Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Nouveau NVIDIA Driver To Enter Linux 2.6.33 Kernel

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-excuses dept.

Graphics 289

An anonymous reader writes "Not only is DRBD to be included in the Linux 2.6.33 kernel, but so is the Nouveau driver. The Nouveau driver is the free software driver that was created by clean-room reverse engineering NVIDIA's binary Linux driver. It has been in development for several years with 2D, 3D, and video support. The DRM component is set to enter the Linux 2.6.33 kernel as a staging driver. This is coming as a surprise move after yesterday Linus began ranting over Red Hat not upstreaming Nouveau and then Red Hat attributing this delay to microcode issues. The microcode issue is temporarily worked around by removing it from the driver itself and using the kernel's firmware loader to insert this potentially copyrighted work instead."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I'm not an Avid Linux User... (0)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403314)

But does this mean I could run a Video game?

Does this mean the "But does it run on Linux" Jokes will come to an end?

Re:I'm not an Avid Linux User... (5, Informative)

Game_Ender (815505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403356)

No it means that linux will ship with an open source alternative to the closed source Nvidia drivers.

Re:I'm not an Avid Linux User... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403472)

And it will suck major ass in comparison to nvidia's.

Re:I'm not an Avid Linux User... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403834)

For 3D. For 2D it's already better. Good 2D is underappreciated, but matters most for a lot of stuff that people casually use computers for.

Obviously, gamers care about 3D, but good 2D matters also more than you might know for gamers into 80s/90s emulation - it's quite disappointing that even today, emulators sometimes fail to reliably vsync, really doesn't recreate the classic experience of amiga or snes gaming if frame rates aren't a rock solid tear-free 60Hz (or 50Hz depending on territory).

Re:I'm not an Avid Linux User... (3, Insightful)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404086)

The people who are using nvidia's driver obviously care about 3d performance otherwise they'd already be using the open source driver with 2d support. Also, I doubt nouveau has the hardware accelerated playback of mpeg-2, vc-1 and h.264 like the closed drivers.

Re:I'm not an Avid Linux User... (2, Insightful)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404106)

or 2D it's already better.

Do you have any benchmarks that aren't 2+ years old and were comparing nouveau to the ancient NV drivers?

Re:I'm not an Avid Linux User... (0)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404134)

Hmm, looks like I was right. You probably googled and saw those ancient comparisons from 2007. Here [workswithu.com] is a modern day comparison showing that the binary driver rapes nouveau in 2d performance.

In terms of performance, however, it’s clear that nouveau has a ways to go, at least on my hardware. I used glxgears (yes, it’s not a good tool for benchmarking overall video performance, but it’s a useful basis for standardized comparison of FPS rates under different video drivers) to measure video frames per second under the nouveau, nv and nvidia (closed-source) drivers. The tests were run with desktop effects turned off and the system idling. The average FPS rates were as follows:
nouveau: 355.3
nv: 475.8
nvidia (version 96, from Ubuntu repositories): 1993

Re:I'm not an Avid Linux User... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30404262)

What the hell does FPS (in all cases well above typical 50-100Hz display rates anyway) of a 3D program (glxgears) have to do with jitter and tear free 2D? Not a whole lot, that's what.

Re:I'm not an Avid Linux User... (1)

pantherace (165052) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403856)

It means that there will be an open source Nvidia driver that isn't (frankly) crap.

As it is, you can run a number of games on Linux, there are some native ones (sadly not that many). However, many games will run on Wine. Wine has gotten pretty good.

I was recently comparing 32-bit vs 64-bit, and using blender as an example on both Kubuntu 9.10 and Windows 7. So I decided to try the Windows version on Wine/Kubuntu. The win64 version would not run, but the win32 version did, and was faster under wine than running on Windows 7. (Not by a lot, about 2%, but it is still impressive that Wine does some win32 faster than Windows 7. Also, amusingly some of the runs of Wine/Blender are faster than Native Linux/Blender ~1%)

(2.49b->2.50-alpha-1 is about 60% of the render time, 32->64 bit is about 60-70% on Kubuntu 9.10 and 78-85% on Windows 7, total from 2.49b 32->64bit is about 37% on Linux and about 49% for Windows, comparing 2.50-alpha-1 64-bit (native) Kubuntu takes about 75% of the time Windows 7 does.)

Re:I'm not an Avid Linux User... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403884)

Linux already has a closed source driver from Nvidia that works pretty damn well. The problem has never been in the drivers, it's in the games being compiled for Windows and Windows-specific libraries.

That's why cool people compile Linux versions of their games. World of Goo and the Penny Arcade game both have Linux versions IIRC.

Re:I'm not an Avid Linux User... (1, Funny)

JeffSpudrinski (1310127) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403958)

Now if we could just get a stable nVidia driver in Windows, we'll be set.

-JJS

Re:I'm not an Avid Linux User... (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404210)

*sigh*

The DRM module we're talking about is the Direct Rendering Manager. That means bypassing userspace layers and directly talking to the kernel which then talks to the graphics card.
You could run hardware accelerated graphics on Linux for ages and ages and ages ago. What stone have you been living under?

I was playing Quake 3 since the Pentium3 days, with hardware OpenGL acceleration on Linux.

Maybe you should watch a video in which somebody plays Crysis on Linux? -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ147bcoLi0 [youtube.com]

Fscktard...

Why not just use the Windows driver model.. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403328)

.. and directly load those superior and polished drivers?

Re:Why not just use the Windows driver model.. (4, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403370)

Because Nouveau works on a more architectures than Windows has ever been ported to.

Re:Why not just use the Windows driver model.. (4, Insightful)

rumith (983060) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403516)

Now if NVidia cards would work on those architectures, too :-)

Re:Why not just use the Windows driver model.. (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403706)

Not all architectures have PCIe, but some people still have PCI video cards that they'd like to use.

Re:Why not just use the Windows driver model.. (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403376)

Can be done, at the cost of performance.

Re:Why not just use the Windows driver model.. (-1, Troll)

jspenguin1 (883588) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403470)

Video drivers generally include kernel components, so you would have to emulate a lot of the kernel's internal functions, either in the kernel or through some sort of virtualization. That would be unneccesary, though, because NVidia already provides drivers that work in Linux, they're just not open.

Re:Why not just use the Windows driver model.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30404154)

You clearly know nothing about writing drivers, let alone video drivers, for Windows.

Windows video drivers do not "generally include kernel components". That's complete bullshit. The driver itself can be considered a "kernel component". But otherwise, any Windows graphics driver just implements a certain well-defined interface, and only calls certain well-defined kernel functions.

There is nothing technical stopping the Linux kernel, the FreeBSD kernel, the Solaris kernel, the Mac OS X kernel, and whatever other popular x86 or x64 operating system you use from implementing similar interfaces. Many of the functions would just need to be stubs that do nothing.

And "virtualization" does not mean what you think it means. There is absolutely no need to modify the machine code of the graphics drivers, let alone fake the hardware underneath it using software.

Any restrictions would likely be imposed by licensing and ideology, rather than any technical obstacles.

Please refrain from spouting out your pure bullshit in the future. Or at least try to write a Windows graphics driver before you pretend to know anything about them.

Re:Why not just use the Windows driver model.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403512)

Patch please

How does it compare with the other NVidia drivers? (4, Interesting)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403416)

I'm a Linux user using the official binary NVidia drivers, they work good - very good even, many modern Windows games work in Wine without any performance loss.

How do the Nouveau Nvidia drivers compare to the official ones? Do they have the same performance, no little annoying bugs or differences, etc...?

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (-1, Troll)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403494)

> How do the Nouveau Nvidia drivers compare to the official ones?

They are Free. If that doesn't matter to you don't bother to respond.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (0, Troll)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403554)

I don't know about you, but I've never paid for a driver in my life.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (0, Troll)

Jon_S (15368) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403610)

Sigh...

Gratis vs. Libre

Look it up.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (0, Troll)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403640)

Which is a distinction most people won't care about when their "gratis" driver can't properly play their 3d games.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (3, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403682)

Most people don't care about /. either, and here we are.

Devil's advocate (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403732)

<devilsadvocate>
And the vast majority of popular video games aren't Libre, so why should the driver be?
</devilsadvocate>

Re:Devil's advocate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403868)

<devilsadvocate>
And the vast majority of popular video games aren't Libre, so why should the driver be?
</devilsadvocate>

It's not a video game driver, it's a graphics driver. There's plenty of graphical Libre software.

Re:Devil's advocate (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404156)

It's not a video game driver, it's a graphics driver.

And for applications of graphics other than 3D video games and 3D modeling, the 2D-accelerated driver works fine.

There's plenty of graphical Libre software.

But do they use 3D graphics with lots of triangles and complex shaders? Or do they use the big flat planes of pixels that even an Intel GMA can accelerate?

Re:Devil's advocate (4, Insightful)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404060)

Because it's in the kernel of their operating system. Because the fact that the driver is not Libre prevents other desktop-related stuff from working because the one vendor doesn't care and nobody else can fix it. Here's an example:

Using the gratis ATI driver, running two X servers on the card crashes the driver and leaves X and the card in an unusable state (you have to ssh into the box to reboot it cleanly). This has apparently been a bug in the ATI driver for ages. And because multiple X servers are used to implement "fast user switching", ATI's crap driver blocks fast user switching.

This sort of bug would be fixed in a libre driver. It's 100% reproducible, incredibly annoying, and affects a feature in desktop environments with millions of users and thousands of developers. If I had the source code to ATI's driver I could probably fix this bug. But ATI doesn't care.

It's impossible for the Linux kernel team and X.org to design interfaces and a good model for how kernel drivers should interact with userspace X drivers to provide rendering in a way that fits in with X's model when the two biggest GPU makers will just ignore it, write their own kernel modules and their own interfaces. With a Libre driver new X.org standards and interfaces would be adopted much quicker and the drivers would fit into the system better. Nvidia and ATI care about this for Windows (to some degree) and so their drivers fit well there. On Linux they don't. But lots of other people do care, and non-Libre drivers prevent them from doing anything about it.

Re:Devil's advocate (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404126)

Because the Card that the Driver is um... Driving, wasn't Free as in Beer.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403660)

Free as in freedom jackass.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404054)

Free as in freedom jackass.

Freedom isn't free!

Debugging advantage of a Free driver (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403702)

You've probably paid for it with operating system crashes. Your time spent waiting for a reboot, re-creating lost work, and troubleshooting the failure is probably worth money. If a driver is Free (in the GNU sense [gnu.org] ), developers of the kernel and the X server can trace into it to see what's going wrong. Interactions with black boxes are much harder to debug.

Re:Debugging advantage of a Free driver (1)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403872)

Well to person who wants the driver to plays games and is not willing to or able to trace an issue and contribute a fix -- what the difference?

Re:Debugging advantage of a Free driver (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404144)

Well to person who wants the driver to plays games and is not willing to or able to trace an issue and contribute a fix -- what the difference?

With any luck, in time it will become more stable and more reliable - you won't upgrade your Linux distribution to the latest and greatest only to find that your 3d graphics has magically stopped working. Not because you traced issues, but because other people did.

Re:Debugging advantage of a Free driver (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404204)

I haven't traced or debugged code in a few years, not since my last C++ class.

I've never contributed a fix to OSS.

That wouldn't in this case stop me from sending a copy of the crash debug report to the developer. Maybe opening a bug report, which is dead easy.

Before open source drivers I would have no choice but to use binary blobsk, and wouldn't even be able to send in the crash reports.

Re:Debugging advantage of a Free driver (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404216)

Well to person who wants the driver to plays games and is not willing to or able to trace an issue and contribute a fix -- what the difference?

If the driver is Free, the user can pay someone else who is a kernel or X developer to fix it. That's the point of buying Linux support from a company like Canonical. But with a non-free driver, NVIDIA and ATI can just say "sucks to be you; we'd be glad for you to take your business elsewhere."

Re:Debugging advantage of a Free driver (1)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404230)

The difference is not much on Windows. ATI and Nvidia care enough to trace issues and fix them on Windows. They don't care enough to do it on Linux. They don't care enough to implement many X features in standard ways either.

The difference is that with a Libre driver when there's an annoying bug it will get fixed. With the gratis Linux drivers there are plenty of annoying bugs that will probably never get fixed. In another post on this story I mentioned ATI's fast-user-switching bug. It causes X to go down completely when you use it. A lot of KDE and Gnome devs probably want to fix this bug, and are perfectly capable. I want to fix this bug, and I'm probably capable. But none of us can.

The difference is that you'd get better quality in many respects with a Libre driver.

Re:Debugging advantage of a Free driver (1)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404026)

Yeah because no open source drivers ever crash or anything. Oh wait...

Re:Debugging advantage of a Free driver (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404288)

Let me put it this way:
  • All sufficiently complex software has defects.
  • In free software, anyone can fix the defects.
  • In non-free software, only the original publisher can fix the defects, or nobody can fix them at all if the original publisher has a business reason not to.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (1)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403604)

If all that mattered was that it was free you might as well stick to the generic 2d drivers. Most people want performant 3d drivers.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403656)

The official ones are free, too.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (2, Informative)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403496)

How do the Nouveau Nvidia drivers compare to the official ones?

Slower on every machine I've tested.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (1)

Meshach (578918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403502)

I'm curious about this too. I've used the official NVidia driver in Linux for many years and never had a problem. What was the compelling reason to reverse engineer?

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (4, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403558)

The official closed source driver creates a proprietary dependency on an otherwise open OS kernel.

This irks some free software hippies and it also makes using Nvidia hardware on unsupported hardware platforms more difficult.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (5, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404196)

It also causes my Inspiron 8200 to crash hard when I try to use ACPI functions. Nvidia has expressed no interest in fixing this bug and that pushes it from "mildly unacceptable to free software hippies and people with obscure unsupported hardware" to "completely useless crap masquerading as software".

I'm not bitter about it but it's a good example of a problem which could easily be fixed in open source software, but can't even be touched in something as closed as the nvidia video driver.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (3, Informative)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404244)

This irks some free software hippies and it also makes using Nvidia hardware on unsupported hardware platforms more difficult.

It also irks people who noticed that a huge amount of devices didn't get 64 bit Windows drivers, because it was a lot more profitable to get people to buy new scanners, printers and webcams. Precisely thanks to this I now have a perfectly good color laser printer and scanner that my brother can't use anymore.

Experience shows that if you trust the manufacturer will release updated drivers when they become needed, you're going to get screwed sooner or later. His new scanner (also made by Canon, guess he doesn't learn) looks nearly identical, and has pretty much the same specs. The only difference is that the light has been replaced with LEDs, but really he didn't gain anything from the new model.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (1)

zoward (188110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403818)

nVidia can arbitrarily stop supporting old graphics cards at any time. ATI did this with my R600-based laptop chipset; the newest ATI Catalyst linux drivers now longer support my two-year-old laptop. Since linux has a smaller user base, it's a "safe" place to cut costs by not having to feature-test against older hardware with every proprietary driver release. Having an open source driver would prevent you from suddenly becoming unable to use your hardware on newer linux releases.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403916)

Closed components in the ecosystem slow down development and make everything more difficult for us free software developers.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (5, Insightful)

Idiot with a gun (1081749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403510)

I'll agree with you, they work good, when they work. The problem with the official drivers is that they're a binary blob, thus most distributions (none I've ever seen) ship with them enabled. This is an issue if the default nv driver crashes your machine. Because of this, I'm going with ATI next time, I've heard they're way more Linux friendly now.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (0, Flamebait)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403596)

Because of this, I'm going with ATI next time, I've heard they're way more Linux friendly now.

Have fun enjoying your extremely crappy drivers. Both the open source and the proprietary ATI drivers suck.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403626)

Hahahahahahahahahahahah!

Oh god that's funny

My computers have ATI ... their drivers make me cry. Once I had the binary driver working. Then I upgraded. It stopped working. (For i = 1:20, repeat the last two steps). Then they said my year old IGP card was too old, and stop supporting it with new driver releases.

Open source stuff works OK, but not as good for hi-def video.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404072)

Open source stuff works OK, but not as good for hi-def video.

Is the hi-def video open content?

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (5, Insightful)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404186)

Do you think any end user cares? The nvidia binary driver provides hardware accelerated playback of all high-def formats. The open source one doesn't. That's all that matters.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (4, Interesting)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403740)

I've heard some absolutely nightmarish stories about getting ATI cards to work properly in Linux and they haven't gotten much better. In the most recent releases, they may have even gotten worse.

They might be more Linux-friendly now than they were in the past, but that doesn't make them good. They're certainly nowhere near as Linux-friendly as Nvidia.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403954)

I have had nothing but trouble with my ATI linux drivers. Granted, it was an older and a mobile card, but it was a pain to get 3D working at all. Actually, not that old - X1400 Mobile, I believe.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (2, Insightful)

pantherace (165052) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403976)

None ship them enabled because nvidia doesn't let them by default.* I think at least one distro has distributed them (Mandrake) possibly in one of their pay products. Most have an option to download them after install. (Kubuntu, Gentoo being the last two I checked, though you could argue that's still in the install for gentoo.)

Frankly, I think you'll be disappointed in the support ATI on Linux has.

*I just looked, and they now allow it, provided nothing is modified. They didn't last time I looked.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (1)

paziek (1329929) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404094)

For a few months now I had issues with both HD 3850 at home, and HD 4870 at work. It keeps probing my monitor for available modes, and that makes a lot of stuff slower/non-workin. Wine usage if out of question. At home I could still watch videos, its not possible at work tho. But at work I had more updated version of Linux, so perhaps thats why. Right now I'm using Windows as host for Virtualbox where I run my Ubuntu - it works better that way. Mind, that this error is also true for Gentoo (or it was a few months ago, when I ditched Linux at home). I think that ubuntu 7.10 works good with Radeons, so u might try that. Just don't update it (not just drivers, X as well).
Anyway, Linux friendliness could be true, as I hear they are trying to open up documentation for their drivers so that community can make open-source ones better. But it doesn't mean, that right now Radeon drivers are better. At least not the one provided by AMD.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404114)

I'll agree with you, they work good, when they work. The problem with the official drivers is that they're a binary blob, thus most distributions (none I've ever seen) ship with them enabled. This is an issue if the default nv driver crashes your machine. Because of this, I'm going with ATI next time, I've heard they're way more Linux friendly now.

For what it's worth: I decided to go the ATI route this time around. I mostly use it for running Blender. I've been pretty happy with it overall - but I wouldn't say I've found the drivers to be particularly more or less troublesome than the NVidia ones.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30404268)

Ah, ATI. Lovely... just lovely memories of ATI under Linux. Like how it would somehow stutter the visuals on Puzzle Pirates last time I tried them. Let me repeat that: It would stutter the visuals on a dead-simple 2D sprite-based Java game. Not some bullet hell, eighty bazillion sprites on the screen, special effects whoring, framebuffer coder's wet dream 2D game. Puzzle. Pirates. One install of an older NVidia card fixed that right up.

Yes, I know, durr hurr javas slow so thats y it so slow im so funy durrrrrr hurrrrrr. Cute. Go fuck yourself. No video card, nor their drivers, open source or not, should be the cause of even the slightest bit of slowdown when trying to render Puzzle Pirates, of all games.

I've not touched an ATI card since then under Linux, and I've not had a single video-based problem.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (2, Interesting)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403532)

As I understand it (I have an ATI card, not an Nvidia), Nouveau currently has 2d hardware support, and 3d support is in progress. Don't expect it to replace the proprietary driver for anything requiring preformance anytime soon, but this is good news for people who dislike the proprietary drivers, and for distros that cannot/willnot ship with them by default.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (2, Insightful)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403666)

Hardware video card support is pretty darn important these days, especially with more and more calculations (even not graphics related) being possible on the GPU and non-game applications using 3D acceleration to render 2D things faster, so I really, really, hope that Linux (and the free software in general) will have a good solution to run stuff on any GPU as good as it can run stuff on a CPU right now, because otherwise it'll lag behind and prevent applications that use that instead of the classical CPU + software rendered 2D graphics combination.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403864)

Gallium3d is the planned future of graphics drivers in linux. OpenCL is what is going to be used for general purpose computing on GPUs.

This area really isn't my forte, but you can find a bit more information at: http://zrusin.blogspot.com/2009/02/opencl.html [blogspot.com]

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (1)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403830)

Just check the feature matrix [freedesktop.org]

3D features are not really supported, but except that, most of the basic things seem to be supported - KMS, KMS-based FB, suspend/resume, dual head/randr, 2D, video...

3d support is in Gallium3D (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403880)

And here is the page that describes current 3d support in Gallium3D: http://www.x.org/wiki/GalliumStatus [x.org]

Notice the sea of grey under the nVidia chipsets. So if you want games, keep using the binary for now.

Re:How does it compare with the other NVidia drive (1)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404122)

I've heard lots of horror stories about the ATI/AMD graphics drivers for Linux (and there are plenty of them in responses to your post), but I'll contribute that I just got a laptop with a FireGL M7740, got "fglrx" out of apt, and everything worked immediately and with good performance. It's a big binary blob, but once you've resigned yourself to that, I don't find it to be any less performant or reliable than the big nVidia binary blob.

Is linus being an arsehole here? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403464)

Is linus being an arsehole here? If he's complaining about RH not getting it done, why doesn't he do it himself? If he's not got the time, then it's going to be earlier whenever RH get it done than if it were left to him, so where's the problem.

And why is this reverse engineering by watching what the driver does over the wire OK but a heinous attack on the Kernel Development when done by Tridge reverse engineering the wire protocol of BitKeeper?

Re:Is linus being an arsehole here? (2, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403826)

He's forcing the point. If you are the one upon whom the point is being forced, I guess you could see it in the way you've described, but it's just a tactic for making the right thing happen. To the extent that you can say anything is his job, this is his job. Linux wouldn't be where it is today, for better or for worse, without Linus being the benevolent tyrant.

But tyrant still. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403852)

But a tyrant still.

And not always benevolent (cf BK vs Tridge).

What card to buy today? (3, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403484)

My Dell at work has an ATI RV635 card. You know: the one that might, someday, support 3D but hasn't yet in the couple of years it's been out? I switched from Ubuntu Karmic to Fedora Core 12 a couple of weeks ago to see if the experimental drivers worked, but ended up with a non-working X.

If I want to buy a card that has working accelerated 3D today - not next week, not "maybe if I download a hack from North Korea that might work or might catch fire" - so I can do basic stuff like get smooth compositing in KDE, what should I get? Again, this is going into my computer at work, so $500 gaming cards are right out. I'm positive I can get the hardware guy to order a reasonably priced card for me (and another for himself) if it'll work on Linux, though.

BTW, let me preemptively say that I'm not gonna Google it. There are 5,000,000 outdated and spurious reports. I'd much rather discuss it with a group of peers than try to decode what some kid in Sri Lanka came up with.

Re:What card to buy today? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403552)

> I'd much rather discuss it with a group of peers than try to decode what
> some kid in Sri Lanka came up with.

Then why are you asking on Slashdot?

Re:What card to buy today? (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403698)

"Peer" doesn't mean "infallible expert", or at least not among my peer group.

Re:What card to buy today? (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403628)

If you need/want to use a Free driver, get an older ATI card. I have a card in the R500 series and the Free 'radeon' driver works wonderfully for what I ask from it (urban terror and mplayer). Anything up to the R500's have good support atm, the R600/700 support is getting there...

If you don't care about that, get an Nvidia card and use the non-Free driver. This option will also get you the best preformance.

Re:What card to buy today? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403676)

Pretty much anything from Nvidia. You can go to their web page and check for Linux drivers for chipset of your interest. ATi + Linux usually means problems.

Re:What card to buy today? (3, Informative)

gazbo (517111) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403690)

My work laptop has a GeForce 9600M GS (according to lspci) and once I installed the binary driver with a simple `yum install kmod-nvidia` it just worked. Dual screens with different resolutions set up fine with the nvidia utility (don't use the standard Linux display stuff) and performance on compositing is great. Only difference is I'm using Gnome not KDE.

And I know fuck all about Linux, so it must work easily. I read nvidia cards worked well, and it certainly seemed to go smoother than the Radeon in my old laptop.

Re:What card to buy today? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403866)

How sure are you that some kid in Sri Lanka wont reply to your message now?

Go with nvidia.

Re:What card to buy today? (2, Informative)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403890)

A motherboard with an integrated intel graphic card. They are not as fast as ATI/Nvidia, but they work great for things like desktop compositting, and the driver is the most complete and stable driver available in the FOSS world.

Re:What card to buy today? (2, Insightful)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403898)

If you're against closed drivers, all I will say is good luck.

If you're okay with using proprietary drivers, any Nvidia card should work fine. If you don't need fancy games or similar, the run-of-the-mill $50 cards will be plenty.

I know anecdotes are not evidence, but I haven't had any issues in the last 2 years or so getting Nvidia cards to work on my personal computers (three separate machines). My one ATI machine though, still barely manages 2d and crashes if I install the proprietary driver. I've heard and read many similar stories.

Re:What card to buy today? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403912)

I would (and in fact, I did with my Thinkpad x200 and my recent workstation) buy an intel graphics card (or rather a mainboard with the integrated graphics chip, such as the GM45).

They do have free drivers which work just fine, they don't use much power, they support KMS and they have 3D acceleration (not the best for gaming, but for your "smooth compositing in KDE" it should be enough).

Re:What card to buy today? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403986)

Using a 9500GT from NVidia which was plug&play, including Compiz support at full screen resolution on two screens. Apt-get install and you're off toggling Compiz settings.

Re:What card to buy today? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404120)

I have an nVidia card and use the nVidia closed drivers and have no real issues.
If you are getting a new PC and FOSS purity is important to you then get Intel graphics and you will be good to go.
I have heard good things about ATI but I have no real experience with them myself..

Re:What card to buy today? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30404138)

It's a shame that Intel don't make add-on cards, their integrated graphics, while not being killer performers, are very solid for 3d(compiz easily and openarena is playable at low res) in my netbook.

I'd suggest just grabbing yourself an nvidia, something cheap like the 6200 would do for basic, sensible, work stuff. They're good cards and the binary drivers are pretty solid.

This is great - sort of (3, Interesting)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403592)

I've often wondered why more reverse engineering isn't done to create Linux drivers rather than just complaining about the manufacturer of the hardware. The only unfortunate thing about this project is that Linux drivers already exist (according to other posts here).

Wouldn't it be better to reverse-engineer hardware to create Linux drivers that don't exist?

Re:This is great - sort of (2, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403644)

Wouldn't it be better to reverse-engineer hardware to create Linux drivers that don't exist?

That would be way more time-intensive and way harder....

Re:This is great - sort of (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403782)

Video drivers are generally considered the thing most lacking in linux. Last I heard/tried, USB wifi cards are a nightmare, but besides those, most high-profile hardware is pretty well supported. You'll always find the odd usb controlled nerf gun turret or whatnot that lacks a driver, but that's not really an issue for most people.

Furthermore, it is in error to think that people reverse engineering video cards would otherwise spend their time reverse engineering other hardware. These people do not necessarily specialize in other sorts of hardware. In linux, more people working on A does not really mean less people work on B. It's not like there is a manager at the top assigning and moving people around from task to task.

Just for those who wonder... (5, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403622)

DRM in this context means Direct Rendering Manager [wikipedia.org] and not Digital Rights Management [wikipedia.org]

Re:Just for those who wonder... (1)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403754)

And I really, really wish they'd change that. It's really confusing. Especially since a big chunk of D[igital] R[ights] M[anagement] seems to be preventing the dreaded video analog hole.

Re:Just for those who wonder... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404118)

Nothing can stop the analog hole for noninteractive video. It is always possible to camcord the screen, and an MPAA representative actually recommended it [arstechnica.com] . The only surefire way to plug the analog hole is to make video games instead of movies.

Good Point! (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403820)

Good Point! I was a little confused by the reference too.

Re:Just for those who wonder... (2, Informative)

Again (1351325) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403870)

DRM in this context means Direct Rendering Manager [wikipedia.org] and not Digital Rights Management [wikipedia.org]

Thanks. I was reading through the comments looking for the usual DRM rants.

monolithic kernel (1, Insightful)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403700)

monolithic kernel is monolithic!
Soon 2.6 will have support for the kitchen sink!

Re:monolithic kernel (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30404290)

Yes indeed. Years of dissing Windows for integrating the graphics drivers into the kernel, and what does Linux do ...

Reverse engineering (3, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403708)

Reverse engineering a complete video driver is an impressive feat. However it is a reactive process and not a proactive process. Presumably when NVidia changes their driver architecture (to suit future hardware) won't this all have to be done over from scratch?

Re:Reverse engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403758)

so what you are saying is that new things are new?

What about BSD? (2, Interesting)

rhavenn (97211) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403760)

So, currently there is an issue with xorg 7.5 being imported into FreeBSD due very Linux specific driver "hacks", specifically in the latest Intel drivers and the ATI radeon drivers. Is this the same issue? Will this Nouveau driver work on anything else or is "open source" becoming synonymous with "if it runs on Linux, that's good enough". Linux has achieved great strides, but far too many "open source" developers target Linux only and have blinders on to any other open source OS or UNIX'esque OS where this stuff should really be able to run.

Re:What about BSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30404038)

Well, it is open source. If *BSD needs to make changes to make drivers work, they can do it. But you hardly can expect Linux developers to code for *BSD now can you? Remember, X.org parts of these drivers are MIT lisenced, so go hack on these drivers to make them to work on your chosen platform. I really do not know about the kernel side of these new kernel mode setting drivers and their licensing though.

Cost of Drivers is a Tax Now? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403792)

If Linux has free alternatives to nvidia drivers and I don't use nvidia drivers, then I should get a discount on my next purchase of an nvidia card since part of that cost goes into development of the drivers.

Re:Cost of Drivers is a Tax Now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403892)

Yes you should. Good luck with that.

Re:Cost of Drivers is a Tax Now? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404012)

If I buy a car, then paint it myself, do I get a discount on the car since some of the cost payed for painting it originally?

I mean, give me a break, I'm probably considered huge FOSS appologist and proprietary software hater, but even I think that is stupid.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?