Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Oct 2009 22:10 UTC, submitted by Michael
3D News, GL, DirectX "In late August we started asking our readers for any questions they had for NVIDIA about Linux and this graphics company's support of open-source operating systems. Twelve pages worth of questions were accumulated and we finally have the answers to a majority of them. NVIDIA's Andy Ritger, who leads the user-space side of the NVIDIA UNIX Graphics Driver team for workstation, desktop, and notebook GPUs, answered these questions. With that said, there are some great, in-depth technical answers and not the usual marketing speak found in many interviews."
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nVidia holds desktop Linux back.
by Zifre on Wed 21st Oct 2009 21:15 UTC
Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

I seriously think that nVidia is the number one thing holding desktop Linux back. If their drivers were open, it would be much easier to make radical changes to the X.org graphics stack. Imagine having open source drivers with KMS and Gallium3d on every major card! The X.org server could have much old functionality stripped out and desktop Linux would be faster and more robust in general.

A lot of people blame X. But we can't change X without changing the drivers. And when we don't have the source to those drivers, X will be stuck in the past.

Reply Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Perhaps, then, it's time to change without nVidia? Sometimes you've just got to grow a backbone and lay it out. You tell everyone what's going to happen and then you do it. We shouldn't be held in the past because of drivers from one vendor, look at Windows for an example of how much cruft that eventually brings.

Reply Parent Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Perhaps, then, it's time to change without nVidia?

Haven't we already suffered enough, over the last year or more, from Xorg churn and chaos??? It's time to *stabilize* Xorg. Clearly, we've had enough dream-chasing for now. Holders of grand visions for Xorg need to just chill, meditate, do some opiates, or go f--k themselves for a while.

Edited 2009-10-22 00:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

That's certainly possible (look at Wayland), but have fun trying to convince Ubuntu to drop support for one of the most common GPU vendors.

It's easy to say "let's just drop support for nVidia", but in real life, it isn't so easy. It would end up hurting desktop Linux more than helping it, because it would make a large fraction of hardware unusable.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

Perhaps, then, it's time to change without nVidia?



That change is in the pipeline right now, anyone running the latest in-development Xorg software stack, to get the new radeon driver + KMS + 2D/3D hardware acceleration, has seen it.

NV will be forced to change the current structure of their driver to work with it, but I imagine they'll manage to keep up (I'm sure they have a new rev of their driver in development for the new Xorg codebase right now).

Maintaining that external binary blob, though, is what always complicates their ability to support Linux (that and never treating Linux as a first-class platform alongside Windows). AMD will no longer have this problem once their open driver takes over from fglrx, AMD's hardware support will all either be in Xorg (Mesa+driver), or the kernel itself (KMS).

Reply Parent Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Because a Unix with a stable abi for binary drivers is just unthinkable.

Oh wait there's Solaris and OSX. Nevermind.

But Linux kernel devs are never wrong. Giving the finger to hardware companies is a wise strategy when you have 1% of the market.

Reply Parent Score: 2

fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

You must work on the typing, Mr Jerkov. You meant to type
http://www.slashdot.org

Reply Parent Score: 3

tobyv Member since:
2008-08-25

I seriously think that nVidia is the number one thing holding desktop Linux back.


No. An unstable API, poor vendor support and a lack of respect for IP among the FOSS community (driving away potential killer-app developers) is holding desktop Linux back.

If their drivers were open, it would be much easier to make radical changes to the X.org graphics stack.


If X.org was refactored in such a radical way, nVidia would release an updated driver.

Reply Parent Score: 0