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Open-Source NVIDIA Driver Goes Stable On Linux

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the stable-means-it's-got-horsepower-right? dept.

Graphics 231

An anonymous reader writes "The open source Nouveau driver, a reverse-engineered incarnation of NVIDIA's official proprietary driver for Linux, has reached its biggest milestone. The Nouveau driver is now being considered stable within the Linux kernel and leaving the staging area, with the pledge of a stable ABI. Phoronix has summarized the state of the Nouveau driver, which works fine if you don't care about performance or are fine with running hardware that's a few generations old."

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231 comments

"a reverse-engineered incarnation" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39681641)

Sorry, this is kind of off, but still interesting and related as this was work done by reverse engineering. How do you reverse engineer on Linux, or other UNIX systems like OS X and BSD? Windows has many great software like IDA and OllyDBG, but seems there's just no such things available for Linux or UNIX. The problem isn't even about using console programs, it's about showing the debugging process and being able to put breakpoints.

Re:"a reverse-engineered incarnation" (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39681681)

http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/Development [freedesktop.org]
I'm no engineer, not even a reverse engineer, but I'd probably start with a bus analyzer, gdb, and follow some kernel/driver debugging lists.
Dear reader, feel free to tell me how wrong this approach is.

Re:"a reverse-engineered incarnation" (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39681859)

Umm, IDA is available on Linux.

Re:"a reverse-engineered incarnation" (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682019)

We don't reverse engineer the code, we reverse engineer what is sent to the card. Linux can dump everything going through the PCIE bus, that's the so-called mmiotrace.

We only reverse engineer by taking the binary driver as a blackbox, sending commands and seeing what comes out.

Martin Peres - Nouveau developper

Re:"a reverse-engineered incarnation" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682085)

Awesome, keep up the great work. I love Nouveau.

Re:"a reverse-engineered incarnation" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682813)

Awesome, keep up the great work. I love your frosty piss Nouveau.

Fix that for you.

Re:"a reverse-engineered incarnation" (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#39682859)

Uhhh...If you are Mr Peres, why don't you have an account instead of posting AC? After all both Eric Raymond and even Linus Torvalds has accounts, even if Linus naturally hasn't got the time to use his much.

Now for my other question, since you are basically snatching the data from a binary blob which i'm sure is full of proprietary code, after all if it wasn't they could just FOSS the thing, do you worry about DMCA? i know that AMD can't release full specs on their GPUs because protected path isn't theirs and would break DMCA and since Nvidia cards i'm sure have protected path as well do you have to worry about legal ramifications? or have you set up the project in some place that doesn't recognize software patents?

If you ARE Mr Peres I would like to say I admire your guts, frankly I wouldn't want to go within 100 yards of anything to do with video as long as all these crazy patents and lawsuits are going on. And how about hardware acceleration of video? How can you do that without ending up in the whole H.26x patent minefield?

Frankly I think its a shame that such questions even have to be asked as while i have no problems with proprietary software and use both FOSS and proprietary software every day i do NOT support software patents but as long as that minefield exists I am curious how you intend to approach feature parity with the blob driver without stepping into the whole patent mess since one of the big uses of GPUs is video processing and that's patented up the wazoo.

Re:"a reverse-engineered incarnation" (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682955)

For one thing, DMCA only fits if they actually implemented some type of protection scheme which may or may not be the case. In either case, this does not apply at all as the DRM isn't being broken. The blackbox driver is working as intended and not taken apart in any way, it's like trying to see how a car works without actually taking it apart by systematically doing what you normally would do anyways and recording it's response.

Instead of running a program that sends a large set of commands to the driver and having it returns random responses, you send 1 specific command at a time and recording each response so you are able to reproduce it in their own driver.

What they are doing, is basically mapping the interface (doorway as you will) to the blackbox driver. An interface can not be copyrighted (this has some precedence in court rulings and is done often like emulators). It's only illegal once you start copying either parts of the source code or machine code. If you copy the outside, the inside really doesn't matter in the greater scheme (though of course there are issues of performances and driver specific bugs)

Yes, this is an insane amount of work and these people should be respected greatly especially if they are not being paid to help improve linux.

(Different Anon)

incredibly bad move (-1, Troll)

bolthole (122186) | about 2 years ago | (#39681665)

Way to go guys.. you've now given Nvidia massive disincentive to continue to do more work with their MODERN drivers.

Re:incredibly bad move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39681765)

Why?

The problem is with nvidia is right now they are doing 'ok'. In a few years when everyone has integrated some sort of GPU into their CPU they are going to have a massive problem.

So at this point their only hope is to get bought out or buy a CPU.

They have 5 options at this point
1) build their own cpu (not likely)
2) buy someone elses (likely)
3) get bought out (semi likely, at this point I only see 2 who would be willing to do that qcom or intc both have their own graphics stack).
4)keep going the way they are (not as likely)
5) go out of business in a slow death.

Only options 1,2 and 5 lead to no open source stack. With 5 being the one where we want open source to make something.

Tegra (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#39682123)

2) buy someone elses (likely)

And this is what NVIDIA has done. NVIDIA bought a license for ARM's CPU and built the Tegra SoC around it.

Re:incredibly bad move (1)

ArcherB (796902) | about 2 years ago | (#39682469)

1) build their own cpu (not likely)

You mean like the Tegra line of processors? I think you should limit your thinking to x86 dimensions.

Re:incredibly bad move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39681775)

Sure they'll stop making their closed source drivers. Not getting any more money from the Linux community is part of their plan to rule the world - given that their competition sucks balls on Linux.

Re:incredibly bad move (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39681981)

Way to go guys.. you've now given Nvidia massive disincentive to continue to do more work with their MODERN drivers.

Competition is usually a motivation to improve rather than stagnate.

Wouldn't be at all surprised to see things like VDPAU and CUDA recieve even more attention from Nvidia. Maybe even features like KMS might happen now...

Re:incredibly bad move (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 2 years ago | (#39681989)

Not dismissing what's obviously a pretty daunting technical challenge, but still. The problem is...

Why would you buy a $250 3D Nvidia card if you didn't care about performance?

Re:incredibly bad move (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39682111)

They are presently suffering togetherness issues on both fronts(Intel because Intel denied them authorization to build any QPI chipsets, AMD because AMD now owns ATI...); but Nvidia shoved a pretty significant number of integrated graphics chipsets out the door in the past few years. For a while, they more or less were the embedded graphics option for AMD boards, and they presented a fairly persuasive offer on the Intel side, given the dire state of Intel graphics.

That's quite a few performance-insensitive Nvidia parts in the world, in addition to the discrete ones, which usually indicate some level of interest in performance, or at least driving a greater-than-default number of heads...

Re:incredibly bad move (2)

ArcherB (796902) | about 2 years ago | (#39682499)

Not dismissing what's obviously a pretty daunting technical challenge, but still. The problem is...

Why would you buy a $250 3D Nvidia card if you didn't care about performance?

Well, you could dual boot. In this case you would want all the performance you can get while gaming in Windows. Since you are probably not gaming much in Linux, all you really need is enough power for desktop effects, which require a 3D driver.

Or you could just by a $50 Nvidia GPU and use this driver with it. I don't thing it's limited to the latest and greatest Nvidia cards.

Re:incredibly bad move (1)

sheehaje (240093) | about 2 years ago | (#39682035)

Which is why open source drivers should be discredited everywhere. Because it can be done, but at a disservice to everyone...

Why scratch an itch when the manufactures will stand up eventually and do the right thing? /end sarcasm

Software freedom trumps proprietorship every time. (5, Insightful)

jbn-o (555068) | about 2 years ago | (#39682097)

Software freedom is important for its own sake. You're better off with a less functional free implementation than a more powerful and reliable proprietary implementation in numerous practical ways programmers and users have known for decades.

If the proprietor stops supporting something and they're all you've got to depend on, you're out of luck left with an ugly choice to run increasingly obsolete code or (apparently needlessly) do without that functionality at all. Proprietors control your computer and tell you what you can do with it. Free software gives you the freedom to control your own computer. One can learn to program and understand the Nouveau source code: maintain the code to work on more OSes and work with more hardware, free from the fear of DRM (digital restrictions management). If you're not a programmer, like most computer users aren't, you can still help the effort by giving programmers what they need to help you in return. Often that's money, equipment, good bug reports, documentation translations, and writing documentation for the software.

We're better off relying on each other in freedom than we are depending on a proprietor. Socially, we can't build a better future for ourselves by relying on secret software. We should be allowed to fully own and control our computers and we'll get there with software freedom.

Nvidia should have told their customers how to fully use the equipment they sold. Nouveau hackers are remedying that deficiency. I'm grateful for the valuable work Nouveau hackers are doing for all of us.

Re:Software freedom trumps proprietorship every ti (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682437)

So true. I had a problem with my onboard network card a while ago. I dug up an old 3COM PCI 10/100 card, those cards were awesome and would survive god striking them. I put it in, boot Windows 64 bit and... obviously no driver. It's an old card and no one bothered to create a driver for Windows 7 64 bit. Then I reboot under Kubuntu also running 64 bit and hey, it's working.

Re:Software freedom trumps proprietorship every ti (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682521)

I hope the great work continues and I'll be able to run Steam games with it, too.

I try it out every six months, but until such time I'm thankful nVidia still support their products on Linux at all.

Re:Software freedom trumps proprietorship every ti (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 2 years ago | (#39682569)

In addition, and this is a big one for me, you don't have to reinstall the open source driver with every kernel upgrade.

Re:Software freedom trumps proprietorship every ti (3, Interesting)

pankkake (877909) | about 2 years ago | (#39683043)

> If the proprietor stops supporting something and they're all you've got to depend on, you're out of luck left with an ugly choice to run increasingly obsolete code or (apparently needlessly) do without that functionality at all.

And nVidia does exactly this, they drop old models from their drivers (it isn't that bad, the last time it happened to me, it was really old, and the machine stopped being relevant for desktop usage a long time before). Still, I like the tranquility of mind; that's why I switched to ATI cards everywhere. It's good to have choice again. The work of Nouveau developers is impressive, considering the competing open source ati drivers got a lot of help from AMD.

Re:incredibly bad move (4, Informative)

gmack (197796) | about 2 years ago | (#39682175)

The last time someone came up with a replacement for an Nvidia driver was for the ethernet drivers and Nvdia ended up discontinuing their own and contributing to the open source driver instead. If this happens again we are all better off.

No, nVidia isn't stupid (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 years ago | (#39682225)

They realize their top notch drivers are a big selling point of their hardware. You'll find more than a couple people who have the opinion that AMD has good graphics hardware, crippled by poor drivers.

nVidia will only discontinue Linux drivers if the market shrinks to such a size that it is no longer worth it. If Linux becomes an "embedded only" OS or something they'll stop. However so long as it is being used a reasonable amount, they'll keep making drivers for it (they also have FreeBSD and Solaris drivers to give you an idea).

Particularly since it is a big market for their GPGPU stuff. When people get a big multi-card Tesla system, they sometimes want to run Linux on it. That is only doable with first flight drivers that have all the features supported, work with the latest hardware, and give up nothing in terms of speed.

Re:No, nVidia isn't stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682537)

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Re:No, nVidia isn't stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682661)

I checked, only a niggers foot can fill these shoes out.

Re:No, nVidia isn't stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682755)

It's a good, all purpose shoe. You can wear it while playing hoops or stealing shit.

Re:No, nVidia isn't stupid (4, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 2 years ago | (#39682577)

Don't forget that render farms are a major franchise for NVidia and Linux pretty much owns that space.

Re:No, nVidia isn't stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682807)

"If Linux becomes an "embedded only" OS or something they'll stop."

Are you assuming that Linux will no longer be everything else it is? Desktop, super computer, single purpose, media center, hardware controller, and on and on...
Linux will not be some niche, it has and will be many things.

LOL... stable but crappy (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39681701)

Crappy half implemented acceleration support. No multiple monitor support. No thermal control.

In short: Good job guys! Not!

Translation: Google quality (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39681759)

Stable but still crappy is the definition of anything Google considers production quality.

Re:LOL... stable but crappy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682461)

Not to mention no OpenCL/CUDA support, etc.

Meh, it's a good idea but seriously lacking. Kind of like the WINE project that has been around for decades yet fails even some of the most basic functionality.

Doesn't cut it on my hardware... (1)

jrminter (1123885) | about 2 years ago | (#39681805)

The latest version on Ubuntu 12.04 beta2 doesn't cut it on my hardware. I am thankful for Nvidia's support of Linux.

Re:Doesn't cut it on my hardware... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682025)

nVidia has done a killer job over the years. I'm totally happy with their blob. Once the free version works well on some piece of hardware I own, I'll probably go that way, but I have no qualms about leveraging the effort nVidia puts into their product. In fact, the nVidia blob works so well, I would almost have preferred the group put all that effort into making modern ATI cards moderately functional, because it seems there's no way AMD is ever going to do it.
In any case, good job on nouveau, I wish I had your skillz.

Re:Doesn't cut it on my hardware... (0)

diego.viola (1104521) | about 2 years ago | (#39682117)

NVIDIA does not implement KMS or XRandR properly, they don't plan to support Wayland also, which is a deal breaker for me.

Re:Doesn't cut it on my hardware... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682417)

No binary blobs either. NVIDIA FAIL as usual.

Re:Doesn't cut it on my hardware... (5, Interesting)

GrumpyOldMan (140072) | about 2 years ago | (#39682277)

Besides spotty hardware supprt, AFAIK it is also missing VDPAU (HD video decoding) support, which is the main reason a lot of HTPC types use Nvidia cards in their linux machines. It is also fairly hard to remove. I think it took me 1/2 hour of re-booting before I finally purged nouveau from my system to clear the way so that the Nvidia driver could attach.

As a Linux (and other *nix) driver guy, I have tons of respect for how Nvidia deals with the constant, gratuitous changes in the Linux kernel APIs.

Re:Doesn't cut it on my hardware... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682601)

If it took you more than a minute to purge anything, then that's either a problem with your distro, or you did something unsupported (like installing from source) without knowing what you were doing.

Finally, removing the driver, "rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf" and restarting X should have done the trick. No need for reboots, this isn't Windows 98.

Re:Doesn't cut it on my hardware... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682647)

They gratuitously change the API's whenver they feel like BECAUSE people like nVidia exploit their work without sharing manuals (for the hardware customers /pay/ for). It's meant to DISCOURAGE closed-blob driver bullshit.

http://lwn.net/1999/0211/a/lt-binary.html [lwn.net]

Or if you care about free software... (2)

Narcocide (102829) | about 2 years ago | (#39681809)

Which I do, but I also care about performance. I've found myself having to switch back and forth between it and the propreitary Nvidia driver on some machines.

Finally, it's the year of Linux on the desktop! (-1, Troll)

apparently (756613) | about 2 years ago | (#39681825)

Surely, the news of a video driver that "works fine if you don't care about performance or are fine with running hardware that's a few generations old" is the awesome secret magic that the masses have been waiting for. And it's free as in beer! As long as you don't care about your mug of beer being poured from 20 mugs of swill. The only thing holding my nana back from ditching windows is lack of an apk-approved HOSTS file for the ooboontooo.

Re:Finally, it's the year of Linux on the desktop! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682037)

Oh, this is new... Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha... when can I buy your DVD?

Re:Finally, it's the year of Linux on the desktop! (-1, Troll)

rho (6063) | about 2 years ago | (#39682143)

It's a wonderful technological breakthrough that will thrill about two dozen people. This is a great story for 2003.

Re:Finally, it's the year of Linux on the desktop! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682483)

"works fine if you don't care about performance or are fine with running hardware that's a few generations old"

That describes me, actually. My nVidia card is two years old (which is several generations for video cards), and I don't run any flashy games. What I do care about is having a multi-monitor setup, which never worked right with the official nVidia drivers, and they had no plans to fix it. With the Nouveau driver ... it seems to work.

Re:Finally, it's the year of Linux on the desktop! (1)

HJED (1304957) | about 2 years ago | (#39682779)

Perhaps you set it up wrong (you have to reboot/restart x to change most settings related to multiple monitors). I have managed to get multiple monitors working in both separate x-screen and xcinerama (which is similar to how windows does dual screens) setups on multiple different machines. One thing that doesn't work very well with multiple monitors is gnome 3/unity/cinnamon but that's not due to the drivers, its due to the gnome 3 devs deciding no one needs multiple monitors.
KDE, MATE and gnome 2 all work fine on multiple monitors using the nvidia drivers it takes about 30 seconds plus a reboot to set it up. The only problems i've had with the official drivers is how ubuntu tries to remove them when you upgrade to a new release.

I won't use it unless... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39681963)

It avenges the wrongful death of Trayvon! He was such a good boy, cut down in his prime by a dirty cracker just because he used Ubuntu on his desktop computer! Zimmerman is probably smiling right now and rubbing one out at the thought of Trayvon lying there in the grass, bleeding out! And the courts will probably let him go free! This is a Zionist, Communist, and Freemason conspiracy!

The world will not tolerate this injustice!

Write to your politicians and tell them not to use Noveau unless Zimmerman and his Jewish conspirationists are punished!

Cool project (1)

gatkinso (15975) | about 2 years ago | (#39682033)

Sometimes causes me headaches when trying to develop CUDA projects... but all in all a wonderful thing for 95% of the Linus user base. Spock would approve.

I only wish Ubuntu didn't ram it down my throat.

Nothng but Hate (5, Insightful)

goodgod43 (1993368) | about 2 years ago | (#39682055)

It's amazing to me that there is so much flame out there for this. None of you could do this, Not a single one of you have tried, and yet, this small group of dedicated people have actually figured out a piece of proprietary hardware to the point of having their code included in the Linux kernel? Way to go guys.

Re:Nothng but Hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682163)

How dare you say that none of us could do this! I will not tolerate this affront to my honor! I challenge you to a duel, sir! And when I emerge victorious, I will print out the noveau source code and make you eat it! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

But why couldn't we? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682293)

Is it the same reason I couldn't sit through a Twilight movie or honestly vote for a Tea Party Republican?

Or the same reason I couldn't drink a gallon of water with an eyedropper?

Namely a lack of tolerance for doing things in a harder way than necessary?

Re:Nothng but Hate (2)

ghn (2469034) | about 2 years ago | (#39682361)

+1 to you. Congrats to the Nouveau developers. That is a major accomplishment.

Re:Nothng but Hate (0, Flamebait)

lsolano (398432) | about 2 years ago | (#39682523)

It's not hate, it's being realistic.

If this "news" where about a group of students that, for a homework did that driver, that can considered brilliant.

But how can someone expect that we should praise this that works only "if you don't care about performance or are fine with running hardware that's a few generations old.".

Not disrespecting the people working on this, but in the real world, this is not practical at all. Stable: maybe; but incomplete for sure.

Your comments could've been said in 1991 of Linux (5, Insightful)

csirac (574795) | about 2 years ago | (#39682833)

Point being: this shit is hard, and the current milestone represents a huge achievement. If everybody had the attitude that "well it sucks compared to [something else] right now, why bother", nothing hard would ever be attempted.

Re:Your comments could've been said in 1991 of Lin (1)

lsolano (398432) | about 2 years ago | (#39683039)

Your comment really makes sense, made me think twice about what I wrote.

Maybe, it would have been better to make this announcement as a solid promise of a good driver, a work in progress with a bright future instead of saying that it went stable with the "exceptions" mentioned.

Re:Nothng but Hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682975)

This is mostly useful for people with IGPs at this point, most other people if they care about having a proper driver on Linux were using AMD or possibly Intel GPUs. The last time I've had an intel IGP it was because it was the one with driver support. The performance was abysmal, but I could get some acceleration out of it.

Re:Nothng but Hate (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 2 years ago | (#39682619)

It's amazing to me that there is so much flame out there for this.

Not from real people, it's just trolls.

Re:Nothng but Hate (2)

pankkake (877909) | about 2 years ago | (#39683067)

Yep. People who will never be users or contributors, not matter what they say. They're here because they don't do anything meaningful with their lives, so they have to undermine the work of others.

The only winning move is to ignore them.

Bi73h (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682075)

fact there won't jesus Up The

now all thats left to do (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 years ago | (#39682147)

is design a time machine to go back three years and peddle this afterthought to the linux community, just as theyre putting the finishing touches on a workable desktop video driver for AMD cards that supports HDMI.
then nvidia can hop back in and take a trip 5 years back, and fix the problem with faulty chips they just decided to ship and apologize for as an afterthought.

while we're fidgeting with the knobs in our video card tardis of sorts, we can shuffle on back to the point in nvidia history when despite overwhelming support by AMD for 64 bit linux, nvidia decided 32 bit was all they were getting.

Why all the hate /.? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682223)

Seriously guys why all the hate? Sure it doesn't work for everyone, it works on old hardware. But here's the deal, it works and is sufficient for day to day use. Here's the amazing and nerdy part of it too, they REVERSE ENGINEERED IT. Something as complicated as a video card. That's no small feat and they should be congratulated for their efforts to make linux just that much better. Start hating when you contribute something with any significance at all. BTW I'm not a kernel developer, just a nerd that appreciates a feat such as this.

Re:Why all the hate /.? (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | about 2 years ago | (#39682237)

Dammit, posted AC. That'll learn me to not log in.

Re:Why all the hate /.? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682677)

Dammit, posted AC. That'll learn me to not log in.

Yeah I hate it when I accidentally forget to log in, and then accidentally type in a CAPTCHA, and then accidentally click "Submit", and then realize "shit, I forgot to log in!".

Gets me every time.

Re:Why all the hate /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682793)

This time too in fact.

Re:Why all the hate /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682889)

This time too in fact.

WHOOSH confirmed.

Re:Why all the hate /.? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682313)

It is people like you that give nerds a bad name. I suppose you also think that it is an accomplishment that Microsoft reverse engineered Apple's OS so it could work on Intel chips. Yeah, Microsoft helped Apple with that. Did you know that? I'll bet you didn't. If it wasn't for Microsoft, Apple would still be in the stone age, using Netscape Navigator which caused the entire computer to crash every 9 minutes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdqgIoOQcfw

Awesome! (3, Interesting)

starseeker (141897) | about 2 years ago | (#39682343)

I'm using this driver (well, probably a slightly older version of it) with my desktop now, and so far I've been pleasently surprised. I don't need blazing fast performance on 3D for most things. FlightGear/OpenArena level games are about as far as I'm likely to push, since I'm not into the latest and greatest FPS anymore. Given that, the prospect of an integrated driver that "just works" without having to do anything extra is awesome.

My last Gentoo re-install I ended up trying the Nouveau driver after my attempt at enabling the binary NVIDIA driver didn't go well - had to flip on a couple kernel options to get acceleration, but after doing so and for my uses the results are "fast enough." I'll be sticking with Nouveau from now on unless I hit a major show-stopper. Well done, Nouveau team!

Re:Awesome! (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 2 years ago | (#39682689)

My last Gentoo re-install I ended up trying the Nouveau driver after my attempt at enabling the binary NVIDIA driver didn't go well - had to flip on a couple kernel options to get acceleration, but after doing so and for my uses the results are "fast enough." I'll be sticking with Nouveau from now on unless I hit a major show-stopper. Well done, Nouveau team!

That about the same space I'm in with the open source Radeon driver, except that it's working well on very recent cards. I can still go back to the Catalyst driver any time I want and I will get a (steadily shrinking) throughput boost. But the number of times I bothered to do that in the last 18 months is zero. Instead, I plugged in a newer card and got much bigger boost that way, incidentally, without increasing power consumption. By the way: this point totally hard to understand for Windows users... when I plugged in the Southern Islands card to replace the old 4000 series, that's all I did. Just pulled out the old card, plugged in the one and turned on the power. No fiddling with drivers or settings whatsover. The same driver just came up and worked with a card three years newer.

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682875)

Fiddle with drivers or settings? Why are you still on XP?

Allows mulitple monitors with rotation (5, Interesting)

portablejim (1538997) | about 2 years ago | (#39682397)

One thing which you cannot do with the official NVIDIA driver for GNU/Linux is have mixed rotation monitors. (I would like to be proven wrong - have even tried to prove myself wrong, but given up).

I currently have one monitor in portrait and one monitor in landscape and one monitor in landscape, with the ability to drag windows from one to the other. I have some acceleration, which allows me to see through terminal windows.

Nouveau works, official one does not work. Simple choice.

Re:Allows mulitple monitors with rotation (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#39682847)

I'm doing it now with the NVIDIA driver - one horizontal and one vertical. The line in xorg.conf for the vertical screen is:

Option "Rotate" "Left"

Now for some reason the GUI tool doesn't include that option but it can be done by adding that option to the configuration file.

I think there also might be a driver independent way to do with RandR as well instead of in xorg.conf but I haven't touched RandR for a while.
Of course if Nouveau already does what you want then there's no reason to stop using it even if there are other ways to solve the problem. I'm just pointing out an option that I probably found deep in the long NVIDIA readme file a year or two back and have used since.

There's a cultural side to the open source thing.. (2)

Gimbal (2474818) | about 2 years ago | (#39682413)

...and it would seem to be a rather persistent thing, at that.

Personally, I think it's great to hear some simple news about a non-trivial thing relating to a driver that also affects the overall performance of my own computer. That it's an article not written in marketspeak covered with a 20 gallon drum full of marketsauce, then, I guess that may also serve to comment to the technological integrity of the open source developer domain.

But sure sure, we can troll, we can. Cheers.

Re:There's a cultural side to the open source thin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682693)

...and it would seem to be a rather persistent thing, at that.

Personally, I think it's great to hear some simple news about a non-trivial thing relating to a driver that also affects the overall performance of my own computer. That it's an article not written in marketspeak covered with a 20 gallon drum full of marketsauce, then, I guess that may also serve to comment to the technological integrity of the open source developer domain.

But sure sure, we can troll, we can. Cheers.

Having read your post I realize that I used my last mod point unworthily.

Somebody mod this up please.

NVIDIA total fail (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682425)

Please NVIDIA do everyone a favor and stop putting out your crappy binary blob drivers.

Must read! More important than Neuvueao! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682439)

Contrails just don't linger like that, especially in complex patterns that litter the sky for hours -- only to eventually dissipate and form a layer of clouds. Weather manipulation? Behavior alteration agents? Big Pharma spraying us with new diseses to make a fat buck? It is a little bit of all of those, IMO.

There's no question about it, our skies have been sprayed heavily over the past decade, when these chemtrails first emerged. True, commercial aviation is a huge phenomenon now and new propulsion technologies are always emerging. But there are times where one can look at the sky, as a free human being, and just know that something isn't right. Especially when you see 5-10 of these thick trails just sitting in the sky, only to see a commercial airliner flying at the same altitude leaving no such "contrail" behind.

The planet is overheating thanks to holes in the atmosphere from man's greed. Now the tundra at the north pole is being hosed with, and if it explodes -- this is thousands of cubic miles of tundra, mind you -- then everything on earth dies from the toxic gases that will be released. Many ppl believe the metals particles discovered in these trails is to deflect the sun just for long enough until we develop atmospheric healing technology. Others are not so convinced and beleave that there is a sinister depopulation agenda being played out -- releasing bioagents that are just strong enough to kill off the useless eaters that don't eat right (85% of America), but also just weak enough to cause no damage to ppl who are in goodd health and will be of use in the future.

Of course, with all the connections and $$$ that the pharma industry has, it's not so far fetched with how hosed up the world is already anyway for them to get in bed with the right folks and rig airliners with these aerosol disperseant technologies right under their noses. By contaimating the country, if not world with newly engineered diseases and mental disorders like crohns, autism, and diabedes, that's billions of dollars in profits that could help pay off national debt under the table.

Do the research. Lift the blinders. Ever been told something that sounds so rediculous, you automatically shutoff and dismiss it as nonsense? Thats just your sheeple programming throwing you back into the realm of ignorance, to further be manipulated & controlled. For those who are to lazy to do their own research, heres a very compelling video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0Ma408zSVc#t=20s

The truth!! Reed for the TRUTH!!!!!1! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682489)

WHERE ARE OBAMA'S GIRLFRIENDS?

Think about this....

I hadn't thought about this - but where are Obama's past girlfriends - surely he had at least one? No past girlfriends popping up anywhere? Strange - strange to the point of being downright weird!

OK, this is just plain old common sense, no political agendas for either side. Just common knowledge for citizens of a country, especially American citizens, who know every little tidbit about every other president (and their wives) that even know that Andrew Jackson's wife smoked a corn cob pipe and was accused of adultery, or that Lincoln never went to school or Kennedy wore a back brace, or Truman played the piano.

We are Americans! Our media vets these things out! We are known for our humanitarian interests and caring for our 'fellow man.' We care, but none of us know one single humanizing fact about the history of our own president.

Honestly, and this is a personal thing... but it's bugged me for years that no one who ever dated him ever showed up. Taken his charisma, which caused the women to be drawn to him so obviously during his campaign, looks like some lady would not have missed the opportunity.

We all know about JFK's magnetism, McCain was no monk, Palin's courtship and even her athletic prowess were probed. Biden's aneurisms are no secret. Look at Cheney and Clinton-we all know about their heart problems. How could I have left out Wild Bill before or during the White House?

Nope... not one lady has stepped up and said, "He was soooo shy," or "What a great dancer!" Now look at the rest of what we know... no classmates, not even the recorder for the Columbia class notes ever heard of him.

Who was the best man at his wedding? Start there. Check for groomsmen. Then get the footage of the graduation ceremony.

Has anyone talked to the professors? Isn't it odd that no one is bragging that they knew him or taught him or lived with him.

When did he meet Michele and how? Are there photos? Every president provides the public with all their photos, etc. for their library. What has he released? Nada - other than what was in this so-called biography! And experts who study writing styles etc. claim it was not O's own words or typical of his speech patterns, etc.

Does this make any of you wonder?

Ever wonder why no one ever came forward from Obama's past, saying they knew him, attended school with him, was his friend, etc? Not one person has ever come forward from his past.

This should really be a cause for great concern. Did you see the movie titled, The Manchurian Candidate?

Let's face it. As insignificant as we all are... someone whom we went to school with remembers our name or face... someone remembers we were the clown or the dork or the brain or the quiet one or the bully or something about us.

George Stephanopoulos, ABC News said the same thing during the 2008 campaign. Even George questions why no one has acknowledged that the president was in their classroom or ate in the same cafeteria or made impromptu speeches on campus. Stephanopoulos was a classmate of Obama at Columbia-class of 1984. He says he never had a single class with him. Since he is such a great orator, why doesn't anyone in Obama's college class remember him? And, why won't he allow Columbia to release his records? Do you like millions of others, simply assume all this is explainable - even though no one can?

NOBODY REMEMBERS OBAMA AT COLUMBIA

Looking for evidence of Obama's past, Fox News contacted 400 ColumbiaUniversity students from the period when Obama claims to have been there, but not one remembers him For example,Wayne Allyn Root was (like Obama) a political science major at Columbia , who graduated in 1983. In 2008, Root says of Obama, "I don't know a single person at Columbia that knew him, and they all know me. I don't have a single classmate who ever knew Barack Obama at Columbia ... EVER!

Nobody recalls him.

Root adds that he was, "Class of '83 political science, pre-law" and says, "You don't get more exact or closer than that.. Never met him in my life, don't know anyone who ever met him."

At our 20th class reunion five years ago, who was asked to be the speaker of the class? Me. No one ever heard of Barack! And five years ago, nobody even knew who he was. The guy who writes the class notes, who's kind of the, as we say in New York , 'the macha' who knows everybody, has yet to find a person, a human who ever met him."

Obama's photograph does not appear in the school's yearbook, and Obama consistently declines requests to talk about his years at Columbia , provide school records, or provide the name of any former classmates or friends while at Columbia.

How can this be?

NOTE: Wayne Allyn Root can easily be verified. He graduated valedictorian from his high school, Thornton-DonovanSchool , then graduated from ColumbiaUniversity in 1983 as a Political Science major in the same '83 class in which Barack Hussein Obama states he was.

Some other interesting questions.

Why was Obama's law license inactivated in 2002?

Why was Michelle's law license inactivated by court order?

According to the U.S. Census, there is only one Barack Obama - but 27 Social Security numbers and over 80 aliases..

WHAT!?

The Social Security number he uses now originated in Connecticut where he is never reported to have lived.

No wonder all his records are sealed!

Somewhere, someone had to know him in school... before he "reorganized" Chicago and burst upon the scene at the 2004 Democratic Convention and made us swoon with his charm, poise, and speaking pizzazz.

One of the biggest CONS this country has ever seen, and getting away with it. This is scary on many levels! He's the most dishonest deceiving liar to ever darken the White House...

Depressing standard of comments. (5, Interesting)

Mr EdgEy (983285) | about 2 years ago | (#39682491)

The comments on this story really do illustrate how the readership of Slashdot really has changed over the past few years.
This is a real "News for Nerds" story, a story about open source development and how we're still not really past the bad old days of winmodems when it comes to (real, not binary blob) hardware support by manufacturers.

A full half of the comments I can see above seem to be troll posts along the lines of "LOL M8 DOESNT RUN UNREAL TOURNAMENT 27".

Oh dear.

Re:Depressing standard of comments. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682629)

Goodness, you mean you're actually surprised that people want a graphics card that does something more than render a fucking desktop?

The nerve of some people! Clearly they should focus on more important things, such as spreadsheets and emacs.

Re:Depressing standard of comments. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682841)

The vast majority of people posting to Slashdot are complete idiots and that has been the case for a lot longer than a few years.

Re:Depressing standard of comments. (2)

Turnerj (2478588) | about 2 years ago | (#39683107)

At least the moderators are doing their job of making the better comments higher then. I think it is great that a stable open source version of the NVIDIA driver is available. I think what really should be taken away from this is that it is another improvement to the world of open source. The knowledge gained from reverse engineering and building a suitable alternative is really all that matters. Whether or not it can handle the most high end gear or not is relevant unless they pitched it as being able to.

which works fine if you don't care (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#39682515)

If i didnt care about performance why would I bother to install something aside from whatever the system boots with on install?

Re:which works fine if you don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682563)

Although if we were to use that line of reasoning, why should we use Linux instead of Windows if that is what the system boots with on install?

I don't appreciate the implication that Ubuntu users have no standards and will tolerate any garbage that is tossed at us. Unity is a flawless diamond in the rough and anyone that says otherwise is a delusional turd that probably thinks the Windows UI is somehow superior with their functioning nvidia drivers and other useless shit.

Re:which works fine if you don't care (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#39682695)

1) if I need linux and do not care about video performance I am just going to drop in the disc and go
2) where the fuck did ubuntu come in? and yes you guys generally do, everyone else moved on to other distros

It's not the drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682565)

The drives are not the problem: the nouveau drivers are reasonably stable. It's the proprietary, modified OpenGL libraries, the ones that NVidia's installer replaces on your local system and breaks your Xorg upgrades with, and which they're too stupid to figure out how to uninstall safely when doing upgrades. (I sent them the solution to this problem for 3 different Linux versions, especially for that utter dogpile SuSE committed on top of the NVidia installer in that skunk's afterbirth known as YaST.

I was polite when I submitted the patches, but no longer. The Nvidia installers were written by monkeys who couldn't find their own ass with a K-9 unit and a a GPS lowered down their intestines on a string.

NVIDIA fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39682823)

NVIDIA would be doing everyone a favor by getting rid of their binary blob crap drivers.

Software patents fail (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#39682921)

It's a software patent thing that Nvidia are very sensitive about since they have some ex-SGI guys that have already been dragged through the courts once by patent trolls. I can't see them opening their drivers any time soon and I don't blame them for it.

Very stable (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 2 years ago | (#39682885)

Absolutely fantastic, provided you haven't bought a video card made in the last 3 or 4 years...

Hell, I can't even boot the latest Mint or Fedora live-CDs without derping around nouveau, and I'm not exactly bleeding edge here.

Nice (1)

phorm (591458) | about 2 years ago | (#39682887)

Older cards don't even necessary have a binary driver that will work with them. Something like Nouveau will keep older systems ticking along, while also filling the gap for those that don't need the full support of the binary driver

I applaud your efforts (1)

kriston (7886) | about 2 years ago | (#39683071)

I applaud your efforts, but unless we get wirespeed performance on our nVidia hardware in both 2D and 3D modes, thanks anyway, but no thanks until nVidia assists the Noveau folks for real.

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