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Torvalds Slams NVIDIA's Linux Support

timothy posted about a year ago | from the first-person-digital dept.

Graphics 663

New submitter jppiiroinen writes "Linus Torvalds received the Millennium prize last week for his work on Linux operating system. He was already in Finland, so Aalto University arranged a talk session with him (video). During the Q&A, a person asks why NVIDIA does not play well with Linux. Torvalds explained shortly that NVIDIA has been one of the worst companies to work with Linux project — which makes it even worse that NVIDIA ships a high number of chips for Android devices (which use Linux inside). Torvalds even summarized that ('Nvidia, f*** you!') in a playful manner. What has been your experience on NVIDIA drivers with Linux?"

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663 comments

THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351393)

So why we don't moan and groan some more !!

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351405)

It isn't his job to make drivers for a device he didn't create.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (5, Insightful)

queazocotal (915608) | about a year ago | (#40351407)

You can't code reliably for complex hardware without specifications.
Which are not released.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (5, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#40351435)

It does tick me off a bit... NVIDIA was the FIRST graphics company to really come out and support Linux across the entire line. They have consistently made binary drivers in a realistic time frame when new hardware comes out. While all the rest were saying BS about licensing and proprietary codecs, Nvidia just made the damn drivers. Now that is not good enough.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351493)

I suspect your definition of "realistic time frame" is a bit different than some people (especially those who consider Linux their primary OS, and won't touch Windows).

When I buy new hardware, I wouldn't want to wait months/years to use it... So nVidia clearly considers Linux a second-class citizen, which may be OK for you, but not for some.

It doesn't mean that the companies are any better - but nVidia's "high road" as you make it out to be really just makes them the bottleneck when it comes to hardware driver support. It puts them in a position where they MUST create the drivers in a timely fashion, because there is no other choice.

Whereas, with other vendors, the existing reference drivers can often be fiddled with to gain partial support for new hardware, and as specifications are released, anyone with the know-how can begin adding support for that hardware - the bottleneck becomes the availability of talent and motivation.

Anyhow, I take a different road - I avoid high-end graphics hardware entirely, and since I'm not a "gamer", it doesn't matter to me. I just use hand-me-down hardware that people give me and I'm content with it - but I do usually favor AMD's graphics chips since they are more open by nature.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (1, Insightful)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about a year ago | (#40351561)

Lets look at it in terms of hardware sales. What % of buyers run windows/OSX vs linux? Don't think linux really has many programs that use most their cards to what they are made for.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351645)

Nividia do not have unified drivers for OSX. Apple ensure you cannot drop in Apple's own NV cards for any Apple machine with PCIe slots, let alone use your choice of NV PCIe card. Apple's proprietary approach means users lose out and have almost zero choice on what video cards their expensive Mac Pros can use. So give it a rest with Linux doesn't use them, you are talking shit, the vast majority of render farms are Linux + GPUs from Nvidia. It's Apple users that don't use them for anything more than itunes and web.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#40351617)

I suspect your definition of "realistic time frame" is a bit different than some people (especially those who consider Linux their primary OS, and won't touch Windows).

I only run Linux on my desktop, laptop, media PC, and work PC. Also, my fiancée only runs Linux. Last time I rebuilt my Desktop, about a year ago, I used a GTX550Ti, and the drivers were prebuilt in a PPA for Ubuntu.

When I buy new hardware, I wouldn't want to wait months/years to use it... So nVidia clearly considers Linux a second-class citizen, which may be OK for you, but not for some.

Everyone considers Linux a second-class citizen. nVidia just threats their second class better than most. Even HP takes a while to release drivers for new printers...

It doesn't mean that the companies are any better - but nVidia's "high road" as you make it out to be really just makes them the bottleneck when it comes to hardware driver support. It puts them in a position where they MUST create the drivers in a timely fashion, because there is no other choice.

Whereas, with other vendors, the existing reference drivers can often be fiddled with to gain partial support for new hardware, and as specifications are released, anyone with the know-how can begin adding support for that hardware - the bottleneck becomes the availability of talent and motivation.

So that is why the ATI drivers are so amazing, and support the latest stuff! No, wait a minute... They only support a narrow range of product before they fall off, and you get the 2D only version.

Anyhow, I take a different road - I avoid high-end graphics hardware entirely, and since I'm not a "gamer", it doesn't matter to me. I just use hand-me-down hardware that people give me and I'm content with it - but I do usually favor AMD's graphics chips since they are more open by nature.

For someone not that interested in graphics drivers, you sure have a strong opinion. And actually, for your case, I would recommend Intel over ATI. PErhaps because to me, graphics are important, and stability more so.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351739)

Actually, I don't run Linux - but I do run Haiku, and therefore nVidia means absolutely nothing to me.

Intel and AMD are the only two possible choices because they both have drivers.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (3, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about a year ago | (#40351619)

> but I do usually favor AMD's graphics chips since they are more open by nature.

We've been hearing about AMD's opening specs and drivers drivers for what, close to 5 or 6 years now?

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/07/09/06/1335230/amd-to-open-ati-specs [slashdot.org]

http://linux.slashdot.org/story/08/12/30/0337204/amd-releases-open-source-r600700-3d-code [slashdot.org]

And even after all that, getting 3D accel, multimonitor etc. to reliably work has been extremely painful compared to Nvidia binary blobs which pretty much work for common scenarios like fully accel 3d gaming(I remember playing UT2004 a very good FPS on Linux with those drivers). So this means that either AMD/ATI has failed at providing open specs and code or that the community hasn't fully stepped up to convert those specs into "Working(TM)" drivers. Which is it?

Meanwhile, I hope someone sensitive at Nvidia does not take this tongue-in-cheek comment personally and decrease the priority and allocated to the Nvidia binary drivers development because they feel that's it not helping them in the community to do more than their rivals in the business.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351787)

If it turns out that nVidia gets pissed and then takes their ball and heads home... nVidia fans will have gotten what they deserved.

Bow to your masters, kiss their feet, and tell them how wonderful they are, and maybe they'll bless you with binary blobs.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (5, Informative)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about a year ago | (#40351597)

AMD provides specifications and a small developer team that actually works on open source drivers.
Intel provides open source drivers.

NVIDIA makes good binary drivers, but those have problems when a new kernel version comes out with changed interfaces:
Only NVIDIA can adapt them, and until they get around to it, NVIDIA may not work with the latest kernel version.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351615)

They weren't the first. There were companies that gave out the specs for their cards and you could get great drivers based on that before nVidia entered the market (and I am not sure if there was support when the riva128 took off). Not to mention the dumb idea of ATI to sabotage the free X driver by no longer publishing the specs. Matrox was really great, but they lost the battle for 3D.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351629)

Linus had made it very clear that he referring to the tegra/tegra2 chips. The reason why you don't see a lot of android devices is that driver updates from nvidia is really bad. A lot of andriod phones are stuck at 2.2/2.3 because the old drivers won't run on the new kernel. Nvidia isn't really interested in releasing updated drivers for these old chips. If you want ICS drivers, get tegra3.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351687)

A lot of andriod phones are stuck at 2.2/2.3 because the old drivers won't run on the new kernel.

Then Linux should keep their driver interfaces stable.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351745)

I'm not the above AC. Nvidia really needs to find a way to open source their drivers and thus get them maintained by themselves (the demand for graphics drivers with written with specifications or from reverse-engineering/source code is extremely high, no doubt many developers will jump on the occasion). Linux not having to slow down progress / fixes by being able to break the interface would then not be an issue.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351821)

Why should Nvidia care if their drivers break or not? Linux needs Nvidia. Nvidia doesn't need Linux. So it's the job of Linux to keep the drivers working not Nvidia's job.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (5, Informative)

rajafarian (49150) | about a year ago | (#40351767)

I think you and many here misunderstood what Linus was talking about. Linux specifically said NVIDIA is one of the worst companies with whom they worked. Period. There is no need to bring up ATI into the table. There is no need to bring up that your card has always worked beautifully. This is talking about his and the kernel maintainer's experience in dealing with hardware vendors, something that we ourselves never have to deal with. Their proprietary drivers may be the best ever but that has nothing to do with!

If the kernel maintainers have a question about the hardware, they can't ask NVIDIA they have to test and reverse engineer to find the answer whereas with other companies, they may get an answer directly from the manufacturer. Get it? "...NVIDIA just made the damn drivers. Now that is not good enough." Not from a kernel maintainer's or Stallman's point of view, I'm pretty sure.

Re:THEN YOU DO IT MISTER HIGH AND MIGHTY !! (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about a year ago | (#40351521)

He's not moaning and groaning -- maybe in your head, not in that video.

However, you seem to be upset and frustrated. How come?

Problems? Really? (5, Insightful)

certain death (947081) | about a year ago | (#40351403)

I haven't had problems with NVIDIA cards since Redhat 5.2. ATI on the other hand...every time I try to install Linux on a laptop with an ATI video card, I end up having to futz with it for hours to get it to work.

Re:Problems? Really? (5, Insightful)

Torp (199297) | about a year ago | (#40351427)

Nvidia cards are the only way to reliable game on Linux, either natively or through wine. Look at the winehq.org appdb for any game, then notice how most reported problems are on Ati video cards.
Case closed, unfortunately.
I have no experience with arm nvidia graphics drivers though.

Re:Problems? Really? (1, Interesting)

oakgrove (845019) | about a year ago | (#40351633)

I concur with how terrible AMD support is with their Linux graphics card drivers. On my main office desktop, I'm running an ATI 4890 and the 2D acceleration is so bad I had to just turn compiz off and go to a non composited desktop. I've never had that problem with nVidia.

Re:Problems? Really? (2)

Stumbles (602007) | about a year ago | (#40351443)

Agreed. I don't know about the NVIDIA/Android problems but on the desktop NVIDIA has always been waaaaaay better than ATI. That may have changed in recent years, I don't know because I stopped buying ATI stuff a long time ago.

Re:Problems? Really? (0)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | about a year ago | (#40351507)

My NVIDIA 8800GT card, I get the only resolution of 320x200 and the other computer that has an ATI (not sure which one) has problems also, mainly graphics screw ups, not sure if it Linux or the card. Both cards under Windows seem to work better but the ATI does sometime flake out under Windows but not Linux, about once a month or so. Both systems duel boot the OSs.

Re:Problems? Really? (5, Funny)

Junta (36770) | about a year ago | (#40351551)

Both systems duel boot the OSs.

Well there's your problem, having your OSes walk 10 paces, turn around, and shoot each other is bound to lead to problems. I would suggest trying to dual boot instead.

Re:Problems? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351637)

Something isnt right, that card is pretty much works with no effort at all. Does you distro package manager provide an easy installer for the Nvidia driver?

Re:Problems? Really? (5, Insightful)

RedK (112790) | about a year ago | (#40351537)

Linus isn't talking about gaming, performance or anything else like that. The point is : nVidia ships a binary blob and an obfuscated source portion that needs to be built outside of the vanilla kernel. That is what Linus is talking about, nVidia's lack of cooperation with the kernel people at integrating their drivers into the main line kernel in a way that respects the project's goals and visions.

Why you people are discussing the performance when that is not at issue, I have no idea. It was all pretty clear to me what Linus meant.

Re:Problems? Really? (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about a year ago | (#40351583)

Why should Nvidia subscribe to the projects "goals and visions"? Thats the projects concern, not theirs.

Re:Problems? Really? (5, Insightful)

RedK (112790) | about a year ago | (#40351599)

Hence why it's Linus (the project lead) that's talking about it ? He's voicing his concern... I don't get what you're even trying to get at here...

Re:Problems? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351631)

Why should Nvidia give a crap about what Linus thinks?

Re:Problems? Really? (2, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#40351639)

I think his point is that Linus should be grateful that they even support his project at all, rather than bitching at them. If it costs them money to support Linux and they're damned if they do, damned if they don't, then what incentive is there to continue even supporting them at all?

I think a large part the problem is that Linus has a way of sounding like a dick. There are much more diplomatic ways of saying nVidia could certainly do better on Linux than the way Linus goes about these things. No one is suggesting nvidia couldn't do better, but when he attacks a company over this sort of thing it just makes him sound like an ungrateful prick.

Re:Problems? Really? (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about a year ago | (#40351819)

And if you either judge this out of context, or actually watched the thing and still describe it as you did, you're dumb fucking sissy.

Re:Problems? Really? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about a year ago | (#40351663)

I'm "getting at" *your* opinion about what Linus is supposedly talking about - why should Nvidia give a toss what the projects goals and visions are, that has nothing to do with them providing support for their products (or not) on that platform. Some people seem to think that Nvidia should not only support the project (Linux) but the philosophies as well - why should they? It's not their vision or goal.

Re:Problems? Really? (1)

lattyware (934246) | about a year ago | (#40351825)

Because the nVidia driver forces you to a trade off. If you want KMS, you can't use it, and KMS is a much better experience for the end-user, which nVidia should care about if they want me to buy their graphics cards (interestingly, I've got an ATI card on the way right now because they support my triple monitor setup under Linux in a much, much better way than nVidia do).

Re:Problems? Really? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year ago | (#40351731)

Linus wants to have his cake and eat it too. If he really was worried about this issue the "right thing to do" would have been to work toward migrating the kernel to GPL3.

Re:Problems? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351559)

I doubt he bases this comment solely on graphic card support, but for the whole way NVIDIA as a company handles linux support for their different kind of chips. NVIDIA makes a whole lot of chips that might not be related to graphics. He mentions android and nvidia chips in them causing huge problems lately.

Re:Problems? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351563)

Looks like you haven't try to use a laptop with NVIDIA Optimus technology.

Re:Problems? Really? (1)

hymie! (95907) | about a year ago | (#40351741)

Ditto. No problems downloading, installing, or using NVidia drivers.

And I use Slackware.

Yes, problems. (2)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | about a year ago | (#40351815)

I've had problems with a NVidia card that I have, and the last time it gave me problems was with the latest upgrade to Kubuntu 12.04. With this upgrade, NVidia's very own proprietary driver either rendered 3D scenes excruciatingly slow or never rendered them at all, instead presenting only a black window. Strangely enough, 2D rendering worked without any noticeable hitch.

The fix came only about a month ago, with an upgrade to NVidia's proprietary driver.

Re:Problems? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351823)

...every time I try to install Linux on a laptop with an ATI video card, I end up having to futz with it for hours to get it to work.

That's a normal part of Linux deployment.

What a disgrace (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351411)

In Soviet Finland, individuals tell corporations to fuck off.

Re:What a disgrace (1)

couchslug (175151) | about a year ago | (#40351501)

"In Soviet Finland, individuals tell corporations to fuck off."

There is no Soviet Finland. The Finns took a bigger bite out of the Soviet Bear's arse than any other country (except Germany), and survived to tell about it.

They fought so magnificently they were able to cut a deal not to be invaded by Stalin when the Red Army destroyed the Wehrmacht in the East.

http://www.winterwar.com/mainpage.htm [winterwar.com]

Re:What a disgrace (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year ago | (#40351571)

There is no Soviet Finland. The Finns took a bigger bite out of the Soviet Bear's arse than any other country (except Germany), and survived to tell about it.

So much about the Winter War is mythologizing. The Finns fought hard and should be praised for that, yes, but their ability to inflict such heavy losses on the Soviet army was due mainly to confused leadership on the Russian side -- if Stalin hadn't purged so many competent generals throughout the 1930s, the Soviets would certainly have overrun Finland completely, regardless of the Finns' bravery.

Furthermore, accounts of the Winter War tend to downplay the fact that Finland lost territory. It wasn't a victory: Finland didn't ward off the Soviet threat. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes and had to flee, and Finnish identity has now been erased from parts of Karelia.

Yes, the Finnish people have been courageous and have maintained one of the stronger armies in Europe. Nonetheless, they aren't sisu-fueled supermen and there's a reason that during the Cold War they made serious compromises with Moscow.

Re:What a disgrace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351587)

Moderated offtopic for not getting the joke

Re:What a disgrace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351589)

Come now, we all know that WW2 didn't really start until Pearl Harbour.

Puzzled (1)

AdmV0rl0n (98366) | about a year ago | (#40351431)

In terms of GFX space, who provides better than Nvidia? I'm not saying they are angelic, but it seems to me that they produce working, viable, well sorted binary blob drivers for your OS Mr Torvalds.

Maybe I don't understand the problem, because it seems there are biger problems to complain about..

Re:Puzzled (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351473)

The actual question that led to the 'Fuck you, NVIDIA' was about hybrid graphics on laptops I believe, which are currently not usable(?)/supported by NVIDIA under Linux, that's was the problem I believe. I recommend rewinding the video a bit for more context.

Re:Puzzled (1)

cozziewozzie (344246) | about a year ago | (#40351647)

In terms of GFX space, who provides better than Nvidia?

If you mean open source drivers included in the Linux kernel, then: everybody.

Re:Puzzled (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about a year ago | (#40351695)

With all the respect to Linus Torvalds (Whose OS I'm obviously using, otherwise I wouldn't post about this here), I hope this kind of statements by him won't discourage NVidia from keeping to release their pretty good drivers for Linux.

Bleh nvidia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351433)

Definately agree, nvidia single handedly has to be the worst company to support Linux. That, and the little Asian gizmo maker that only makes dodgy win32 drivers, I mean for f's sake if you're gonna make a gizmo make sure you make a driver for every single os on the planet, otherwise don't make one at all.

Re:Bleh nvidia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351489)

I get so pissed off when I buy a new gadget and it won't work on my Amiga, my BeOS box, or even my god damn VAX. Corporations are greedy assholes.

Re:Bleh nvidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351567)

Except, VAX and Amiga are not an IBM PC compatible platform or any thing in that lineage. You know, the hardware platform nVidia supports, a hardware platform that the Linux kernel supports too.

Compromises (5, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | about a year ago | (#40351437)

I have had to make a compromise in using the Nvidia driver. It's a "black box", so you don't know what is in it or how others might be able to improve on it, but on the other hand, it does the 3D work for stuff like KDE, Google Earth or 3D games like Brutal Chess or BZflag.

In Mageia, there is the Nouveau [freedesktop.org] free driver, it works very well for 2D stuff, but does not work for 3D stuff.

So it depends on your requirements, and how wedded you are to the "Free" concept. Having said that, if there was a free driver that does 3D on Nvidia cards, I'd take it.

Re:Compromises (3, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#40351495)

To me, computers are a tool, not a religion. So I am OK with a "black box" that works better than an "open box" any day.

Re:Compromises (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351651)

And when people use that tool to make you do things you don't want, then remember what you agreed to. But it's not a religion, so that makes it okay.

Re:Compromises (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351673)

I hate it when my tool stops working for no reason!

Re:Compromises (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351595)

I don't use Nouveau because that requires KMS, and KMS is incompatable with VGA Console, and fbconsole fails accessibility pretty hard.

Re:Compromises (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351811)

Use a serial console or IMPI port if you're that concerned about accessibility.

Better than AMD. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351447)

I recently decided that I've put up with my Radeon for too long and dumped it for an NVIDIA GPU on my desktop. I like how AMD is more willing to work with the open-source community, but the driver they are working on isn't coming along fast enough and development seems more focused on adding support for newer hardware (not a bad goal, of course) rather then squeezing out more performance, and unfortunately with desktop environments like Gnome 3 demanding a decent level of 3D acceleration I found that the performance of the open-driver isn't up to the task of handling a multi-display desktop with decent performance with more than a couple windows open (it gets worse if I also want to play a video on my 2nd screen) on my Radeon 5850/4850. My 5-6 year old PC using just 2D acceleration felt snapper than Gnome 3 did with my radeon.. which makes me sad. NVIDIA's propietary driver does a lot better in that regard. Catalyst appears to be dropping support for all but the most recent GPUs, I'm not sure how well it does with Gnome 3, since they are so far behind with kernel and xorg support that I can never actually run it with downgrading a whole bunch of stuff.

Re:Better than AMD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351649)

And that's exactly it. nVidia is not perfect but they're better than everything else.

I have tried ATI and others every once in a while but for the last 17 years or so I have been 100% nVidia on all my machines. No major issues really except the crappy multi-monitor (lack of composite, lack of OpenGL when mixing GPU's, requirements to use shitty Xinerama when using multiple GPU's, etc; part of these problems are due to X.org).

I'd like to hear Linus complain about the shityness of X.org. That thing is ridiculously out of out in terms of features and multi-monitor support is worse that just about any other system (eg. Windows, OS X).

Only good experiences, using the binary blobs (3, Interesting)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year ago | (#40351449)

I have had far less issues with any nVidia card than ATi/AMD. i have had both for more than ten years.

Linus... you are killing your own baby! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351477)

Linus, f*** you!

nVidia worked well in the past on Linux. But since I got tired of all that Stallman and Torvalds crap, then I moved to Mac and now I'm asking myself why I didn't made it before.

Re:Linus... you are killing your own baby! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351713)

Ah yes the old 'choose the best OS based on the public figure representing it' methodology.

Should I run Gates, Torvolds or Jobs on my computer?

Oh right, its software and the people have nearly nothing to do with its operation.

Always seems to work (0)

BroadbandBradley (237267) | about a year ago | (#40351485)

when shopping for a PC over the last 10 years it seems that if there's a Nvida card then you know you're going to be OK installing Linux. Other cards not so much. I'm not a gamer so I don't hang on the bleeding edge and obsess over frame rates but when I work with 3D Nvdia seems to get the job done, even if it's closed source at least it's there.

From a developers point of view there are likely glitches inherent in working with closed software that need to be worked around to keep things stable, only speculating but I imagine this is what may be frustrating Linus.

Re:Always seems to work (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#40351789)

Buying Nvidia isn't safe anymore, with Nvidia Optimus you won't be able to use the nvidia GPU.

And Nvidia has said they aren't going to be supporting Linux for GPUs using Nvidia Optimus... ever.

Fuck Nvidia (the word needs to get out that nvidia is no longer usable on Linux)

It's all about giving to the community (2)

tuxrulz (853366) | about a year ago | (#40351497)

I haven't watched the video, but probably Torvalds is pissed about the lack of contribution to open source projects (kernel, drivers). While their proprietary drivers are top notch. What will happen if one day Nvidia decide that making a Linux driver is too cost effective. Answer: a lot of unsupported video cars and SoC.

I understand the (bla bla bla) Intellectual Property they paid millions in research (bla bla bla) they don't want to give that information for free. But if the current architecture is so different than previous one, then why don't make public development information for previous generations of their chips as soon a new (different) generation is out.

While Intel graphics is still lacking, they are the only intelligent ones that have the brilliant idea of working the support for their next generation chips before those chips become available for sell.

Re:It's all about giving to the community (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351539)

It's already a problem. Nvidia drivers have no support for Optimus. The Nvidia driver does not work on my laptop with a 650M.

Re:It's all about giving to the community (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351607)

"I haven't watched the video, but probably"..

Then why didn't you stop right there and just watch goddamn video? Rather than typing a reply that completely misses what the response was about (as do 90% of all the other comments here currently.) God. Even redditors are more capable of RTFA/WTFV-ing than slashdotters nowadays.

Re:It's all about giving to the community (2)

tuxrulz (853366) | about a year ago | (#40351735)

You are really dumb.
The woman ask about Nvidia Optimus that is not supported on Linux. He said they are the worst...can't you think why.... Then go back and read my post.

Brief reply for short minded (dumb) people.... No binary drivers from Nvidia + No hardware developer docs = NO SUPPORT (open, closed or whatever).

Do I said you are really dumb?

Re:It's all about giving to the community (4, Informative)

basscomm (122302) | about a year ago | (#40351773)

"Top notch" might be overstating it a bit, there are still a few instances where they seem to be lacking. For instance, Windows users who have SLI [wikipedia.org] and multiple monitors have been able to enable SLI and use both of their monitors at the same time since about 2008. But under Linux, no dice [nvidia.com].

So if I had two monitors (which I do), and two Nvidia GPUs in SLI mode (which I do), and I wanted to run some 3D app that took advantage of SLI, I would have to: reconfigure X to disable my second monitor and enable SLI, restart X, play the game/use the app I wanted, when I was done I would have to reconfigure X again to enable my second monitor and disable SLI, restart X again, and reopen all my apps. Hardly ideal.

Nouveau works fine ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351499)

on my office desktop.

While I still use the closed driver on my myth box, I find as long as you don't try and push it too far, and avoid flash all-together, life is peachy.

/radeon goes on everything else where possible

closed minded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351505)

hey, why is everyone making the assumption that this is an ati vs nvidia debate?

it's not. there are so many more brands you should be considering when torvalds made this statement.

OPAN SOREZ RULZ DOOD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351509)

lol nvidia suxx buttz!!!11

GTX Optimus + Linux = No driver support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351517)

Nvidia is the only company where you can buy a GTX 675M and you can't use it properly with Linux.

Bumblebee is not effective at what it's supposed to do and the permanent open-source solution is still months away.

Problem being... (4, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | about a year ago | (#40351527)

In a world of blind men, the one eyed man is king....

If I want to have decently supported video offload and remotely respectable 3D performance, nVidia drivers are about the only choice.

AMD drivers to this day cause my system to panic on shutdown attempt. MythTV's OpenGL painter and video renderer don't work correctly with AMD drivers, leaving me with video playback with XV and no recourse to sync to vblank. They do have XvBA out there, but I have to go into a more 'bleeding edge' xbmc and then be greeted by very bad artefacts with videos that are profile 5.1. AMD's open source interaction seems better, but none of the open source drivers come close to the 3D performance and notably no video decode offload is available.

Intel I heard great things about, but at least with Fedora 17 I can't seem to find the best way to get vaapi driver on there. All I see are requests to get it in being met with 'too messy'. It's also not in rpm fusion. I dug up a module from an old rpm and got vainfo running, only to find out rpmfusion xbmc build disabled vaapi support anyway, and only went with vdpau. Now I could recompile, but the point being that the larger community seems to not be bothering with trying to test Intel's solution as much.

Meanwhile, my nVidia system does vdpau beautifully, has pretty much no-brainer 3d support, and tear-free XV playback (even though I never use it anymore in favor of opengl rendering). Everything about the experience shows that both nVidia as a company and the userbase at large are developing and testing with nVidia primarily.

I could see as a developer being frustrated at supporting a kernel where a large portion is running kernel-mode code that you can't see, but from a user perspective, nVidia is about the only viable solution for Linux graphics.

At least they're better than Intel's drivers... (2, Informative)

supremebob (574732) | about a year ago | (#40351545)

I have nothing but problems with Intel's drivers not working right under Linux... I only wish that they were as stable as NVidia's drivers.

the blobs really are (1)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#40351549)

the worst. they either never compiled correctly or broke things horrendously when they did (my experience.) by comparison linux has open source drivers that competently handle 3d graphics for ATI/AMD, and they have for a while. That active development on such open source drivers was being considered at all, and not for NVidia, is a testament to Torvalds opinion on the matter. id like to think Intel screwed up once with their GMA500 chipset, which may or may not have been intentional to block linux from the hybrid tablet laptop market at the behest of microsoft, but even Intel works closely with the linux community in most cases to ensure their graphics chipsets work with linux, and work well.

10X Better than ATI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351569)

Subject says it all. Yeah, I can't go look at their code, but to be honest, I don't need to because it actually works, unlike ATI's (well AMD).

Re:10X Better than ATI (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351593)

ATI used to be better back in the day until AMD bought them.

Alot better than ATI (1, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#40351585)

Jesus, I know LT is a good among geeks, but he is starting to get that syndrome where everything out of his mouth makes you want to roll your eyes and ignore him. If you want to bash someone for linux support, go trooping over to AMD/ATI's offices and loudmoth them. Last thing we need is you getting NVIDIA in a mood to provide EVEN LESS support than they already do genius!

Re:Alot better than ATI (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#40351685)

...want to roll your eyes and ignore him.

Warning signs of this syndrome: growing a Stallman beard. Look out!

I don't understand. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351591)

Is he mad that they're producing drivers for Linux? Would he rather they didn't? Maybe he's losing his mind. Pity. Linux has finally gotten to the point where it is happily and easily usable ~ MintLinux, baby!!!

But if he starts attacking people who help the Linux community, but maybe don't do it the way he'd like, and they stop, or if he starts screwing Linux up, either on purpose or because he's losing his mind... I (and countless others) may end up having to switch to something else, like perhaps FreeBSD, which I've always regarded as a pain in the ass.

So if he retires, etc., is there any provision for someone taking over for him, whatever functions he is still performing? If he goes nuts, is there any way to force him out or fork Linux? If there isn't, I'd say Linux has a problem.

If Linux is Linus' own personal fiefdom, is it, and thus are we who use it, really and truly free? Free as in speech, I mean?

misleading headline (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351601)

Linus did give Nvidia the bird and a "fuck you" but he never slammed the quality of the Nvidia's hardware. His gripe with Nvidia is how hard it is for Linux to work with the company since they only provide a binary blob driver which makes bug fixing for it dependent on Nvidia's whims. Plus they refuse to even provide specs and API's for their hardware which make writing open drivers much more difficult and time-consuming because of having to reverse-engineer everthing to get a workable driver. In this case, Linus is absolutely correct.

Experience: Intel, NVidia, and ATI. (2)

smpoole7 (1467717) | about a year ago | (#40351603)

I've had some problems with all three (I run OpenSuse) ... but NOT since I started downloading their own driver packages and building them on the target machine. I most recently did it with the AMD/ATI Radeon graphics on a new HP Probook. Both ATI and nVidia include configuration/tweaking software that will let me fine-adjust, and I just don't have problems with either.

BUT ... disclaimer: I haven't bought a *video* card in years. I always buy integrated graphics, because it's cheaper and does what I want. Your mileage will vary. But my Big Test(tm) of any graphics system under Linux is to see how well it runs Celestia. If it will run it at reasonable speed without flickering or other annoyances, I consider it Good.

Actually, I've had considerably more trouble with Intel's 9xx series of built in graphics than with ATI and nVidia combined. My previous laptop had the 945 graphics kit (I think I remember the number correctly) and I suffered through everything from flickers to outright hangs.

And the worst experience of all was with an old S3 card many years ago. Wow, what a piece of joy.

Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351641)

I never had a problem with NVidea's driver ...
(Other then the fact the are close source ;) ).

Ok: maybe one or 2, but a quick update fixed that.

I'll be damned, but... (1)

Lisandro (799651) | about a year ago | (#40351655)

...NVIDIA blob drivers have always been rock solid in my experience, for both their GPUs and chipsets. Not only that, they're just as feature complete as their Windows counterparts. ATI used to do the same thing and their drivers weren't nearly as reliable.

From the kernel developer point of view binary blob drivers are hell. Yet, NVIDIA managed to provide some of the best hardware support available on Linux with it.

It is not open source, but the support is great (1)

alter-memo (1896704) | about a year ago | (#40351669)

NVIDIA's driver is not open source, but the support is great. The drivers work, the give few issues, 3D, CUDA and OpenCL are fully supported.

Try that with AMD drivers.

There is a quote (somewhere, I cannot remember who said it), that the NVIDIA drivers have more LOCs than the Windows OS. So it is a huge piece of software... not so easy to "just code it again".

Re:It is not open source, but the support is great (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#40351761)

Quit perpetuating that myth, Nvidia's support is not as good as it used to be.

Shitty support + closed source driver = Fuck Nvidia

I *Love* NVidia's Linux support (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about a year ago | (#40351675)

Thanks to the Nvidia drivers, I can play many games in Wine, have my graphics card "just work" without pain, and use fast accelarated OpenGL for several programs and my own experiments. These drivers are fantastic. WTH does Linus find wrong about them?

Can't complain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351689)

My personal experience with nVidia drivers on Linux has always been pretty smooth actually.

two remote security exploits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40351701)

weren't the last two major issues with the proprietary (NVIDIA) drivers for linux remote security exploits? They were fixed but just sayin, i'd rather use nouveau than get pwned for pretty graphics.

Great way to get sympathy (0)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#40351703)

If even the 'leader' is bashing you and your efforts to support, and telling you to f-off, why bother ?

If i was Nvidia id just repeat a loud "f-you" back to him, and stick with supporting actual paying customers.

Re:Great way to get sympathy (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#40351751)

But they don't. Virtually all new laptops come with this horrible Nvidia Optimus shit, which is totally unsupported by Nvidia.

There are some open source attempts to workaround the garbage but you can imagine how well that is going.

Fuck Nvidia is definitely how I feel.

Theo, is that you? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#40351719)

Linus sounds a lot like Theo here... old age, fame and financial independence getting the best of him?

Doesn't sound like the same guy that i "talked" to on usenet so many eons ago.

my experiences (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about a year ago | (#40351727)

I've never had a problem with nVidia's drivers, both windows and Linux. They've always worked consistently and perfectly for me. Furthermore nVidia seems to make real effort to support all features they have in windows drivers, while ATI's Linux drivers have usually been a bare minimum version of what they have under windows.
Even then, I have always had issues with ATI's Linux drivers. One of my laptops that had an ATI chipset wasn't even ever supported under Linux by ATI at all. I know linux isn't the most popular OS, but its use is pretty significant these days, and ATI ignoring that is ridiculous.
Consequently I always make a point of ensuring any motherboard or laptop I get has nVidia embedded graphics rather than ATI, even though the majority of laptops seem to use ATI so its not always been easy.
Would it be better if nVidia was altruistic enough to not use a blob and go fully opensource? Sure.. but I understand that in the real world companies sometimes have to protect their intellectual property.
What really matters to me is my day-to-day use of the drivers, and on that count its been consistently nVidia 10/10 ATi 2/10 so am I really effected by the fact that I can't see the source? no.. its not like I'd ever want to hack on it.
Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to nVidia other than as a happy customer.

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