Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 14th Sep 2012 22:30 UTC
Intel You'd think this sort of stuff belonged to the past - but no. Apparently, Microsoft is afraid of Android on its Windows 8 tablets, because Intel has just announced that it will provide no support for Linux on its clover Trail processors. Supposedly, this chip is "designed for Windows 8". What?
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RE[8]: Comment by jigzat
by Morgan on Mon 17th Sep 2012 13:34 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by jigzat"
Member since:

Though I agree with your sentiment, this

Every time one updates the kernel, one has to recompile the open source wrapper which sits between the binary blob and the kernel. This requires that one has Linux kernel source code installed. It is an utter pain.

is not true at all of most distributions. Pretty much any distro that has a dependency-tracking package manager has the user covered on kernel updates with binary drivers. They may not be the bleeding edge, but it's a simple matter of running the package manager's update feature. Hell, even Arch Linux works that way, and its developers enjoy making newbies feel like total shit as a daily pastime.

Even on the distros that do require manual installation of binary drivers, such as Slackware, it's not that difficult. For Nvidia, the driver you download from them does it all for you in a script. Just re-run the script on any kernel updates and you're gold.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[9]: Comment by jigzat
by Alfman on Mon 17th Sep 2012 17:21 in reply to "RE[8]: Comment by jigzat"
Alfman Member since:

Well, the major distros have this worked out ok probably because they're able to pressure the vendors for compatible binary blobs. On these distros installing proprietary drivers is usually automatic and painless for end users. I'm with you here.

However to be perfectly honest though I have an nVidia card (GeForce 9500 GT) and the proprietary drivers have broken my display the last two or three times I've installed ubuntu on this system. At least I had the skill to login to the console and fix it manually, but for an ordinary user it would have been a no-go.

A slightly different scenario: I had a cyberpower UPS which the manufacturer provided a binary for controlling the UPS and reading the battery status over USB. They claimed linux support, but I was naive and though it would run on my NAS box. It did not because their binary wasn't compatible with my kernel. They only bothered to support the major distros. End result = failure because I deviated from popular distros and manufacturer would not provide source or support.

Of course everyone's mileage will vary, but I find the combination of no ABI and no source code will always spell trouble for unsupported systems. It just sucks that less mainstream alternative distros have to suffer because of it.

Reply Parent Score: 2