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Nouveau Open-Source NVIDIA Driver Achieves OpenCL Support

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the sentience-takes-time dept.

Graphics 109

An anonymous reader writes "The Nouveau driver project that's been writing an open-source NVIDIA graphics driver via reverse-engineering has moved forward in their support. The Nouveau driver now has OpenCL acceleration support to do GPGPU computing on the open-source community driver for several generations of GeForce GPUs."

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AC achieves first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38956255)

AC achieves open sores first post

If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38956317)

NVIDIA needs to open-source its drivers. Sure it might benefit the Linux community, but there are a whole host of problems in their current driver version for Windows that they refuse to acknowledge.

Re:If only... (3, Funny)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956547)

They can't. They license lots of code from companies who wouldn't want the source released. Also, they gain nothing by doing so. The neckbeard market isn't their primary customers.

Re:If only... (5, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956675)

The neckbeard market

Thanks for that bigoted remark. Most of us are otherwise normal people, you know.

Re:If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38959199)

Someone needs a new sense of humor. It was a sarcastic remark about a stereotype at the end of an otherwise informative post.

I enjoyed joke and found the primary point useful.

Re:If only... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38964117)

from my travels around the internet I can tell you what neckbeard seems to mean.

People who know a lot about something. Calling someone a neckbeard in this case means " you just said something beyond my ability to grasp, I am now feeling insecure about my intelligence, so I will try to knock you down a peg".

Quite often it just means old people. Literally those old enough to actually grow a beard. And if you are capable of this feat, growing a beard is strongly discouraged. It invokes fear and uncertainty in young people.

lastly, related to the first it means people who know enough about computers to know that business's goal in computers is to funnel you to their troughs with cash in hand. If you want to write a paper, read a book, watch a movie, or listen to music you need to pay them to do so. And that other businesses want to be able to remove "bad" things. Most people don't understand this and are perfectly happy with a neutered, child safe ability to use their computer. They just want to facebook and youtube. As long as those few things work, to them you are overthinking a plate of beans.

So anyone that may call you a neckbeard is either an idiot, a child, or naive. Or possibly just a fellow neckbeard trolling. No matter, wear your beard with pride my friend.

Re:If only... (3, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956739)

They license lots of code from companies who wouldn't want the source released.

Then release it without those parts and the community can fill in the gaps. Also, document the interface of the hardware.

Also, they gain nothing by doing so.

They get a more solid and reliable code base through the community eyes.

Re:If only... (0, Troll)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956815)

Then release it without those parts and the community can fill in the gaps.

Yeah right. That's why despite claiming the "community" would handle the heavy lifting that AMD has basically had to do all the work themselves on their open source driver?

They get a more solid and reliable code base through the community eyes.

Uh huh. In la la land, maybe.In reality the community misses tons of bugs that persist for years.

Re:If only... (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958827)

I really do not know how much the community contributed to the open source drivers. But at least AMD got some market share in exchange for doing that work. And if they open source their programmable interface you can bet they'll get some more market.

Re:If only... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959339)

The point is that the "community" claimed that just releasing the hardware specs would be enough for them to do the driver work. The problem was that that wasn't true and AMD does pretty much all of it themselves.

Re:If only... (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 2 years ago | (#38963271)

Really? How come the open source drivers for the ATI radeon cards from that era are all very completed and its the new ones that are supported for shit except by the binary drivers?

Re:If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38961831)

They get a more solid and reliable code base through the community eyes.

That's why linux is in such great shape now, right?

What about OpenGL ? (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956319)

Great, but does it do 3D graphics yet? I've had an NV44A since 2006 and it's still not working very well. 3D support is there, but buggy and not "Done". At the time, this was a "new" nVidia card. And the Gallium came along (which is good BTW) and then NV50 and now nvC0. Only these latest 2 generation seem to be very active, and they don't even have full functionality, so it seems silly to be putting time into OpenCL. It seems AMD is better supported by open source these days, when it used to be nVidia was the obvious choice.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956477)

If you want OpenGL support you pretty much need the nVidia binary blob drivers. These drivers seem to be more for people who absolutely cannot have binary blobs for one reason or another, not for people who just want to run games.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38956563)

Freetards, basically.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (3, Insightful)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956737)

I don't like the binary blobs for because they 1) break when I get automatic updates that include a kernel 2) don't support the new 3d architecture and hence will 3) not work with Wayland when it matures. OTOH nouveau is completely painless to use for 2D ( I run Fedora ) but sucks for 3D. I can't run blender. Gnome 3 is very laggy when it works. I can't run Neverball for very long. Yet they think this driver needs OpenCL? WTF? Between Gnome3 and nouveau I need to buy new hardware, and it won't be nVidia this time. I just want my desktop and some OGL apps to work out of the box.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38956783)

Then run Windows. Nothing is ever easy on Linux regarding this.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38957295)

I have no probs installing fglrx blobs (ati) on debian, which has dkms, a way to compile modules automagically. On debian unstable you just need to mind what packages are removed when updating (You don't want a new xorg to disable your 3d stuff), but I consider unstable a branch for people who read what the system notifies.

Nvidia, Installed only once but no probs with it.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (2)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959181)

Bad advice.

File bug reports instead and use the blob until the problem in nouveau is fixed. If that issue is blocking you.

The best way to support Nouveau is by using it and reporting issues.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (2)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956805)

I've had no significant binary blob driver issues with the desktop in Gnome 3, but I can't say I've timed it against using nouveau much since it just works.

At any rate, I'm most happy with NV+Binary drivers on Linux these days, have been for a while. When ATI or someone else or Nouveau catches up, then great.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (-1, Flamebait)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959649)

Mike BabCOCK

Re:What about OpenGL ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38956865)

1) break when I get automatic updates that include a kernel

This is really an area where Linux could see some improvement. When you have third party stuff installed, it breaks too easily if something changes in the system.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38960047)

Well, there is a dkms thing.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (2)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957717)

Not sure how you obtain blender - but if you nab the pre-build binaries (they run from wherever you extract them and store stuff in ~/.blender) they come with a mesaGL binary that does not require hardware OpenGL support. Debian has a seperate package for this as well, but I think Fedora only ships the "normal" binary.

It can be a bit slow in complex scenes, but that's only at the UI level. The render output is the same, and now that nouveau supports OpenCL you will probably be able to continue to use the graphics card for render acceleration (example, Lux built with OpenCL support)

Re:What about OpenGL ? (0)

expatriot (903070) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958195)

Mesa software implementation against low-level drivers and hardward. Wonder which is faster?

Re:What about OpenGL ? (3, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958299)

If you're concerned with performance, use the blobs.
If you're concerned with FOSS purity, use nouveau.

It's one of those 'decision' things that we adults have to deal with every day.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958429)

So? The issue posed wasn't "it's too slow" - it was "I can't run blender."

I gave the only sensible solution - use the mesa build. You apparently want him to either buy hardware or bend principles. Fuck off.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38959797)

Fuck off.

Ohh.... look like someone forgot to clean the shit out of their neckbeard this morning.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958833)

I don't like the binary blobs for because they 1) break when I get automatic updates that include a kernel

Install the rpmfusion repo and then

yum install akmod-nvidia

and never have to worry about a kernel update breaking the driver again. It's that easy.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958845)

I can't run blender. Gnome 3 is very laggy when it works. I can't run Neverball for very long. Yet they think this driver needs OpenCL?

IMO, the motivation to have OpenCL working is completely separate from having functional accelerated video. Maybe it's just the people working on the driver are more interested in doing a compute project.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (2)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959161)

Have you tried reporting bugs to the nouveau developers about the 3D issues you have?

The developers are very helpful and they helped me to resolve a few issues with nouveau in the past, they fixed the source of the problems I had.

Please always file issues for any issues you have.

Thanks.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38960637)

Yes, having to recompile the blob because you changed your kernel a smidge is retarded.

Otherwise I have never had your problems, it just works. That and the drivers work on all nvidia cards since like the geforce 3.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38961491)

will 3) not work with Wayland when it matures.

Don't worry, few things will work with wayland when it matures. Like, for instance remote windowing, consistent window decorations, etc...

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38962401)

will 3) not work with Wayland when it matures.

Don't worry, few things will work with wayland when it matures. Like, for instance remote windowing, consistent window decorations, etc...

Given that the temperature of the universe will be very close to absolute zero when Wayland matures, I suspect those aren't the only things that won't work.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (2)

blackpaw (240313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38962323)

I don't like the binary blobs for because they 1) break when I get automatic updates that include a kerne

You must have a pretty off beat distro. dkms has been handling that problem for years.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38962355)

At work I spent a month and a half trying to get nouveau usable for 2D with certain bits of our hardware, to the point of just getting anaconda not to hang during install. I gave up. We've had to replace cards to be able to install RHEL6.2 on machines beacuse the only working option was "noprobe", which by its own right makes installing a few dozen machines a horrid pain (compared to tftp + kickstart). About a third of our machines then had odd X issues (crashes, pointers going away, freezes) as long as we used nouveau.

This would be less of an issue if the driver wasn't bundled into the frigging initrd on RHEL6, but yeah, "nouveau is completely painless to use for 2D"? Sure, when it works, which seems to be *very* hit and miss.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

Kevin108 (760520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38962517)

That's a good reason as is the fact that many systems can't boot or boot and hang after loading X without acpi=off while using the Nouveau drivers.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38956793)

AMD/ATI isn't really any better. The open source drivers suck just like Nouveau. So you have to use the binary AMD drivers if you want full support and performance. But then you're in a worse position than nVidia because the AMD drivers are terrible.

The whole situation just sucks to be honest. The best choice is nVidia hardware with the closed-source nVidia drivers but they're far from perfect. I believe the AMD hardware may be better but their drivers suck so bad that you can't take advantage of it.

And don't get me started on how crappy X.org itself is (the multiple monitor support is absolute shit compared to Windows or OSX).

Re:What about OpenGL ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38957495)

R600 drivers are good enough to do light gaming on a £20 passively cooled fan-less card for me so they must be doing something right (I am using a ppa to get newer drivers though).

Re:What about OpenGL ? (3, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958055)

AMD/ATI isn't really any better. The open source drivers suck just like Nouveau.

Not my experience. I've been using ATI with open source drivers for years now and have had very few issues. I did have problems with Nouveau though and ended up swapping out the card out for an ATI one.

(the multiple monitor support is absolute shit compared to Windows or OSX).

I have a dualhead DVI setup with an AMD DMS-59 card and it works fine. What exactly do you think is missing in Linux? Last time I installed, Ubuntu auto-detected the dualhead setup, and it was a single mouse click to swap from mirror image to left/right screen. I know that using multiple cards for a multiple monitor setup doesn't work very well in Xorg - but I've also heard the same about Windows.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

equex (747231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38961217)

Consider yourself lucky. Very few of us achieve one-click->100% working dual monitor setup. Well it did actually work for like 2 weeks before some update broke it. Indeed, my latest two mobo's wasn't even supported by the Linux kernel and related low-level device drivers. No, I could not load any drivers, because the damn thing can't even figure out how to handle my disk controllers. (SB600 and SB950 chipsets. Actually, the last Ubuntu I could run without major buggage was 8.04 and 8.10.) I tried all the major distros, and they all bugged out the same way. Yes Linux is great for servers and all that yadda yadda, but I'm getting too old for this shit and I expect anything that calls itself a desktop distro in this time and age to "Just Work Out Of The Box Like Windows 7 (tm)". If it doesn't, it goes in my ''may be useful some day in case I need to fix my Windows installation- live CD collection'

Re:What about OpenGL ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38963101)

These days 2 monitors is not "multiple monitors". TwinView works great.

Now try 4 monitors and 2 video cards with X.org.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

sander (7831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38966383)

These days 2 monitors is not "multiple monitors". TwinView works great.

Now try 4 monitors and 2 video cards with X.org.

Except of course, You only have TwinView if you are using the Nvidia binary blob drivers. Supporting TwinView is another thing the free drivers don't do.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

mattventura (1408229) | more than 2 years ago | (#38963755)

From my experiences with the AMD driver, it was extremely difficult to get a single X display that would span across multiple video cards. Xinerama just completely made the drivers fail. Nvidia on the other hand seems to support Xinerama just fine.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

CalcProgrammer1 (1163305) | more than 2 years ago | (#38964127)

The proprietary AMD drivers are horrendous... I just tried installing over the weekend and had nothing but trouble with them. First, I tried the Ubuntu 11.10 fglrx packages. This gave me a single display (I have 3 1080p monitors, switch between separate and Eyefinity in Windows) and a single card (have 2 5870 reference boards in CF). I tried to enable the other displays and CrossFire and the machine got stuck on the next reboot (couldn't start X). I then tried the "updates" version from the repos, same thing. Finally, I installed them with AMD's binary installer. Yet again, it got stuck booting X when I tried to enable more than one card/monitor. I removed all of the proprietary drivers and used the Gallium3D open source driver. It did work, picked up all three monitors and let me configure them through the Monitors applet, but 3D performance was weak (significant lag on 1 screen Minecraft whereas a single 5870 should be smooth at 5760x1080 with moderate settings). Also, there was zero power management, the cards idled hot and the fans ran loudly. I doubt the second card (with no connected monitors) was actually doing anything other than wasting electricity. Its fan was running and heat was coming out.

On the contrary, I've never had a single notable issue with nVidia's proprietary Linux drivers. Their control panel is much nicer looking than AMD's in my opinion, it lets you see and adjust power management levels and temperature, does NOT REQUIRE REBOOTING AFTER EVERY LITTLE BABY STEP!!!! (seriously, AMD's driver is a throwback to windows 95!), and supports multi monitors well. I will say, Gallium3D seemed further along than Nouveau, but with this announcement the tables may have turned.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38964365)

Open drivers with 3D acceleration and good performance is what's still missing in Linux.

I'd buy all my video cards from whichever vendor has that. But none of them do. Not Nvidia, not AMD/ATI, and certainly not Intel or any of the others who have the additional problem that even if they had a great open source driver it wouldn't help because their graphics hardware performs so poorly. 2 years ago, I heard ATI was going to open up, and so my newest computer is an AMD with ATI graphics. But they haven't delivered. Still have to use the binary blobs to get 3D acceleration. I keep hoping someone else will enter the market.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

timbo234 (833667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38964545)

Same here, my last two computers (an 11 inch laptop and a self-assembled desktop) were deliberately bought with AMD graphics cards because the radeon (Open Source AMD card driver) works so well out of the box. HDMI out, multiple monitors all just works.

If I plug in HDMI to my laptop it pops up a dialog asking me to configure the 2nd monitor, which takes me to KDE's standard Display thing in its control panel. This works the same across distros (Opensuse and Kubuntu) and that's the way it should be.

All that said, I leave my gaming for my Windows 7 dual-boot. IMHO configuring WINE isn't worth the effort, you spend more time configuring it than playing games whereas Windows is just a minute or two of reboot time away.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (1)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959539)

Troll, give more details as to what is so bad exactly, file bugs or GTFO.

Of course.... (5, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956891)

It seems AMD is better supported by open source these days, when it used to be nVidia was the obvious choice.

Well, of course. AMD does publish documentation and put ressources behind the opensource development. NVidia doesn't.

Only these latest 2 generation seem to be very active, and they don't even have full functionality

For Nvidia cards, reverse-engineering is needed. So support will depend mostly on what the developper community has under their hand and can experiment the most with.
Too old cards aren't used so much any more, and thus there isn't as much experimentaiton going on them.
Too new cards haven't been around enough for enough reverse engineering to happen, so you won't see much support for them before a couple of year.

so it seems silly to be putting time into OpenCL.

Putting OpenCL in there doesn't divert that much ressources from Nouveau. Gallium3D is very modular (that's the main reason it's popular in the open source).
You just have back-end exporting hardware functionnality on one hand, and front-end supporting various API on the other hand.
You could in theory just freely slap any front-end on any back-end (and it's mostly that way in reality, hence the popularity of Gallium3D).

So bringing OpenCL to Nouveau boils down to :
- efforts in impoving the OpenCL state tracker until it can support enough of the OpenCL API. These are efforts done be people external to the Nouveau project. (Mostly the initial Clover project, then Google Summer of Code, etc.) And these are efforts done (mostly) independently of the back-end used (a lot is done on the CPU backends like LLVMpipe, but could also be used on Nouveau, AMD's R600g or the Gallium drivers for Intel developped by Google).
- efforts to bring enough of the hardware functionnality into the Nouveau back-end. These are efforts done by the Nouveau team. But some of these effort benefit also the 3D API or any other front-end running on Gallium3D (in theory, even the Gallium3D powered DirectX 10/11 front-end could partly benefit of these efforts).

That's also why OpenCL has been so quickly added to Nouveau: because it's cheap. OpenCL is mostly done (unlike OpenGL which is only currently achieving OpenGL 3.0 support in Mesa 8.0, whereas the current OpenGL implementation is 4.2 - so several versions behind). And GPGPU is mostly only uploading code to run on the chip (lots of functionnality which is used for 3D is not used for GPGPU), so as long as the the few OpenCL specific hardwaare functionnality is supported, OpenCL is ready to go.

For an up-to-date 3D support, there's still a lot of work to go into the Gallium OpenGL state tracker so it supports all the API and functionnality necessary for OpenGL 4.2. And there's still lot of hardware functionnality that needs to be done in Nouveau. Which is, again done entirely by reverse engineering and without an help from NVidia.
So, still a lot to go before having good 3D support.

At least, AMD is giving out documentation and paying a few developpers, and overall trying to guarantee some opensource support in parallel to their closed source catalyst.
And Intel and Google are actively developping opensource drivers as their main hardware support for Intel chipsets (with Intel developping classic Mesa and Google making Gallium3D drivers).

Re:Of course.... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957857)

If Intel would bother actually putting some hardware behind those things, they may well be the 'best' solution.

Re:Of course.... (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959275)

Well, Sandy Bridge graphics aren't as bad as old Intel chips used to be, and I hear that Ivy Bridge will be much faster.

Re:What about OpenGL ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38961367)

Nouveau NV50 support is pretty bloody good. Was a nicer experiance for me than with the binary blob. Mostly because nouveau 2D is better than nvidia and I dont use much 3D. I have a 500 series card now, still using nouveau. It has never crashed once though desktop use (video etc) but its 3D perfomance isn't there yet. However just like with my previous card (8800gt) it gets better everytime I update the drivers.

Its a shame that opencl isn't available for my current card or I'd be trying it out right now, but it will come.

Nouveau ftw! Fucking amazing job guys.

flash? (0)

TechwoIf (1004763) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956373)

But does it run Flash?

Re:flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38956817)

Christ, I can't even play youtube videos for ... well since ever. OK, they work in chrome, but 64 bit, nooo .. just stuttery.

Re:flash? (1)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959473)

Try HTML5 then.

Re:flash? (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957555)

I haven't noticed issues on with Flash on nVidia with F16 (x64, custom kernel) and open source driver. I'm using a GTX 460.

VDPAU? (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956539)

Does this mean VDPAU support? That's all I really care about in a GPU beyond basic display at normal resolutions.

Re:VDPAU? (3, Informative)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956629)

No it doesn't.

Gallium3D video (2)

DrYak (748999) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956975)

There's a completely separate project which tries to bring support for video acceleration and video APIs on the Gallium3D.

Now, these efforts are using the Gallium3D stack. That means that the video is getting decoded by the 3D hardware (by code running on the shader/kernel processors) and not by the separate video hardware that some chip feature.

(In AMD's case that means that the decoding is done by the same units which does OpenGL/OpenCL and not by the UVD).

Burn it! (1, Informative)

IronHalik (1568993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956611)

Burn it with fire! For all the countless hours spent trying to make it work on my "supported" Ubuntu box - the bootsplash, the dual displays, the login display config, user display config... You fix one thing, another jumps right back in.

And to be fair, proprietary nvidia drivers are far from flawless too - Most of the things work except one, kinda big thing - X server using one whole core, just to render the desktop. It's a "feature regression".

Re:Burn it! (1)

IronHalik (1568993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956859)

Oh, and to be clear - its not only a rant, its a testimony to current state of video support on one of the most used, and 'year of linux desktop' distro.Thats on my video card, that is one of the most popular geforces ever created.

Re:Burn it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38956941)

Why don't you save yourself time and money by upgrading to an OS that actually works like Windows or Mac OS X?

Re:Burn it! (2)

IronHalik (1568993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957271)

Because they say Ubuntu is better then Windows. Actually, its the best thing since sliced bread. And if something is wrong with the best OS ever, its always Bill Gates with his evil Steve Ballmer henchman, actively sabotaging open source efforts.

How could I, with clear conscience, use OS that was produced by such vile characters.

For the record, I'm perfectly fine with Arch Linux on my laptop.

Re:Burn it! (1)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959451)

Have you even done your part?

That is, reporting bugs?

Re:Burn it! (1)

IronHalik (1568993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38964955)

Sure, I got flamed for reviving a Transmission bug (torrents would not start from the watchdir, they would get added as started but no peers would connect). It was a "known bug". Known for about two years then. Must have been some really nasty thing, if nobody could fix it during two mayor versions.

And for Ubuntu, I reported message indicator not working properly with Empathy - its one of the nicest features in Unity. "It regressed". They will fix it in 12.04. Maybe. A bug has to wait half a year, because the package is frozen. I wonder if they do the same with security holes. And don't start me on the LTS version ;> Many fixes come with next Ubuntu version. This makes LTS versions pointless. (since they're as bugged as any other version)

Oh, and I shouldn't need to report bugs, Ubuntu has no bugs. Its open source, the all-knowing community squashes bugs in the planning stages.

But... To be fair, after trying 12.04, it is the best Ubuntu alpha I've ever seen. And Ubuntu+1 IRC channel activity would suggest its a smooth ride for other people too, so far. Although, they did not fix the Empathy bug, I have high hopes for it.

Not quite (5, Informative)

KerrickStaley (2423808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38956615)

From the article:
Unfortunately this current Nouveau OpenCL work done by Francisco Jerez isn't in the upstream Nouveau code-base but rather a separate branched Git repository. This is still out-of-tree work and it's not clear when it will be merged, but is already out of the question for the soon-to-be-out Mesa 8.0. The next hope would be seeing Mesa 8.1 be more OpenCL compute friend when that arrives in the middle of 2012.

Also, it only supports the older NV50 cards, not the newer NVC0 cards. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed, though: if OpenCV gets OpenCL support, then computer vision people could do GPGPU without needing the proprietary drivers.

Re:Not quite (2)

Formorian (1111751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957829)

From the article: I'm still keeping my fingers crossed, though: if OpenCV gets OpenCL support, then computer vision people could do GPGPU without needing the proprietary drivers.

Why is it so wrong to use the proprietary drivers? I mean don't we want companies to write drivers for linux for their hardware. NVIDIA does this and has for many many years. Why are you so eager to drop the proprietary drivers when they work so well in linux? It's one reason I always buy NVIDIA, even in my Windows machines. Because they support linux with drivers. I mean even my old NVIDIA cards running my servers still work. Sure newer drivers don't work, but old drivers do and work very well. I just don't understand the hate towards the proprietary drivers from NVIDIA. I can't tell you how many times in previous years trying to get wireless nic cards, modem cards, or other kinds of expansion cards to work in Linux properly. But with NVIDIA GPU's they just work. Why is that so wrong?

Re:Not quite (1)

softwareGuy1024 (2564569) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958243)

From the article: I'm still keeping my fingers crossed, though: if OpenCV gets OpenCL support, then computer vision people could do GPGPU without needing the proprietary drivers.

Why is it so wrong to use the proprietary drivers? I mean don't we want companies to write drivers for linux for their hardware. NVIDIA does this and has for many many years. Why are you so eager to drop the proprietary drivers when they work so well in linux?

There's a number of reasons to want the source: fix bugs, add features, build for a non-Intel architecture, you could be an optimization freak(ie. Gentoo user). The real question is what is the harm to Nvidia for releasing the source? They are a hardware company. I doubt that their secret sauce is in the driver, so why would it do anything but help their sales?

Re:Not quite (2)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959345)

Not to mention that a free driver (as in free speech) also gives developers and users more freedom in the sense that if we want to create new display servers (e.g. Wayland) we can do so without having to worry that a corporation like NVIDIA will support us. Which they already said they won't.

With proprietary drivers we lose a lot of control of our system.

With FOSS drivers we have the control, and this is the way it should be.

Re:Not quite (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959497)

The real question is what is the harm to Nvidia for releasing the source?

The cost and time involved with properly auditing all the code, time and money spent trying to get licensors to allow source release and three time and effort to reimplement all the parts they won't be able to open source, etc. Unless the neckbeard market is going to make up for all the time and money spent, nvidia gains nothing.

I doubt that their secret sauce is in the driver, so why would it do anything but help their sales?

And you would be wrong. There is lots of optimizations and other technologies in the drivers that they don't want shared. Also, they won't gain any sales from it to warrant the effort. If their major *nix customers, CAD users, 3dfx companies, people running gpu compute clusters, etc., cared about the driver being open sources they would have already pressured them heavily about it. That a few more people in a niche market might buy more of their product does not make a compelling business case.

Re:Not quite (5, Informative)

miknix (1047580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38958423)

Why is it so wrong to use the proprietary drivers?

I'm going to give you an example. My parents computer which is actually a laptop with a GeForce FX Go 5300 has GNU/Linux on it. The last official driver from nvidia supporting that card is nvidia-drivers-96.xx. Then if you read https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/NVIDIA [archlinux.org] :

Note: Currently nvidia-173xx, nvidia-96xx and nvidia-71xx drivers do not support Xorg release 1.11, and therefore are not available in the Official Repositories. You can use the open source drivers (nouveau or nv) instead.

I belive the drivers still worked under Xorg 1.10 under a compatibility layer. But my point is, if the vendor decides to stop supporting your hardware, you are left in cold waters if there isn't any opensource driver..

Another example is the XRandR case. Nvidia bundles the nvidia-settings application which works fine if you use it. However if you want to use the KDE or gnome or whatever other software to change the screen resolution and multiple-screens, then you will notice how bad they work BECAUSE nvidia fails to properly implement the XRandR specification (instead they make some kind of wrapper to their own twinview). With nouveau, XRandR works beautifully.
Because nvidia also emulates Xinerama, sometimes window managers fail to properly detect your multi-screen setup geometry and you will get strange window management results. This happened to me and that's why I perfectly happy with nouveau. Of course I still hit bugs when playing opengl games and sometimes the GPU even hardlocks but I honestly prefer having those localized bugs than the general inconsistencies I described above.

BTW: cudos to everyone involved in nouveau. OpenCL support is indeed a very good thing :)

Re:Not quite (1)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38962093)

That's right. The nvidia blob is actually a half-assed port of their Windows drivers to Linux, that's why the blob sucks so badly.

On the other hand, nouveau actually uses our existing Linux infrastructure. Nouveau does support KMS and XRandR properly. Also, XRandR uses KMS to change the resolution and stuff, since X is not in charge of handling resolution and depth anymore, KMS does that these days. So XRandR is just a wrapper to KMS these days.

Nouveau already has Wayland support also which also uses KMS.

I see Nouveau replacing the blob in the future.

Kudos to everyone involved in Nouveau as well. :-)

Re:Not quite (2)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38962153)

BTW, if you get any GPU hardlocks or you hit bugs, please report them.

I've reported a few and the nouveau developers were really kind and assisted me on fixing them, at the end we fixed them all. :-)

Here is the issue I had, the nouveau developers rock (thank you so much guys):

https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=40630

Re:Not quite (1)

miknix (1047580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38962263)

Yeah, I have this hard lockup (on a G86) that always happen when I suspend (s2ram) the laptop and it is connected to one screen other than the laptop internal. I've been willing to report this for quite some time now, but you know how it is, it is easier to avoid the problem than to fix it :P

Re:Not quite (1)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38962307)

Yeah just report it to the bug tracker or tell the devs about it on #nouveau. So someone else will look at it in the future (maybe) and so that the issue doesn't get lost. =D

Thanks.

Re:Not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38962525)

Nouveau on certain motherboards with certain 8400 cards? Deadlock during loading of the module. The module exists in initrd on Fedora / RHEL6. On the boot media. Result? Installation doesn't work unless you pass "noprobe" along. 8400 is labeled "old", so nouveau doens't put a lot of effort into fixing such hardware. Of course, we could just run an older distribution if we *really* wanted to.

On approximately a third of our machines that use the nouveau driver, X freezes, crashes or loses the pointer. The binary blob drivers have their issues, but having used them for years on a few dozen multi-monitor setups, we at least know what will work and what won't. With every nouveau update, we experience different behavior on different hardware. When you sit on 200-odd pieces of hardware of all age brackets, consistency is nice. Nouveau however doesn't provide it.

Now, a decade ago I'd actually debug and post bug reports. I used to with the "nv" driver. And it's ATI sibling. Today I rarely have the time or the inclination to do so, especially when I can't expect my distro (RHEL6) to implement said fixes for an age and a half, and maintaining a seperatly built driver is vastly easier for a driver designed to be installed outside the kernel (like the nvidia one).

The end solution? Binary drivers. For everything we do, it works very (very) well, while nouveau staggers along. The initiative is great, but even in the world of stability they're not there yet for us. And that's all before we look at the need for 3D that works.

Re:Not quite (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38963239)

But there are counter-examples to that, too... I had to downgrade from RHEL6 because the latest OPEN SOURCE Intel video drivers (which require KMS) are completely unusable and ause the display to stop working within an hour or two. The drivers in RHEL5 worked perfectly well... Never any such problem with NVidia's binary blobs.

In your case, the open source driver just HAPPENS to support something the binary doesn't. I'm sure there are MANY cases where the binary blob works better and supports more, as well as cases where you're screwed with either one you use.

Re:Not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38965759)

But there are counter-examples to that, too... I had to downgrade from RHEL6 because the latest OPEN SOURCE Intel video drivers (which require KMS) are completely unusable and ause the display to stop working within an hour or two. The drivers in RHEL5 worked perfectly well... Never any such problem with NVidia's binary blobs.

You missed my point completely. The point was that by having opensource drivers available, you or anyone else in the community can use and eventually improve the driver.. Drivers often depend on userland software too - like nvidia where the X driver obviously depends on the X server API. If the X server has an API update, the driver will automatically stop working unless the X server people implement a compatibility layer OR nvidia updates the driver to use the new API. This is why Windows always supported (and always will) a bunch of legacy API, to support vendors who lag behind, and it is indeed not a good thing. Now remind yourself that the kernel also has an API, so drivers can also be broken during a API change. If the vendor is the only one with access to the source code, then it is 100% up to the vendor to support the driver and that is a really bad thing when they don't do it timely, correctly or when they stop supporting the hardware altogether, you won't be able to use your old hardware with updated software anymore.

In your case, the open source driver just HAPPENS to support something the binary doesn't.

It doesn't simply HAPPEN to support it. There is a whole community backing up the development of it, unless the community dies or stop having motivation.

I'm sure there are MANY cases where the binary blob works better and supports more, as well as cases where you're screwed with either one you use.

Of course! No one is discussing that, the parent asked why is it bad to use closed source drivers and I gave one example.

Re:Not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38958531)

NVIDIA's closed source drivers do work pretty well, but there's still various annoyances. The most important one being that I have multiple times had to delay a kernel or X update because NVIDIA's drivers had not yet been updated to match. Also, I just generally expect better integration from open-source components (sure the NVIDIA control panel works... but why does it even exist?).

Re:Not quite (1)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959415)

Not to mention that nouveau supports KMS, Wayland, etc. It does a much better job than the blob in many things.

I have no doubt that when Nouveau gets better power management, better performance and VDPAU it will overtake the blob.

Re:Not quite (1)

rec9140 (732463) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959799)

"Not to mention that nouveau supports .. Wayland, etc"

Thtat right there is reason enough not to use it, besides being useless... its one of the first things that gets thrown out, blacklisted and replaced by the OEM nVidia driver.

Re:Not quite (3, Interesting)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959909)

I was saying that there are many reasons to use Nouveau, one of them is that nouveau supports KMS and Wayland while the nvidia blob DOES NOT.

How about improving your reading comprehension? And what is exactly not working for you with nouveau? How about doing some bug reporting?

Re:Not quite (1)

rec9140 (732463) | more than 2 years ago | (#38963855)

"I was saying that there are many reasons to use Nouveau, one of them is that nouveau supports KMS and Wayland while the nvidia blob DOES NOT."

I do not care about support for wayland, and that the nVidia OEM driver doesn't support it is a GOOD THING!

"How about improving your reading comprehension? And what is exactly not working for you with nouveau? How about doing some bug reporting?"

Your the problem with the reading comprehension. I ONLY use the OEM nVidia drivers. First thing that gets thrown out and disabled forever is nouveau, absolute garbage.

Not interested in bug reporting for noveau, I will for the nVidia OEM drivers, not that it really would do any good. As one I only have one really issue with their OEM driver, and thats dropping support for cards made within a reasonable period, and that would 5-10 years. Personally I don't see the need to drop support at all, but at least a more reasonable period than in use at this time would be better for all.

The nouveau project and wayland can just go away as far as I am concerned.

Re:Not quite (1)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38963945)

Well, enjoy using your blob, we are not interested in getting bug reports from someone who does not support progress on the Linux desktop,

that is... you.

Re:Not quite (1)

prionic6 (858109) | more than 2 years ago | (#38964329)

The nouveau project and wayland can just go away as far as I am concerned.

In Soviet Russia, you can just go away!

Re:Not quite (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959163)

Why is it so wrong to use the proprietary drivers?

It's not wrong - it's just that open source drivers work out of the box, while proprietary drivers need some tinkering and only support the latest hardware. Compare with the experience you get with Linux on PCs with Intel graphics - almost everything just works and at full performance, with no need to hunt for drivers, download firmware blobs, etc. And Intel start updating their drivers to support new products months before they're released to the market.

Re:Not quite (1)

rec9140 (732463) | more than 2 years ago | (#38961213)

"- it's just that open source drivers work out of the box, while proprietary drivers need some tinkering and only support the latest hardware."

I don't do any tinkering or searching for OEM drivers..

a few commands to enable XSWAT PPA

an apt get to install...DONE. I have not tweaked a setting for a thing, X or card. none.

Other than re-enable desktop effects, so I can enable one thing transparency... (don't get me started on my rant on that in KDE4)

Works great.

As for the absolute stupidity of both nVidia and crapti to drop support in the OEM drivers, I am not thrilled with it either, as I was bitten big time with this crap on crapti cards on systems barely 2 years old its a big peeve of mine. I feel its a dumb and bad move, and yes you can trot out that if these were open source this would not be a problem. Yes, that may be correct, I, still wouldn't use anything but the OEM drivers. Thats my decision. Accept closed drivers that work with an issue, or junk that does not at all. I accept the compromise that I have to keep a more current card.

"And Intel start updating their drivers to support new products months before they're released to the market."

Don't know anything about them, as I do not care for intel products. If they are producing drivers that are distributable in distros, well bully for them, as I just don't like their products.

Re:Not quite (1)

Cybah (444190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959443)

Why is it so wrong to use the proprietary drivers?

Here's an example. I bought a laptop with an Nvidia Quadro FX 3800M specifically for triple-head support (via docking station) and I can't even get dual-head to work properly due to an infinite loop somewhere in the binary drivers when mode-switching. I've done most of the investigation work, even running X through gdb and they're not interested in helping - not even some basic debug symbols.

I've been completely ignored by Nvidia via both of their official support channels: (1) the nvnews.net forum [nvnews.net] and (2) their linux-bugs@nvidia.com email address touted in their driver README [nvidia.com] . Even on Twitter.

What options do I have now with a binary driver except to run Windows (where triple-head works fine) or change hardware? I can't imagine why I would ever again support a company that can't even acknowledge my pain with their product, let alone help me to fix the problem myself.

mod Down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38956915)

Looking forward to any progress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38957427)

Have ubuntu running on an old ppc mac. Still no working unity 3d or 3d graphics at all due to my nvidia gpu. Of course, the blame goes squrely on nvidia for not open sourcing their drivers (though i can see why its unreasonable to assume they would make a ppc binary driver, at least they could give us a crack at compiling it). This kind of lessens the enjoyment of exploring ubuntu (i'm new to it but very interested).

I applaud any progress made and will wait patiently for the breakthroughs to come.

Hats off to the developers.

Re:Looking forward to any progress (0)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38957733)

Make them a business proposal that is with their time and effort and they might consider it. Random neckbeard boy demanding they open source their drivers will not get through.

Re:Looking forward to any progress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38957931)

Jesus Christ. Run OS X if you want 3D on that old shit

Re:Looking forward to any progress (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959343)

The problem will appear again soon - rumor has it Apple is porting OS X to Arm.

Great, at least... (1)

Phlow (2488880) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959177)

...we can take advantage of the hardware in some way. Because it sure as fuck isn't being taken advantage of in 3D gaming on Linux. The state of graphics driver support in Linux is sad. We end up with abominations like nVidia Optimus, which they won't even support, forcing the open source community to bullshit their way through with hacked up work-arounds like Bumblebee. They just won't put the development dollars into Linux, and there doesn't seem to be any recourse.

That's cool I guess (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959219)

But has it stopped creating constant kernel panics?

Re:That's cool I guess (1)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38959671)

Have you at least done some bug reporting at least once in your life? I guess not, troll.

Still needs proprietary firmware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38959463)

So, the driver is free software but what about the firmware? I would love to mine bitcoin on a free software rig.

WWOT fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38961047)

cond0cted at MIT that have raged

all I want is xbox support (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38961503)

Apparently some NV2A stuff has gone into Nouveau but not the stuff for the TV Decoders. Haven't found any significant blog posts or mailing list updates newer than 2008...

FAR from useful (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38963389)

Until it passes the OpenCL conformance tests (which are a major PITA) it's not really useful. One of the major reasons OpenCL is valuable is that it provides a guaranteed level of accuracy for math operations. This has a lot to do with the libraries that vendors ship, and that is a decidedly non-trivial amount of engineering and testing to implement. (I've been involved in getting OpenCL to pass conformance for three platforms.) I'd say they are about 10% of the way there.

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