Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 18th Apr 2006 17:49 UTC
Linux Efforts to bring glitzy new graphics to Linux are fueling an old conflict: Does proprietary software belong in open-source Linux? The issue involves software modules called drivers, which plug into the kernel at the heart of the open-source operating system. Drivers let software communicate with hardware such as network adapters, hard drives and video cards.
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RE[5]: My answer is YES
by archiesteel on Wed 19th Apr 2006 01:31 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Either you didn't aware or were being ingorant, when you buy ATI/Nvidia card, there is also windows driver CD in the box.

Really? What if I buy a used card? What if I lose my CD and need to reinstall?

"Out-of-the-box" means that it installed at the same time as the OS, not separately. We're not actually talking about the video card's box...

Mind you, there's nothing preventing the video card manufacturers to put the Linux driver on the CD as well - and in fact I'm sure some already do. However, that's the manufacturer's responsibility, and that still wouldn't make it "out-of-the-box."

But for linux driver, often you must download it yourself and hack the kernel to load the driver.

"Hack the kernel"? Hardly. The NVIDIA installer is a straightforward executable file, just like the ATI installer. And, if you're using Ubuntu, you can have it installed through the EasyUbuntu tool.

That said, it's highly debatable that using a CD to install a driver is simpler or more user-friendly than downloading it from the Internet. That's really a matter of personal preference, not fact.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: My answer is YES
by Babi Asu on Wed 19th Apr 2006 01:48 in reply to "RE[5]: My answer is YES"
Babi Asu Member since:
2006-02-11

"Out-of-the-box" means that it installed at the same time as the OS, not separately. We're not actually talking about the video card's box...

If an OS must provide drivers for all possible out of the box, a full DVD or even HD-DVD/Blu-Ray will not enough for the installation disk. It is make more sense if a computer/laptop is preinstalled for specific hardware, thus only need to provide certain drivers, e.g. Dell, Lenovo, etc. I heard a pre-installed linux laptop, but may be it's for geeks' consumption only.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: My answer is YES
by SpasmaticSeacow on Wed 19th Apr 2006 16:06 in reply to "RE[6]: My answer is YES"
SpasmaticSeacow Member since:
2006-02-17

Untrue. In practice, most hardware uses a fairly standard set of hardware APIs with some minor differences. In fact, you could easily fit the drivers for every commercially available piece of hardware on a single CD and still have room for other stuff.

It's true that a driver disk for Windows might install 10-100M of software when you load the driver, but what's necessary to actually support the hardware is only a few Kbytes. Linux does a better job than Windows of generalizing hardware in this respect.

Reply Parent Score: 3