Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Sep 2013 22:45 UTC, submitted by ddc_
3D News, GL, DirectX

Few companies have been the target of as much criticism in the Linux community as Nvidia. Linus Torvalds himself last year called Nvidia the "single worst company" Linux developers have ever worked with, giving the company his middle finger in a public talk.

Nvidia is now trying to get on Linux developers' good side. Yesterday, Nvidia's Andy Ritger e-mailed developers of Nouveau, an open source driver for Nvidia cards that is built by reverse engineering Nvidia's proprietary drivers. Ritger wrote that "NVIDIA is releasing public documentation on certain aspects of our GPUs, with the intent to address areas that impact the out-of-the-box usability of NVIDIA GPUs with Nouveau. We intend to provide more documentation over time, and guidance in additional areas as we are able."

It wouldn't surprise me if this is related to the SteamOS announcement.

Thread beginning with comment 573166
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: ...
by lemur2 on Wed 25th Sep 2013 06:00 UTC in reply to "..."
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

NVidia is just playing by the rules, in the Linux ecosystem open source drivers are prefered.


It isn't just a preference, it is all but a requirement to have open source graphics drivers if Linux developers want to make significant enhancements to the Linux graphics stack, such as Wayland for example.

This is because the closed proprietary drivers from nVidia and AMD essentially replace the majority of the Linux graphics stack. Hence, in order to change the Linux graphics stack, Linux developers need OEMs to implement equivalent/sympathetic changes within their proprietary drivers. This puts the OEMs in a position to dictate the progress, or lack thereof, of the Linux graphics stack.

NVIDIA have ‘no plans to support Wayland’

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2010/11/nvidia-have-no-plans-to-support-...

Unacceptable.

Edited 2013-09-25 06:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: ...
by lucas0 on Wed 25th Sep 2013 06:19 in reply to "RE: ..."
lucas0 Member since:
2012-04-20

That are good news for Wayland.
If the Noveau and the open source AMD driver gets Wayland support (and improved 3D thanks to this specs) there's no reason not to switch to Wayland for most people.

Bad for Canonical since they'll probably have to port Noveau to Mir on their own ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: ...
by lemur2 on Wed 25th Sep 2013 06:52 in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

That are good news for Wayland.
If the Noveau and the open source AMD driver gets Wayland support (and improved 3D thanks to this specs) there's no reason not to switch to Wayland for most people.

Bad for Canonical since they'll probably have to port Noveau to Mir on their own ;)


Bad for Canonical since nVidia proprietary drivers are probably their only reason for writing Mir (and not using Wayland) in the first place.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/09/intel-rejecti...

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/062013-canonical-mir-271072.h...

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: ...
by missingxtension on Wed 25th Sep 2013 07:49 in reply to "RE: ..."
missingxtension Member since:
2011-01-14

Best explanation!! Bravo
But you have to give nvidia a lot of credit for always at least supporting nix in a binary form. They Have always provided better binary drivers than ati. It used to be a pain to just install fglx.
they are probably the only video card manufacturer to have their drivers running in freebsd.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: ...
by Spiron on Wed 25th Sep 2013 10:06 in reply to "RE: ..."
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

To be fair to them that statement WAS made 3 years ago when Wayland really wasn't going to be big for a while. We (the people that knew about and supported wayland) knew this and to have a company for whom Linux support has traditionally been a lesser concern, because not many linux enthusiasts bought Nvidia, this wasn't as unreasonable as some made it out to be. While we don't have a current statement from them right now one can assume that they are working on one because most of the distro's and environments are looking at changing within a year

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: ...
by lemur2 on Wed 25th Sep 2013 10:24 in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

To be fair to them that statement WAS made 3 years ago when Wayland really wasn't going to be big for a while. We (the people that knew about and supported wayland) knew this and to have a company for whom Linux support has traditionally been a lesser concern, because not many linux enthusiasts bought Nvidia, this wasn't as unreasonable as some made it out to be. While we don't have a current statement from them right now one can assume that they are working on one because most of the distro's and environments are looking at changing within a year


To be fair, it wasn't just the statement from nVidia that they wouldn't support Wayland that was unacceptable.

This is what is unacceptable: Hence, in order to change the Linux graphics stack, Linux developers need OEMs to implement equivalent/sympathetic changes within their proprietary drivers. This puts the OEMs in a position to dictate the progress, or lack thereof, of the Linux graphics stack.

The example of Wayland is just one example. What is unacceptable to Linux developers is not being in control of Linux development, and having to rely on goodwill from OEMs to support whatever they wanted to support.

That was, and still is, what was, and remains, unacceptable.

After all, Linux kernel driver developers don't want nVidia's code, all they want are device programming specifications, such as these:

http://www.x.org/docs/AMD/

Given device programming specifications (which do not reveal any IP), Linux kernel developers can then write and maintain their own driver code. Where is the harm to nVidia?

Edited 2013-09-25 10:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2