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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RE[2]: Great news...
by lemur2 on Fri 10th Sep 2010 05:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Great news..."
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

That pretty much leaves only nVidia as the only idio^h^h^h^h company holding out on us.

Hahaha. What a clown. Nvidia doesn't give a damn about you. They have business customers who rely on Linux. That's why there is a driver. That's why the driver doesn't suck. Go back in your cave. And stop open sourcing your brain. It hurts.


Being separate from the kernel means that the Nvidia driver breaks with every kernel update.

Being separate from Xorg means that the Nvidia driver is incompatible with recent developments in the X stack, such as kernel modesetting (KMS).

KMS is a pre-requisite for the coming upgrade to X that will allow "rootless" X ... as long as the graphics driver is part of the kernel and supports KMS, soon it will be possible to run an X session with non-root privileges. This is a great advance from a security and stability point of view. It will mean also that it might become possible for X to crash and be re-started without having to close applications or login sessions.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NzM2MA

None of these advances will be available to people who run the binary Nvidia graphics driver.

Very soon, if not already, Nvidia will be very much the non-preferred graphics option for use with Linux machines. It may still be possible to run Linux on a Nvidia graphics machine using the nouveau open source driver, but that project is regrettably falling further and further behind in capabilities.

Edited 2010-09-10 05:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Great news...
by DerGenosse on Fri 10th Sep 2010 07:23 in reply to "RE[2]: Great news..."
DerGenosse Member since:
2010-01-11

Being separate from the kernel means that the Nvidia driver breaks with every kernel update.

No, that would be the fault of the non-existence of a stable API/ABI, which Greg "Clown" Kroah-Hartman claims isn't necessary.

Linux would be even more useless without an Nvidia driver.

Edited 2010-09-10 07:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Great news...
by joe_regis on Fri 10th Sep 2010 08:42 in reply to "RE[3]: Great news..."
joe_regis Member since:
2010-09-10

The Nvidia driver is pretty bad because it is a binary driver. You don't have a working system with it installed. Power management doesn't work for instance. Intel and ATI have the best drivers for GNU/Linux and stuff actually works. Nvidia just has the best gaming cards on GNU/Linux at the moment because the free ATI GNU/Linux drivers aren't finished. The free ATI GNU/Linux drivers are coming along though and you'll find any day now the better buy will be ATI on GNU/Linux. So your claim it would be "more useless without an Nvidia driver" is baseless. I doubt there is a game you couldn't play if Nvidia ceased to exist on GNU/Linux. Check out http://www.thinkpenguin.com/ for free hardware. Then you won't have these issues. These broadcom cards still probably won't be problem free and I'd stick with an Atheros chipset. ThinkPenguin is the only company selling for instance an 802.11n USB wifi card with a free chipset. It's the only card that'll work with GNU/Linux if you plug it in that doesn't require a high degree of hacking to get it to work. Unfortunately companies don't get that you can't require users to download non-free firmware, drivers, and other non-free software. GNU/Linux is based on freedom and you need to comply with these norms if your hardware is going to work on GNU/Linux.

Edited 2010-09-10 08:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Great news...
by DerGenosse on Fri 10th Sep 2010 07:42 in reply to "RE[2]: Great news..."
DerGenosse Member since:
2010-01-11

Being separate from Xorg means that the Nvidia driver is incompatible with recent developments in the X stack, such as kernel modesetting (KMS).

Look, Hans, the X server is a certified piece of crap. Unfortunately nothing better exists. Thus we have to make do with this abomination.
It will mean also that it might become possible for X to crash and be re-started without having to close applications or login sessions.

Oh! Already? How marvelous. And here I thought, Linux was behind the times.
Very soon, if not already, Nvidia will be very much the non-preferred graphics option for use with Linux machines. It may still be possible to run Linux on a Nvidia graphics machine using the nouveau open source driver, but that project is regrettably falling further and further behind in capabilities.

Please! Give me a break! Nvidia works. Now. Case closed.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Great news...
by lemur2 on Fri 10th Sep 2010 10:52 in reply to "RE[3]: Great news..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Give me a break! Nvidia works. Now. Case closed.


Why should I give you a break when you simply dismiss, with irrational venom and no actual point, the sound reasons why a closed binary driver is not preferable?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Great news...
by sorpigal on Fri 10th Sep 2010 17:47 in reply to "RE[3]: Great news..."
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Look, Hans, the X server is a certified piece of crap. Unfortunately nothing better exists. Thus we have to make do with this abomination.

This is a falsehood too often repeated, so much so that some probably think it's true. X has problems, but so does any large block of code.

Do you actually have a basis for this fallacy or are you just parroting what other people say because "I can do $a in Windows but I don't know how to do it in X! I'll bet that $b feature of X that I don't use is the cause, therefore I'm sure it's not worth having! QED, X sucks." If this sounds like you then please stop talking about X.

Please! Give me a break! Nvidia works. Now. Case closed.

I agree, which is why for years I have bought nVidia cards despite them being closed source. I am not Stallman; works trumps doesn't work. In the future I won't do this, because when I have works+closed and works+open I'll take the latter, even if it has a few more bugs.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Great news...
by Gusar on Fri 10th Sep 2010 12:54 in reply to "RE[2]: Great news..."
Gusar Member since:
2010-07-16

KMS is a pre-requisite for the coming upgrade to X that will allow "rootless" X

The nvidia blob doesn't require X running as root and hasn't for quite some time. All it requires is access to the /dev/nvidia and /dev/nvidiactl device nodes, which is achieved by putting the user in the video group, where they need to be for open source drivers too.
There's other stuff requiring X to run as root for now, I don't know details, but I think it regards input device handling, and there's also X writing it's log to /var/log where a user doesn't have write access. Once that stuff is fixed, both open source KMS drivers and the nvidia blob will run on a "rootless" X.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Great news...
by lemur2 on Sat 11th Sep 2010 08:38 in reply to "RE[3]: Great news..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Once that stuff is fixed, both open source KMS drivers and the nvidia blob will run on a "rootless" X.


Not according to this article:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NzM2MA
Due to now living in a KMS-enabled world, at least on the Intel and ATI side (the NVIDIA side is still slowly but surely coming via Nouveau), it's rather easy to get the X Server running without any special rights. Intel's Jesse Barnes explains on the X.Org mailing list that only a small patch is needed for the X Server and then a trivial one to the Direct Rendering Manager in the kernel.


It reads as if KMS is a requirement, and that given that then "it's rather easy to get the X Server running without any special rights".

It also infers that Nvidia users will have to be running Nouveau and not the Nvidia proprietary binary driver.

Reply Parent Score: 2