Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th Dec 2013 18:06 UTC

"Joining the Linux Foundation is one of many ways Valve is investing in the advancement of Linux gaming," Mike Sartain, a key member of the Linux team at Valve said. "Through these efforts we hope to contribute tools for developers building new experiences on Linux, compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux, and ultimately deliver an elegant and open platform for Linux users."

Mark my words: Valve will do for Linux gaming what Android did for Linux mobile. Much crow will be eaten by naysayers in a few years.

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Brendan Introduction of KMS did not prevent non KMS drivers from working. Most people miss that you have options to boot Linux kernel up with KMS disabled.

I've seen this break before (e.g. the shim relying on a kernel function that either ceased to exist or had its name changed); but what do you expect when there's no stable API for device drivers to begin with?

Unfortunately the fault of this is ATI or AMD or NVidia. Every formal request to the Linux kernel to move a function to formally stable by ATI or AMD or Nvidia has been granted heck even some requests by video card makers no one would know. Every one of those that ceased to exist Nvidia, ATI or AMD had not done the request. Linux Kernel developers are not mind readers. Nvidia and ATI both complained that the did not like the overhead cost to provide a formal stable. So for long time were doing the wrong thing. In the last 5 years Nvidia has changed. Nvidia will simply refuse to support particular hardware combinations until the functions they need are moved onto the formal stable list today. AMD also has the same policy. Result no more of this problem.

This kernel space thing is basically thing of past.

Sure - functions marked "GPL only" with no alternative that native/binary drivers can rely on for the same functionality, leaving no choice other than to "do something that should not have been done in the first place".

The correct response here from a closed source driver developer is do formal request to stabilise a interface. So far this has never not been granted inside 6 months of request. Sometimes there has been an arguement over what should and should not be exposed. Support of any of these driver requested interfaces also goes into all currently supported kernels as equal to security updates.

So all this interface trouble you are talking about Brendan lands cleanly on the heads of the closed source driver developers. The main problem is that formally wrapped in the linux kernel for long term suitability adds a few milliseconds to the call. This is in fact unavoidable. Direct jumping into functions that are stabilised is not allowed. Most people don't know that you can tell the Linux kernel to pretend to be a particular version. To allow this possibility requires a redirection table. Redirection table is overhead. Even the Windows kernel has a redirection table for long term driver support. Yes there is a price for long term stable interfaces.

Brendan you will notice that Nvidia older don't break that often. Old ATI driver on the other hand did not use any of the interface specs. No DRI1 no DRI2 some form of random-ally hook where ever we like into X11.

Brendan AMD themselves are behind the open source drivers and that is the one the officially support.

Sounds nice in theory. In practice there's a 75% chance that updating X will break your graphics driver or break your GUI or break something else;

I have used Nvidia cards for the past 10 years. Last 5 not once as a X11 server update broken it. Mostly because Nvidia in the last 5 has been information X11/x,org project where they hook in. Yes before 5 years Nvidia did have issues they never told the project where they were hooking in. Again developers are not mind readers they cannot avoid breaking what you are using if they don't know you are using it. Nvidia driver update screwing my system over yes I have had that. Where 2 Nvidia drivers installed at the same time completely shoot each other dead. This is not X11 or kernel or broken GUI. This is Nvidia being Nvidia and only allowing 1 copy of drivers installed.

I run kde. I can tell you anything past KDE 4.2.0 supports missing function mode and its not X11 server dependant as much as KDE 4.0.0 was. So you kde fear is not based in reality.

Sure, except "working with upstream" typically means "go screw yourself until you're willing to make all your driver's code open source", and still doesn't prevent Xorg from breaking things.

This is completely not true. If this was completely not true Nvidia Drivers would not be able to work as dependable as it does.

The driver you have having trouble with was pre AMD taking over ATI. In fact AMD is dropping it because internally its was not legally sound. AMD cannot keep on support it. Yes 12.2 and before fail legal department auditing for containing questionably sourced code. Yes when those cards drivers under Windows fail as well they will be dead over on Windows as well. Why AMD cannot update the highly questionable code without legal risks. This is why AMD had no choice to open source those cards. New drivers for windows for those cards if it ever happens will be based off the open source code base.

Also do you know what was removed when moving from X11 1.12 to 1.13 that broke the ATI drivers. UMS driver support being killed off. The predecessor to DRI 1. Yes this is right ATI had been writing drivers using interfaces older than DRI1. DRI1 is 1998.

Brendan so how is this Linux Kernel or X11 fault. ATI was writing drivers for X11 pre 1998. UMS starts in the 1980s. Your problem ATI was writing highly obsoletely drivers. Interfaces have 15 years of support. UMS is well past 15 years when it being killed off. Yes DRI1 is coming up to end of life. It is now 15 years old.

Brendan how far do you think you would get if I gave you a windows NT 4.0 or a Windows 98se driver and told you to use it with Windows 7 or 8. This is what you have been doing. Does this explain why you have been suffering.

Brendan this is the problem when you did into the problems most of the issues land squarely on the closed source driver maker for doing the wrong things. Some insanely wrong. ATI was insanely wrong with Legal issues and Obsolete design.

Brendan do you know what X11 break ABI/API policy is. I guess not.
1) its older than 15 years and marked deprecated for 4 year. So 19 years old min it can be deleted without question.
2) API/ABI under the age of rule 1 it can be broken to find out if they are in use if no one has reported it in use. If one bug report comes in that they are in use functionality must be restored exactly how it was.
3) No abi that is informed of that is in use that is under under the age of rule 1 can be broken.

Sorry if you are in a location when you cannot skip one version of and your driver works again. You are dealing with a driver that far legecay in design its not funny. Same with any program that does not work with X11.

Brendan this is why your arguement does not hold. You are mostly shifting blame to parties that are not responsible. Closed source driver makers have responsibilities todo the right things. The Open Source world is not being pains in but to them.

If open source developers were being pain in but drivers would break ever kernel release and every x11 release.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Brendan Member since:


Oiaohm; you're trying your hardest to pretend that the sun shines out of open source developers butts - carefully choosing facts that suit your argument (and then stretching them as far as you think you can) and ignoring everything else. I don't know if you're stupid or dishonest, but I don't really care enough to find out which.

Oiaohm; my video cards are only about 5 years old (Radeon HD 4770, released in 2008). Initially the best I could get was unstable 2D (screen flickering black when scrolling, mouse pointer turning to trash occasionally, random crashes). Support improved over time and after 2 years video finally worked properly (including 3D acceleration, etc). Then I had about 6 months of drivers that actually worked before Xorg assholes broke it again. For comparison, there's a "Windows Vista" machine sitting next to it that is even older; where updating the video driver is a few mouse clicks with no chance of "update breakage" (and not a single bug or glitch from the start). It doesn't matter who you blame, it's not good enough.

Oiaohm; I don't care if most of the problems were bugs in X11 and not "Xorg policy". I don't care if it was AMD/ATI's fault that smaller OSs like FreeBSD and Solaris weren't able to support DRI1/DRI2/DRI3 quickly enough and therefore made it impractical for AMD/ATI to change their "intended for many OSs" driver over to something only Linux supported.

Oiaohm; I also don't care if everything has improved a lot recently or if it might work if I upgraded to recent X11 and open source ATI driver today. The fact is that after years of pain there's no way in hell I'm willing to do anything that might upset the "carefully balanced pile of turds" I've got and risk ending up knee deep in shit again.

Oiaohm; don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that all of Linux is bad (it's rock solid for most things), and I'm not considering using any other OS for servers or as a programming environment; however, I'd still rather waste $$$ on a stupid locked down X-Box (that we all know will be useless/obsolete junk in 4 years) than to attempt to get "free" software working for 3D gaming.

Also note, Oiaohm, that I've tried to put your name at least once in every paragraph in the hope that I sound like a patronising jerk. It seems to be fashionable..

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 3

oiaohm Member since:

Brendan Solaris and FreeBSD both had DRI1 support by the year 2000. So why was ATI still using pre DRI in there driver development in 2006. Cost cutting/stupidity.

So no it was ATI not supporting current. 2006 was AMD acquirement of ATI. Radeon HD 4770 tech development was 2006. There is bit of a lag between tech development and production release.

2006 it was also announced by AMD that the cards in the class your is would have to live with the Open Source driver only at some point.

Brendan basically the best thing that could happen was ATI be acquired. Fixing up the stack of garbage they left behind is not simple.

I choose a card that was support and support well by Linux.

You were informed in 2006 that support would end but you paid no attention.

September 4, 2008 is DRI 2 and Freebsd and solarias are picking up by 2011. So yes there is a 2 to 3 year lag.

Brendan the reality is you choose a card where the maker was not producing current drivers. Now are complaining when it does not work any more. Ok it does work now but with open source drivers that are still missing a few feature. The maker is working on restoring all those feature.

Really are you kidding me with Windows Visa and no possibility of breakage. Try running some of the non proper supported video card in it you know the ones that force you to use direct x 9 drivers.

Brendan there is linux/windows compatible hardware and Linux incompatible hardware. This is not a Linux thing.

Did you build that machine to be a Linux machine. I would say no. Because in 2006-2008 building a Linux machine would have equaled using a Nvidia video card not an ATI one due to the crap poor support ATI drivers were.

My Nvidia card is a Geforce 6. My card is older than your. Has had way less issues.2004-2005 card.

I will get 10 years of operational life out the Geforce 6 with min issues before I have to replace it. Nvidia did promise this.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:


"Also note, Oiaohm, that I've tried to put your name at least once in every paragraph in the hope that I sound like a patronising jerk. It seems to be fashionable.."

Haha, this is so true it really made me laugh!

The real irony is that earlier in these comments I was arguing that the over-zealousness of linux community members was an overstated generalization, and yet here we have a poster who makes an incredibly solid case for the argument lucas_maximus was making.

I like linux and want to promote more widespread adoption. However even for me it's a real turn off when when someone is as stubborn as an ass and refuses to consider the needs of the community as a whole. There's always room for improvement and I'm confident that linux is improving all the time. But the extreme arrogance of some individuals is very discouraging to those who want join the linux community and make it better. At least I know they are in the minority, but they are still giving linux the reputation that lucas_maximus was referring to.

Edited 2013-12-07 06:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3