drivers up until recently have had to be reverse engineered. Of course the quality isn't going to be spectacular -- though considering that they're pretty decent.

Your argument fails.


I think that means xushi's argument does not fail. The NVidia driver is great. I specifically bought an NVidia 9600 recently because of NVidia's support of previous cards I had. I had to download a beta driver as the hardware is pretty new but guess what? Its working perfectly. No problems in two months on my 64-bit Ubuntu 8.04.

Reply Score: 4

kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Nonsense.

The drivers might work for a few games but other than that they totally suck ( http://vizzzion.org/?blogentry=819 ) .. actually like their windows counterparts which cause most of the Vista crashes ( like 29% of all Vista crashes ).

Edited 2008-06-25 16:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: don't open source nvidia...
by xushi on Wed 25th Jun 2008 17:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: don't open source nvidia..."
xushi Member since:
2005-08-29

ATI open source drivers up until recently have had to be reverse engineered. Of course the quality isn't going to be spectacular -- though considering that they're pretty decent.

Your argument fails.


Honestly, not everyone using or wanting to use Linux is a geek or should be required to know so much about all this regarding graphics drivers.. I personally don't give a rat's behind at all if it's reversed engineered or whatnot.. The only thing i absolutely care about is if the end result WORKS or not.. especially when i put a huge part of my salary into buying a good machine or latptop.

If you would like to stick to what you said or give me this "linux is not for ........" crap, then enjoy watching Linux fall behind and be the OS for the minority. Yes, take it how you like it, but you ARE the minority, because I can guarantee you the majority thinks the same.

Anyway, like i said, I speak from personal experience, to the extent that I switched to OSX and have never been more happy.. regardless open source or not, free or not.. it WORKS.

And to Soulbender, so far it runs on only x86 and x64, but runs on XP, Vista, Solaris, FreeBSD, and Linux to my knowledge.

Regards,

Reply Score: 2

JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

I'm not arguing with any of this, I was simply responding to your "please don't open source drivers, ATIs are garbage".

ATI open source drivers are garbage (sic) not because they're open source, but because at the time the majority of code was written there was no documentation available so they had to reverse engineer the proprietary driver.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

ATI open source drivers up until recently have had to be reverse engineered. Of course the quality isn't going to be spectacular -- though considering that they're pretty decent. Your argument fails. Honestly, not everyone using or wanting to use Linux is a geek or should be required to know so much about all this regarding graphics drivers.. I personally don't give a rat's behind at all if it's reversed engineered or whatnot.. The only thing i absolutely care about is if the end result WORKS or not.. especially when i put a huge part of my salary into buying a good machine or latptop. If you would like to stick to what you said or give me this "linux is not for ........" crap, then enjoy watching Linux fall behind and be the OS for the minority. Yes, take it how you like it, but you ARE the minority, because I can guarantee you the majority thinks the same. Anyway, like i said, I speak from personal experience, to the extent that I switched to OSX and have never been more happy.. regardless open source or not, free or not.. it WORKS. And to Soulbender, so far it runs on only x86 and x64, but runs on XP, Vista, Solaris, FreeBSD, and Linux to my knowledge. Regards,


The problem with your theory about OSX (or for that matter Windows) is that yes IT WORKS ... on hardware that is designed to work with it.

If you did the same courtesy for Linux ... and just run Linux only on hardware that was designed to work with Linux, such as Intel graphics hardware, or lately ATI graphics hardware, then ... lo and behold ... Linux too JUST WORKS.

In fact, Linux WORKS on more hardware than either OSX or Vista does.

Reply Score: 2

TheMonoTone Member since:
2006-01-01

I could say the same for my crossfire 3870 setup. It works perfectly fine with the fglrx drivers. Actually, it seems to work significantly better with regard to 2d performance than the various nvidia cards I've had.

Why did I choose ATI instead of nvidia after nearly 7 years of solely being an nvidia customer?

* They opened their hardware documentation.
* They are committed to improving their drivers. They are *much* better than the ones I used when they first released their fglrx driver. Just as good as the nvidia driver if not better.
* My purchase will never be dropped now. Even if fglrx drops support after a certain version as nvidia has done, the open source version will continue to have bug fixes and (hopefully!) features added since the documentation is out there and available.

Documentation on how the hardware operates is the key thing here. If nvidia did what ATI does with regard to documentation I would see no problem. They refuse claiming IP... yet Intel and ATI managed to do so no problemo.

I see nvidia becoming that giant slow to adapt corporate world. Its not just a sign of a company that doesn't care to help support their products forever with documentation, it shows a company that is unwilling to be open minded and flexible. AMD and Intel, I congratulate you on being more admirable companies in this regard. Hardware shouldn't be making money on driver implementations, they should be making money on *hardware* implementations.

Reply Score: 1

RE: don't open source nvidia...
by Kochise on Wed 25th Jun 2008 11:20 UTC in reply to "don't open source nvidia..."
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

All the "I don't rely proprietary code" stuff is just non-sense : nVidia drivers, Opera browser, ... ain't considered as an issue on the Windows world, why would it be on the 'open-source' FOSS ? This is plain gross... Aren't the nVidia drivers good enough ? Don't they just do the work ? What expecting much from open-source drivers ? What about 'Nouveau' then ?

Kochise

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Aren't the nVidia drivers good enough ? Don't they just do the work ?


Do they run on other architectures than x86? On OpenBSD? On Haiku?
Personally I don't care whether the source is open or not as long as the API is documented and not encumbered.

Reply Score: 4

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Do they run on other architectures than x86? On OpenBSD? On Haiku? Personally I don't care whether the source is open or not as long as the API is documented and not encumbered.


Even if they were open sourced, they still wouldn't work on Haiku. The viral nature of the GPL and all, the GPL is incompatible with other open source licenses.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Why not? Nothing is stoping someone from distributing the OSS driver (if indeed it was GPL licenses) separately from Haiku.
Also note that OSS does not automatically equal GPL (but I guess that is what many people actually meant in this thread).

Reply Score: 4

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Why not? Nothing is stopping someone from distributing the OSS driver (if indeed it was GPL licenses) separately from Haiku.


That much is true, but I have the idea that the main Haiku devs (who know the most about Haiku anyway) wouldn't touch the hypothetical code with a ten foot pole, so who would port the darn thing?

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

That's not really the point. It could be done given there's enough interest and someone is willing to port it. With a binary-only, closed-source driver and/or no API documentation it couldn't be done no matter what.

Edited 2008-06-25 12:50 UTC

Reply Score: 2

BSDfan Member since:
2007-03-14

You realize that most drivers for Xorg are MIT licenced right? I think an MIT licenced driver would definitely fit into Haiku.

People are asking the wrong thing of Nvidia, their source is their own.. AMD isn't releasing their drivers source, what everyone should have been asking is for the release of DOCUMENTATION. (But no, Linux developers are lame code seeking monkeys..)

Good documentation is far better then an OSS driver, at least it would allow people to write their own driver for their own OS under their own licence.

That is all.

Edited 2008-06-25 12:40 UTC

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

You realize that most drivers for Xorg are MIT licenced right? I think an MIT licenced driver would definitely fit into Haiku.

People are asking the wrong thing of Nvidia, their source is their own.. AMD isn't releasing their drivers source, what everyone should have been asking is for the release of DOCUMENTATION. (But no, Linux developers are lame code seeking monkeys..)


Oh no, far from it.

For example ... AMD/ATI didn't release open source code ... instead they released hardware documentation.
http://developer.amd.com/documentation/Pages/default.aspx

There is an AMD/ATI driver fro Linux called fglrx, but that is closed source. There are now not one but at least two open-source drivers for AMD/ATI graphics cards ...
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_evolution&nu...

Intel release source code of an open source for their cards, but recently Intel have released documentation as well.

http://intellinuxgraphics.org/documentation.html

Edited 2008-06-25 13:44 UTC

Reply Score: 3

BSDfan Member since:
2007-03-14

Did you even read what I said? I'm aware of the documentation released by AMD/Intel.

If you learnt to read, I said that's exactly what people should be asking NVidia for.

DOCUMENTATION. NOT CODE!

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

So release under LGPL or a more compatible license then. Releasing source does not have to mean GPL'd source. BSDs already dual license.

Reply Score: 2

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Choose your hardware accordingly : x86 ! And stop exotic stuff, or then choose compatible video card ! Why focusing on nVidia so much ?

Kochise

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Thanks for missing the point, it was fun playing.
If you have non x86 or "exotic" stuff then the nVidia binary drivers does not work, is not good enough and you would be helped by (preferably) docs or code.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: don't open source nvidia...
by WereCatf on Wed 25th Jun 2008 12:14 UTC in reply to "RE: don't open source nvidia..."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Aren't the nVidia drivers good enough ? Don't they just do the work ?

Atleast in my case no. You see, I have this laptop with GeForce 4 integrated, the card itself is getting a little old so nVidia won't be releasing new drivers for it, they will not make any improvements to them nor are they fixing the issues I have with them. My issues are pretty bad, too: the drivers under Linux insist I have the laptop connected to external monitor so they disable the DFP, and under both Windows and Linux they insist the DFP size is 968x768, not 1024x768 as it really is. If the drivers were open-source then someone could atleast fix the issue! OTOH, the NV linux driver correctly detects the DFP but doesn't have 3D acceleration, and Nouveau drivers are nowhere useable yet. The only way to make the the nvidia drivers work under Linux is to manually edit the xorg.conf, take a dump of the DFP edid and modify it with a hexeditor and add that too to the xorg.conf. Under Windows I either have to use Omega drivers which won't allow higher res than 968x768 or the horribly, horribly outdated Toshiba-released drivers..

So, are you still saying OSS wouldn't help anyone?

Reply Score: 6

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Yes, I would recommend not to focus on nVidia if they don't answer your requests or take care of your bug reports. If the video card is an issue, change of it, I'm pretty sure there is another brand out there that have solved your problems. Last option : buy an NDA license to nVidia and debug their drivers ;)

Kochise

Reply Score: 1

RE: don't open source nvidia...
by Redeeman on Wed 25th Jun 2008 12:07 UTC in reply to "don't open source nvidia..."
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

you do ofcourse realize that the drivers which breaks on new kernels are the closed ones... are you perhaps confused? this is exactly the type of thing which ALSO happens with nvidia, but NOT the free drivers..

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: don't open source nvidia...
by Kochise on Wed 25th Jun 2008 14:06 UTC in reply to "RE: don't open source nvidia..."
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Don't move of kernel then... The nVidia proprietary drivers is a known issue for quite a long time now, why the Hell such intelligent people like you are STILL using these hardware while it is known to cause trouble ? Are you all masochists ?

Kochise

Reply Score: 1

RE: don't open source nvidia...
by elanthis on Wed 25th Jun 2008 15:02 UTC in reply to "don't open source nvidia..."
elanthis Member since:
2007-02-17

Congratulations on being a dumbass. The ATI open source drivers have been reversed engined until (very!) recently, and of course they'd be crappy in that case. The Intel drivers -- which are Open Source, but supported and developed by Intel engineers -- are damn nice, and the new ATI drivers are coming along at a quick pace (even a proprietary driver can't be developed any faster - most proprietary drivers are started on years before the hardware they're designed for hits the market). NVIDIA "just works" because it's been around a long time and NVIDIA has access to the full specs for the cards, not because it's closed source.

Reply Score: 2

RE: don't open source nvidia...
by jabbotts on Wed 25th Jun 2008 15:21 UTC in reply to "don't open source nvidia..."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Until AMD baught ATI, the OSS ATI driver was based on reverse engineering. The developers did a heck of a job without any support from the hardware manufacturer. In comparison, the ATI provided closed source driver was shite; no 3D framerate above 20 even aftare archain "adjustments" and every howto I could lay eyes on.

Again, in comparison, the ATI supported OSS drivers for the newer GPU seem to be doing very well.

Why can't ATI release hardaware specs and/or put all that IP crap in the chips behind a generic driver interface?

Reply Score: 2

RE: don't open source nvidia...
by irbis on Wed 25th Jun 2008 18:16 UTC in reply to "don't open source nvidia..."
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

It is the dedication and the amount of resources and expertise put into development that matters - not actually so much whether the software / hardware / drivers are open source or closed source. But - naturally open sourcing could help in many cases by providing more resources for the development from the community.

Nvidia is a closed source company but they have put lots work and money also into making their proprietary Linux drivers work well. It is that dedication and hard work that has made those Nvidia Linux drivers work relatively well.

The problem of proprietary closed source development is, of course, the restricted development resources that a single company can have. Like some have already mentioned here, some older Nvidia cards may not get good driver updates anymore etc. In that sense open sourcing could help a lot.

As another example, Matrox used to be a relatively Linux-friendly video card manufacturer, at least many years ago. But the proprietary drivers for their newest cards have not been too good anymore. Matrox didn't seem to have the resources to support Linux better anymore. Their closed source development model did certainly not help them a bit in that sense. On the other hand, open sourcing could have helped as they would then get lots of help from the community for their Linux development. But they were not interested - and lost lots of Linux customers because of that.

Open source means that customers can fix (and see) problems by themselves and improve and tweak the product to suit their personal needs better. By taking the open source route many especially smaller hardware companies could benefit a lot from the extra community resources as they would not have to compete with the big players all by themselves in driver development.

Edited 2008-06-25 18:27 UTC

Reply Score: 3

project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

nvidia produces drivers for solaris and freebsd, ati doesn't.

Reply Score: 10

rlewczuk Member since:
2006-05-04

People need a stable driver working CONSISTENTLY among various kernel versions, distros and hardware configurations. After a fight with my (quite old) NVidia 7600 card and its binary driver (on a still uncommon 64-bit/8GB system) I got back to OSS (plain 2D) driver, ceasing 3D completely in order to have a stable system. Graphic driver was the only binary-only part of my system and the only source of problems. And a major source of pain when upgrading.

The only way to get a device stable among various distros is to put driver code into mainline kernel and release full hardware documentation. Given enough eyes looking at it (and enough time from getting full docs to squash all bugs), community will fix the problem by itself. Just look how well Matrox cards are supported on Linux.

Reply Score: 3

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

I repeat - STOP - I repeat : go at Santa Clara and trow your nVidia cards at their faces, they'll understand they just lost a market and move their mindset ! No, really ;)

What I can advice you, if you are such a good quality coder, that have driver knowledge, just help the OpenGraphic team, so that everyone around the world will get open-sourced driver for an open-hardware video card ! Shiver nVidia, shiver...

Kochise

Reply Score: 1

b00gie Member since:
2006-06-09

Oh guess what. Binary code is compiled source code ^^
So actually users take advantage of a quality source code something that nvidia simple can not provide ;)
The easy use of their drivers are nothing more than years of winnings from linux users (u prbbly werent around old times) and of course package managers that make the more than the half job done.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

It's why all those programs out there are available as tar.gz. Write once, compile and run across the linux distros, BSDs and any other platform with Make and the base libraries available.

Of course you need a binary to run the bits but you need source first to get the binary.

Reply Score: 3

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Just to make things clear, as obviously someone has taken offense from the truth (live with it, yet nVidia don't release their source code) : nVidia invest a load of money into research & development, which turns into propritary hardware, which is driven with the suitable software. Don't fell offended, it the way it works, period. *IF* nVidia drives 95% of their revenu from the Windows market, it's pretty normal their concentrate 95% of their efforts on that market. But since all OSS noobs wants everything for free, holding up the GPL as a possible treat, I bet that you (me) guys gets only what we paid for. Remind me, what have you paid for your driver ? 5% of the market share ? So that's pretty normal it works at 5% of its full capabilities...

NOoooooOW if you're interrested into a customizable open-hardware, a customizable open-software, just F*****G do it, *ALL* of it ! I already told complaining people to focus on the http://opengraphics.org/ project that, well, exists for quite a long time now (on the computer scale) and haven't benefited much from the "ImpreSSSSSive Linux geeks horse-power", otherwise its openess would have allowed something matching the latests nVidia and/or AMD/ATI specs ! Think about it, the night when you fell asleep...

I'll conclude that *IF* the world would be so much of a wonderful place if everything was free, I ask you : where are the free computers ? where are the free cars ? where are the free homes ? why wouldn't everyone just work for free then ? After all, free plans are available from various places (scans from P2P, ...) and everybody ain't that stupid. So why aren't there more 'free hardware' running out there ? Think about it, twice, the night when you fell asleep...

So I recommand you, when you switch from a supported plateform (Windows, Mac OSX, ...) to so various unknown systems, just check that it is supported by your hardware vendor. Don't complain afterward, it's useless... You won't take nVidia into hostage, they drives their revenu from keeping their industrial secret out of sight, just understand this. And if it wasn't the case, being unable to make enough profit, should I remind you... 3Dfx ? Kyro ?

Kochise

Reply Score: 1

JamesTRexx Member since:
2005-11-06

Except... I use FreeBSD 7.0, no driver for that version, only 6.x.
My next videocard will be AMD/ATI when x.org has a full 3D driver for it.

Reply Score: 2

cptnapalm Member since:
2006-08-09

... on x86 maybe. Try getting an nVidia driver for Solaris on UltraSparc or FreeBSD on PPC or any operating system on non-x86 hardware.

Reply Score: 1

slashdev Member since:
2006-05-14

Last I checked, 3D acceleration worked on OpenSolaris and SolarisExpress via ATI hardware. Its still not perfect, but its coming along.

Reply Score: 1

Up to Them
by segedunum on Wed 25th Jun 2008 10:37 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

That's entirely up to them. However, whilst nVidia's cards have generally been quite Linux friendly, and their drivers have been of a reasonable quality, if other vendors (like AMD) commit to open sourced drivers that can be shipped with distributions where you get good quality right from the install, those drivers can be debugged, patched and where people in desktops and other projects have a fighting chance of working out exactly where bugs are occurring, I can just see things getting difficult for nVidia. We had a few manufacturers create binary only modules for Linux in the past, and those are few and far between now because the development model always puts that kind of development at a disadvantage. Drivers are tested, debugged and shipped with the kernel and other software to maintain integrity.

The response means nothing. The 'intellectual property' argument is an oft used argument that doesn't stand up when you look at how many people are writing open source drivers now that have used the same argument in the past.

"NVIDIA doesn't expect Linux kernel developers to debug issues in NVIDIA's kernel module."

Then I'm afraid you don't understand the development model of the platform that you're writing drivers for. If people in the wider development world can't work out what's going on in your software, and you're not fixing bugs fast enough and you're introducing new ones at the same time, people will just sideline you and give your users no support. It's happened to many other types of driver before.

Linux is getting towards a tipping point where if a piece of hardware and its drivers didn't work properly on Linux the manufacturer just used to puts its hands up and tell us that Linux was the problem. Now if it doesn't work on Linux it's becoming more their problem.

Edited 2008-06-25 10:39 UTC

Reply Score: 6

So what happens when nV goes tits-up?
by Matzon on Wed 25th Jun 2008 10:39 UTC
Matzon
Member since:
2005-07-06

NVIDIA doesn't expect Linux kernel developers to debug issues in NVIDIA's kernel module

Right, but who is going to support the drivers when you don't care about the product any more or you're out of business?

Reply Score: 6

Michael Member since:
2005-07-01

I don't think they care what happens when they're out of business...

Reply Score: 3

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Do some people stil improves 3Dfx drivers or Kyro drivers ? I bet no, because these hardware are now out of date for quite a long time. *IF* nVidia cames bankrupt (I doubt, Intel will buy them when they'll be cheaper) then other video cards will replace their aging harware, and the supposed driver support will become a non-issue...

Kochise

Reply Score: 1

Man I am sick of these articles...
by BluenoseJake on Wed 25th Jun 2008 11:12 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

The mouse is dieing, microsoft is dieing, apple is dieing, the PC is dieing, blah blah blah.

The mouse isn't going anywhere, any of this new tech is nowhere near the point where it is ready for main stream PC usage.

The article talks about trends, but there is no trend, Windows 7 is supposed to have multi-touch, but that isn't even going to be available until 2010, the iphone has multi-touch, but it isn't replacing PCs, it's a phone. Gestural computing? that's all we need, a bunch of cubicle workers waving their arms in the air like they just don't care...whatever.

Most laptop users I know keep a mouse in their bag just for long computing sessions. I think the mouse is going to be around for a very long time, it'll be like the floppy, living on for decades after being supplanted by newer tech.

I posted this to the article about the mouse, but it popped in here, I have no idea why. Please ignore

Edited 2008-06-25 11:13 UTC

Reply Score: 1

nvidia=liars
by _txf_ on Wed 25th Jun 2008 11:42 UTC
_txf_
Member since:
2008-03-17

As many know nvidia provides an opensource nv driver. It does 2d only.

Unfortunately it is crap, the code is written in a way so to prevent anyone from outside of nvidia to possibly getting it working. It is hideous, and completely against the spirit if not the letter of GPL.

Marcheau, the project leader of nouveau once offered to de-obfuscate the nv driver and his services free of charge to nvidia were denied. Hence today we have nouveau.

The intellectual property argument really doesn't fly anymore seeing as ati are releasing specs to their gpus. Now there are things which ati has said it cannot release specs for like uvd which contains 3rd party proprietary tech, but it is better than nothing and is something nvidia could provide esp for legacy hardware which is no longer cutting edge and thus not likely to contain hardware design that might give competitors an advantage over them.

Lately Nvidia aren't doing themselves any favours in the linux community.

Reply Score: 1

ridiculous
by mmu_man on Wed 25th Jun 2008 12:31 UTC
mmu_man
Member since:
2006-09-30

There is no reason whatsoever for nv to keep their driver closed.
This "IP" argument is void, as the competitors have armies of people ready to reverse engineer those drivers if they wish to (and they likely do). So the only ones hurt by this is the FOSS devs.
And mind you this doesn't include solely Linux.
How do you make your nv card when you have Solaris, *BSD (ok maybe those 2 they support), Darwin, Haiku, AROS, ReactOS, ... ?
That also goes for closed OSes like SkyOS, AmigaOS...
And even Linux itself! They claim they support Linux, when in fact they only support linux-i386 and maybe ia64.
How do ppc, mips, arm users do ???
Certainly I won't buy nvidia next time.

Reply Score: 4

I just want it to WORK....
by HangLoose on Wed 25th Jun 2008 13:04 UTC
HangLoose
Member since:
2007-09-03

Not everything in the world needs to be open/close source. Some thing might work better in one approach than other... And its the company decision to make whatever messy or great thing they want with their products.

And if someone feels SOOO affected by nvidia's decision of not opening the source. Please, choose something else, its not the end of the world... Just move on and stop crying, geez. It's like this with every product that you buy... One is even deciding to use Linux instead of something else.

I have both ATI and NVidia cards, laptop/desktop respectively, and for me they work well and thats the thing that I want. Both have been working very good with every distro that I have tried recently (ubuntu/opensuse/fedora/) and even opensolaris...

Being a purist in every little tiny detail is just going to make your stress level grow...

Edited 2008-06-25 13:08 UTC

Reply Score: 1

NVIDIA is malicious
by quink on Wed 25th Jun 2008 13:10 UTC
quink
Member since:
2008-06-25

Here's what NVIDIA has been saying: "NVIDIA supports Linux, as well as the Linux community and has long been praised for the quality of the NVIDIA Linux driver. NVIDIA's fully featured Linux graphics driver is provided as binary-only because it contains intellectual property NVIDIA wishes to protect, both in hardware and in software.", "NVIDIA doesn't expect Linux kernel developers to debug issues in NVIDIA's kernel module"

Last year, NVIDIA has had revenues of $4.1 billion. It has just introduced platforms such as Tegra, a computer-on-a-chip and Tesla, a dedicated CUDA-based solution for computational problems.

On the other hand the news that 29% of Vista crashes are due to NVIDIA drivers. A bug in the Linux driver caused an exploit to be possible for 2 years. I can't hibernate my computer when TwinView is active. In a nutshell, NVIDIA is too rich to care about IP issues. And NVIDIA is too rich to have had really shitty Vista drivers without them putting a lot of effort into making sure they and the Linux drivers are crap. With $4.1 billion dollars and half the gaming graphics market at their disposal, NVIDIA should be more like Intel or AMD, companies that want to make sure that everything in a PC works well. NVIDIA is a company that seems to hate the personal computer and the liberties it gives people and is trying to make it an unappealing platform as possible while still extorting the most money out of people.

What NVIDIA is quite clearly purposely doing their best to kill the open PC platform. It doesn't even matter whether it is Linux, Windows or Apple they hate. They just want a lock on the platform, iTunes+iPod style, and OpenCL and CUDA are a way of doing just that. Ensuring that the PC of tomorrow is utterly dependent on NVIDIA.

There's a saying: Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity. I really don't believe that NVIDIA is stupid, otherwise they wouldn't have conquered the world with the nForce and GeForce. I do believe that they are malicious.

There's a much better reason for not buying NVIDIA products other than the crappy driver situation. The reason is to keep Intel and AMD alive and kicking NVIDIA's collective butt. I hope NVIDIA goes out of business ASAP for their morally extremely bankrupt vision.

Reply Score: 5

RE: NVIDIA is malicious
by zindong on Wed 25th Jun 2008 17:30 UTC in reply to "NVIDIA is malicious"
zindong Member since:
2008-06-25

I think we should reverse the saying "Never attribute to stupidity what can be explained by mailce"

Reply Score: 1

Open Graphics Project
by theosib on Wed 25th Jun 2008 13:12 UTC
theosib
Member since:
2006-03-02

The OGP was created to face this problem head-on. Open source drivers are a good start. Good documentation is even better. But how can you beat having access to the internals of your graphics chip?

Reply Score: 2

No surprise!
by Piranha on Wed 25th Jun 2008 14:16 UTC
Piranha
Member since:
2008-06-24

Is this a surprise to anyone really? NVIDIA knows that everyone would 'prefer' opensource drivers, but why would they want to change now? AMD opened up theirs since their market share is declining and wanted a boost from the opensource community (which is good).

Unless Linux starts advertising and buoycotting against NVIDIA, I don't see them opening up their documentation or driver unless there is a serious decline in sales, which I don't see since the 'People-who-care-about-an-OSS-driver':Windows users is still soooo soooo small! It's sad, but as people have said "Vote with your wallets"!

Reply Score: 1

ati nvidia
by graigsmith on Wed 25th Jun 2008 15:08 UTC
graigsmith
Member since:
2006-04-05

i had bought an nvidia card, but it just died after 3 months for no reason, took it back and they gave me store credit to get another card.

got an ati card with the same price on it, and wow. theres a major speed difference. especially when you turn on antialiasing. much faster rendering.

and hey the drivers and specs are open sourced.

i say screw nvidia, just go with amd/ati, it's better anyways.

Reply Score: 1

I understand their position
by kajaman on Wed 25th Jun 2008 15:16 UTC
kajaman
Member since:
2006-01-06

But for me - it's not a support of Linux users, it's poisoning their systems with binary blobs.

No, I won't buy Nvidia till they make their drivers free. I'm happy with Intel GPUs for now.

Thanks NV!

Reply Score: 1

Linux gamers.
by Kishe on Wed 25th Jun 2008 15:57 UTC
Kishe
Member since:
2006-02-16

Nvidia is still the only option for those running cedega or Wine.


I personally dont care if the software I use is OSS or not...What I care about is if it works and if it suits my needs.

Nvidia still holds the most market share so i'm sure Major linux distros wont be too eager to alienate that many potential customers just for silly agenda pushed by handful of over idealistic kernel devs.

Take away the drivers and Nvidia users will just go back to windows and linux will meet many percentages drop in users.

Edited 2008-06-25 15:58 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linux gamers.
by _txf_ on Wed 25th Jun 2008 16:12 UTC in reply to "Linux gamers."
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Right...except for the fact that they can't ship with the binary nvidia drivers and therefore provide a working linux desktop out of the box...yeah, I'm sure distros love it!

No one is suggesting (at least not me) that nvidia drop their binary driver. Just stop making crappy excuses like IP, and possibly support with documentation or help out the nouveau devs who have the thankless task of reverse engineering nvidia cards.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Linux gamers.
by binarycrusader on Wed 25th Jun 2008 16:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux gamers."
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

Right...except for the fact that they can't ship with the binary nvidia drivers and therefore provide a working linux desktop out of the box...yeah, I'm sure distros love it!


Actually they can. It is their choice to not do so. There are distributions out there that distribute them with nVidia drivers.

No one is suggesting (at least not me) that nvidia drop their binary driver. Just stop making crappy excuses like IP, and possibly support with documentation or help out the nouveau devs who have the thankless task of reverse engineering nvidia cards.


Since when did responsibility to shareholders and being fiscally responsible equate to crappy excuses? nVidia's IP is worth millions to them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Linux gamers.
by _txf_ on Wed 25th Jun 2008 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Linux gamers."
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17


Since when did responsibility to shareholders and being fiscally responsible equate to crappy excuses? nVidia's IP is worth millions to them.


I'm saying ip as a reason not to provide documentation not is not valid because ati does it. Unless seemingly all of nvidia's gpu ip is not owned by nvidia and ati owns all of theirs.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Linux gamers.
by binarycrusader on Wed 25th Jun 2008 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Linux gamers."
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

"
Since when did responsibility to shareholders and being fiscally responsible equate to crappy excuses? nVidia's IP is worth millions to them.


I'm saying ip as a reason not to provide documentation not is not valid because ati does it. Unless seemingly all of nvidia's gpu ip is not owned by nvidia and ati owns all of theirs.
"

Just because ATi does it does not mean it is a good financial decision for nVidia.

Rememeber that ATi is essentially at the bottom of the pile. nVidia and Intel own most of the market.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Linux gamers.
by Redeeman on Wed 25th Jun 2008 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Linux gamers."
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

"Right...except for the fact that they can't ship with the binary nvidia drivers and therefore provide a working linux desktop out of the box...yeah, I'm sure distros love it!


Actually they can. It is their choice to not do so. There are distributions out there that distribute them with nVidia drivers.

No one is suggesting (at least not me) that nvidia drop their binary driver. Just stop making crappy excuses like IP, and possibly support with documentation or help out the nouveau devs who have the thankless task of reverse engineering nvidia cards.


Since when did responsibility to shareholders and being fiscally responsible equate to crappy excuses? nVidia's IP is worth millions to them.
"

Distributing a compiled and linked version of the nvidia binary drivers is a GPL violation. Those who does it, are not doing it legally.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Linux gamers.
by binarycrusader on Wed 25th Jun 2008 19:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Linux gamers."
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

"[q]Right...except for the fact that they can't ship with the binary nvidia drivers and therefore provide a working linux desktop out of the box...yeah, I'm sure distros love it!


Actually they can. It is their choice to not do so. There are distributions out there that distribute them with nVidia drivers.

No one is suggesting (at least not me) that nvidia drop their binary driver. Just stop making crappy excuses like IP, and possibly support with documentation or help out the nouveau devs who have the thankless task of reverse engineering nvidia cards.


Since when did responsibility to shareholders and being fiscally responsible equate to crappy excuses? nVidia's IP is worth millions to them.
"

Distributing a compiled and linked version of the nvidia binary drivers is a GPL violation. Those who does it, are not doing it legally. [/q]

Actually, it isn't. If you read posts from Linus himself, he does not believe the nVidia driver to be a GPL violation, nor distribution of it to be.

Nor has your theory ever been tested in court.

As such, I prefer to take Linus' public view on this and say that it does not.

Reply Score: 1

I've seen it happen and ...
by gnemmi on Wed 25th Jun 2008 17:20 UTC
gnemmi
Member since:
2006-08-17

It boils down to:

1) you give your customers what they ask for.
2) go to bankrupcy.

It's just a matter of time ...

And with two other vendors offering customers what they are asking for (one of them beign intel, which is flooding the market with its embedded GPU in every single motherboard they sell ..) time runs a lot faster ... ;)

Reply Score: 1

nvidia binary driver and kernels
by parentaladvisory on Wed 25th Jun 2008 18:46 UTC
parentaladvisory
Member since:
2006-12-18

I have had NO problems with the nvidia drivers in regards to updating the kernel! How do you people do it? ;)

Anyway, I update the kernel via my distros packagemanager so everything "goes right" there... Then the driver will ofcourse fail to load, cus it's not installed in the right directory for the updated kernel, so a quick "drop" to runlevel 3(or 2 or 4 or whatever, no X anyway ;) ) and a quick uninstall-install procedure restores function to my graphicscard:) Has worked everytime! Never had a "distro-kernel" brake the function of the nvidia driver i 've used...

Reply Score: 1

destraht
Member since:
2006-08-07

I'm not looking for the best frame rates right now. I want to have 3d support with any distro out of the box. I want enough to be able to use google earth (skips are fine), celestia, and something from the quake 2-3 era. That is all that I expect at this time. I want it to work out of the box. I don't want to have to use proprietary drivers.

All of the vendors should support OSS drivers at this level. Damn who cares if we are only getting 35% of the juice out of it. Just give us the damn 35%. They could surely create their own IP for that level of support.

Reply Score: 1

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

It works out of the box in Ubuntu 8.04, just select that distro ;)

Kochise

Reply Score: 1

Nvidia simply doesn't get it
by karl on Thu 26th Jun 2008 12:14 UTC
karl
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have been a Nvidia user since I started using Linux full time (1998)-that means every time I needed to purchase a graphic card I chose to purchase their products; the only non nvidia graphics cards I have used have been in PC's/laptops that I received as gifts or bartered for. My Geforce 6600GT in the machine I am writing this post in is the *last* Nvidia card I will probably ever own. I purchased Nvidia because it "just works" and because there were not really any viable other options, until quite recently. My laptop has an ATI express 300m-a card for which there are no decent reverse engineered drivers and which is too old to be covered by the new forthcoming documentation from AMD/ATI-the propietary driver is currently the only option and frankly it is still pathetic. I also have a small multimedia pc from HP with a very weak older generation Intel graphics-it is supported, but the card itself is just awfully limited.

My weakness has been that I enjoy playing enemy-territory, a 3d FPS game-one of the few freely available for Linux. The desire for a "just works" graphics card for playing this game has led me time and again to purchasing Nvidia products.

Nvidia's management simply does not get it. They simply do not understand how they are actively *harming* the Linux community. No one is demanding that they make their current drivers open source. What the kernel devs are saying is that they want open source drivers. Right now many projects in X.org and the linux kernel are being actively hampered by the lack of documentation of Nvidia cards. Luckily Nouveau is making palpable progress in reverse engineering Nvidias imaginary property.

Nvidia is engaged in rhetorical BS. Instead of answering the call for documentation-they frame everything as a demand that it give away it's imaginary property. Imaginary property-a loaded term, chosen for it's rhetoric effect, is the proper description of Nvidia's IP claims. I do not question whether or not Nvidia has purchased algorithms from 3rd parties which it cannot make open source. I do not question whether or not Nvidia has valuable algorithms which it produced itself which it does not want to give to it's competitors. Nobody cares about these algorithms. What we do care about is registers, memory regions, initialization steps etc., ie. the stuff that is programmable which would allow our Free Software to effectively communicate and control the hardware.

Imaginary property exists, only insofar as no one else except those who create it have access to it. Nvidia YOU CAN KEEP YOUR IMAGINARY PROPERTY. What we want is documentation- either you will provide it or the community will reverse engineer your tech to provide the functionality we need. Once Nouveau has reached the point that modesetting stuff can be put in a kernel module and the rest of the driver integrated into our freely chosen X.org infrastructure(TTM/drm2/gallium/exa) the community will abandon the simple structure which has enabled Nvidia to *easily* provide good drivers for Linux. Nvidia has already tried to heavy-hand future X.org developments by stating what they will and will not support in terms of opengl access. With other options avaiable, alternatives (intel, AMD and others) and a functionally sufficient reverse engineered Nouveau driver- X.org will dictate it's own future and Nvidia will be left playing cathup with a whole slew of ABI/API changes which will make their work even more difficult-hopefully to the point that these idiots wake up and smell the coffee.

And X.org will achieve this by creating an infrastructure that they themselves control and making new advances dependent upon implementations of this infrastructure. Intel and AMD will be intimately involved in this process and Nvidia will not. In short order open source drivers for Intel and AMD/ATI products will provide *better* performance and support than Nvidia is capable of doing-and at that point Nvidia will become the ATI of yore which people avoided like the plague.

Nvidia the good will extended to you by me and many, many others is coming to an end-get with the ball and produce some decent documentation and allow our community to control it's own destiny-or watch yourselves become irrelevant in the Free Software/Open Source landscape.

Nvidia propietary drivers means:

No suspend/resume or hibernation support for laptops
No progress in power saving
No kernel based modesetting
No support for any of the new developments in the X.org infrastructure

Nvidia-please get with the program, document your interfaces and allow the community to work with you instead of against you. Remember we have wallets too.

And finally with a little luck I can abandon nvidia's drivers and switch to Nouveau in the next couple of months-my generation card already has sufficient support in the Nouveau driver to play Quake 3-I am just waiting for bugginess to subside.

Reply Score: 3

Problems with binary driver
by siki_miki on Thu 26th Jun 2008 16:53 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

a) no stable ABI - this means that it's not guaranteed to work with new kernels until updated. Normally, Linux developers aren't crazy to adopt that strategy.

b) binary blob - it isn't scrutinized by multiple sides like the rest of kernel. Remember that Vista driver for nvidia caused up to 30% of total crashes in the last year, due to immaturity of drivers. In open source world, such experimental features wouldn't be accepted into a kernel before it stabilizes.

c) PITA - yes, installing the blob for each kernel can couse troubles, and it usually conflicts with libGL from Mesa. Also they sometimes lack certain features of current Xorg, or don't even support it at the time of release.

c) Progress - Having documentation and help from nvidia would be useful for development of DRI (DRM), Gallium etc. Because it's different hardware and it's good to take it's design into account when developing features like videocard memory management. Having at least basic 3D, EXA etc. support out of box is also a desired feature for Linux (and for user experience with it).

Reply Score: 3