Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Sep 2010 17:40 UTC, submitted by kragil
Linux Ahem. I just had to write that all-caps headline. Broadcom's wireless chips - used by just about everybody in this industry - have been a major pain in the bum for Linux users, because the company did not release open source drivers. Workarounds had to be created, lots of pain was had in the process, but now, Broadcom has finally seen the light: they have open sourced their wireless Linux drivers.
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Quality
by FunkyELF on Thu 9th Sep 2010 18:44 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

How long ago did ATI / AMD release their graphics drivers as open source? Aren't they still bad compared to NVidia's?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Quality
by daddio on Thu 9th Sep 2010 19:34 in reply to "Quality"
daddio Member since:
2007-07-14

No, they are WAAAY better than nVidias provided open source drivers....

Oh, that not what you meant?

As someone who has used radeonhd, and now radeon opensource drivers since they because available. Its been about a year since they have been usable.

Just over three years since they announced their intent to release documentation. They are not to the point that they are so stable and automatically configured that you just forget they exist... but they are getting close.

Meanwhile, as nouveau with kms is enabled by default on many distros, using the nvidia drivers has become more painful to set up. Hopefully nvidia has a plan to use kms. Their drivers have long rendered the other ttys on your system unusable unless you disable any kind of framebuffer.

But back on topic... This is fantastic news!
One can only hope Broadcomms embedded GPU drivers follow suit!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Quality
by eekee on Thu 9th Sep 2010 21:15 in reply to "RE: Quality"
eekee Member since:
2007-12-17

> Their drivers have long rendered the other ttys on your system unusable unless you disable any kind of framebuffer.

Erm, no, I've never had an issue with nvidia drivers and vesafb. Granted I've never used the new vesa fb, and the old one is a little.. fixed.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Quality
by sorpigal on Fri 10th Sep 2010 18:30 in reply to "RE: Quality"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Its been about a year since they have been usable.

Do you mean "It's been about a year since the time when they were usable," meaning they were once usable but are no longer, or "It's been about a year since the time that they became usable," meaning they have been in a usable state for a while?

From the rest of your post I think you mean the latter, but it was confusing as written.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Quality
by Neolander on Thu 9th Sep 2010 22:02 in reply to "Quality"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

In my opinion, they are now pretty much both of same quality.

On Windows, you download the same amount of crapware, and you have a fairly low failure rate (except for new technologies like Optimus that always have a fairly high failure rate).

On Linux, ATI drivers now work much better (haven't seen them failing in a while, except for window rendering mistakes, though they used to be nightmarish), while NVidia drivers sometimes won't work on hardware marked as supported (especially laptop chipsets) for no reason.

A better level of quality can now only be achieved through better standardization (in hardware interface and in Linux API), test-driven development, massive open sourcing, and more user feedback, in my opinion.

Edited 2010-09-09 22:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Quality
by lemur2 on Fri 10th Sep 2010 02:09 in reply to "Quality"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

How long ago did ATI / AMD release their graphics drivers as open source? Aren't they still bad compared to NVidia's?


ATI / AMD have never released their graphics drivers as open source. Rather, AMD released the programming specifications for their graphics chips, so that open source programmers could write a new open source driver.

Here they are:
http://www.x.org/docs/AMD/

As you can see, for example, the specifications to program 3D functionality for ATI R600/R700 GPUs were released on 07-May-2009. This means that the open source programmers have had just over one year to write their driver for 3D functionality.

This has nothing at all to do with the closed-source proprietary binary driver for Linux from ATI, called fglrx. This driver has improved considerably in recent times, and is now on par with the nVidia closed-source proprietary binary driver for Linux.

The new open source driver written for Linux for ATI chips by open source coders is called xf86-video-ati. It basically works, but it is still under heavy development. Being only a few years old, much of it much younger even than that, performance-wise, stability-wise and feature-wise, it is not on par as yet with either of the closed-source binary drivers for Linux mentioned above.

Edited 2010-09-10 02:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4