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NVIDIA Releases Optimus Linux Driver With New Features

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the baby-steps dept.

Graphics 123

An anonymous reader writes "Nearly one year after Linux creator Linux Torvalds publicly bashed NVIDIA and several years after their multi-GPU mobile technology premiered, the graphics vendor has finally delivered an Optimus-supported Linux driver. NVIDIA released the 319.12 Beta Linux driver that brings support for 'RandR 1.4 GPU provider objects' that basically allows for Optimus-like functionality when using the latest X Server, Linux kernel, and XRandR. The 319.12 beta also has many other features including better UEFI support, installer improvements, new pages on their settings panel, and new GPU support."

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Nice! (4)

JGsmiles (2881775) | about a year ago | (#43407549)

It's cool to see Linux gaming getting more attention.

Re:Nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407803)

It's a nice feature and all but it has nothing to do with gaming performance.

How Optimus affects gaming performance (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43408027)

it has nothing to do with gaming performance.

Of course it has to do with gaming performance. If you can't switch between the IGP and a discrete GPU without a reboot, then the launch and shutdown time for any high-performance 3D game includes a reboot to GPU mode, then a reboot to integrated graphics to save battery.

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (1)

atlasdropperofworlds (888683) | about a year ago | (#43408147)

You silly laptop gamers, *real* gamers use desktops :s

So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43408223)

So what do "real gamers" (as you define them) do instead of gaming while riding the bus, train, or carpool to and from work?

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (4, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#43408417)

So what do "real gamers" (as you define them) do instead of gaming while riding the bus, train, or carpool to and from work?

Angry Birds.

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (1)

atlasdropperofworlds (888683) | about a year ago | (#43408705)

Either that or they read the news. In terms of value, Angry Birds is exactly suited to just killing some time - pretty much all mobile games have little to no real value.

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408897)

Either that or they read the news. In terms of value, Angry Birds is exactly suited to just killing some time - pretty much all mobile games have little to no real value.

I have to ask: What "value" do the games you play have? Are you playing something "gamified" like FoldIt? [fold.it] Are you at least gold farming? [wikipedia.org]

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about a year ago | (#43409109)

...more hand-eye coordination, communication, abstract problem-solving and team-work skills in 2 hours of play than you've gained in your entire life.

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (0)

turkeyfish (950384) | about a year ago | (#43409397)

and you used these skills to do what exactly?

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43410019)

If your work doesn't involve at least two of the above, I pity you.

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about a year ago | (#43410709)

Be a safer driver.

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (1)

Darfeld (1147131) | about a year ago | (#43410379)

You train your geometry with angry bird!
Its like snooker.

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43410641)

I finally tried Angry Birds to see if it was as lame as I thought it was and yes, yes it is. Way too heavy for what little is happening in the game, I prefer programming competence. Makes you spend way too much time waiting. Yo dawg, I heard you like waiting, so I put a bunch of unskippable animation dickjerking so that you can wait for your game while you wait in line. Or for your bus to arrive. I can start up an FPS in the time it takes to even get into the stupid game after their initial animations. That don't make no sense.

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43411601)

Yeah - that might be the reason why almost nobody plays Angry Birds..
They just refuse to play such a pile of so-called "garbage"..

Ehh... wait...

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43411619)

I don't know what version your playing.
Also, the space one is clever, makes you think about trying to hit a pig in the Apoapsis of an orbit, as well as trying to do transfer orbits.

Really clever and really hard

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (1)

SuperAlgae (953330) | about a year ago | (#43411023)

You silly person. Real gamers don't go to work. :)

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about a year ago | (#43411193)

Is that a trick question? Everybody knows that real gamers never leave their parent's basement!

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43411987)

Avoid looking silly and not risk having their property stolen?

Re:So how do true Scotsmen occupy their downtime? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43412387)

DOSBOX. Not all games need 3d acceleration.

Out of style (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43412507)

But do people buy the kinds of games that run in DOSBox anymore? One Slashdot regular has repeatedly told me that developers of new games with retro style 2D graphics [tvtropes.org] are living in the past.

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43408509)

Desktops suck anymore. I'll never go back to setting them up and breaking them down whenever I move or need to move the rig to another room. Gpu performance has increased greatly on mobile rigs, and not a fuck given.

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (1)

atlasdropperofworlds (888683) | about a year ago | (#43408717)

Those 20 lb mobile desktop replacements are fine when you have to compromise. However, even LAN parties are dominated by desktops to this day, as the mobile GPU parts, while having advanced, still don't hold a candle to their desktop counterparts, and never will.

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43408841)

20 lbs...? Ok... last lan party I was at was pretty much 100% ultrabooks, nothing over 5 lbs on the spur...

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (2)

atlasdropperofworlds (888683) | about a year ago | (#43409071)

Show me an ultrabook that runs Crysis - it's only a 5 year old (or so) game, so by now ultrabooks should be able to run it on max settings.

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43409219)

My Alienware M11R3 can play Crysis (and warhead) with decent FPS. Mind you not as well as a desktop, but then again my desktop isn't 4.5lbs and can be taken anywhere (battery life is better too, darn UPS for the desktop weighs as much as it does and only lasts 10 min, the laptop at full burn, ie gaming, runs for 2.5hr).

I take this LAN parties all the time, WAY better than packing up a whole desktop. Maybe I'm just getting old, but not having to spend 1hr setup/tare-down is very nice. Sit down, plug in, turn on, play games. And the heated keyboard keeps you hand warm while you play.

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43409577)

That. Every single machine at the recent LAN i went to was a laptop, except for the host's computer (he didn't have far to move it :D)

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year ago | (#43409697)

SFF is where it's at these days. When you can put the fastest CPU and GPU available in a computer the size of a shoebox with an optical drive and two hard disks (plus an mSATA SSD), few people need anything bigger.

Me, I didn't quite go that overboard. I grabbed a Shuttle XPC, stuck an i7-3770k in it with a 16GB of RAM, a GTX670, two Intel 330 SSDs and a bluray burner. It's about one eighth the size of the desktop it replaced, and yet it's dramatically faster.

And this is an underpowered rig compared to the crazy stuff some people do. My point is, you don't have to compromise to get a small desktop with a lot of power. The bigger issue to portability is the monitor, really.

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43409827)

Why would you put an optical drive in a desktop? I have lived without optical drives (even external ones) for over 10 years now.

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year ago | (#43411659)

So that I can watch bluray movies on my PC, and so that I can burn movies to watch on other things. That's about it, I have no use for the thing apart from movie-related things. It'd be pretty hard to burn the AVCHD of Harmy's Despecialized Edition without an optical drive of some kind ;)

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43412053)

Because I actually have use for optical media?
Are you a Windows 8/Gnome developer by any chance?

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43409569)

>Gpu performance has increased greatly on

  the heat output field.

Re: How Optimus affects gaming performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43411039)

Rig

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about a year ago | (#43411253)

Laptops break down less than desktops? Yeah right! You must have had some really bad luck with your desktops if you believe that. Or.. maybe if you tend to replace your portable devices more often than your desktops... so they never get old.

Every laptop I have had has sucked @ss. The batteries never last long enough before they no longer hold a good charge. Not for what replacements cost anyway... And then after a couple of years they start shutting themselves down as soon as they warm up. If you do anything processor intesive you don't even need the couple of years, they just overheat.

Laptops suck!

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (4, Funny)

Peristaltic (650487) | about a year ago | (#43408835)

You silly laptop gamers, *real* gamers use desktops :s

I thought they used d20's.

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (1)

Darfeld (1147131) | about a year ago | (#43410403)

Luxury!

Real gamer find things on the floor and hit on another with it!

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (1)

kayoshiii (1099149) | about a year ago | (#43412193)

That's so 90's - now-a-days we use fudge dice

Re:How Optimus affects gaming performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43412703)

*cough*

Real gamers use dice.

Re:Nice! (1)

Marcion (876801) | about a year ago | (#43408045)

My old laptop had an Optimus card. Horrible things for Linux users. It never switched to low power mode so the battery did not last very long and it ran worryingly hot.

I am so much happier with my Intel based machine (I do admit I am not a gamer).

Re:Nice! (1)

StarTuxia (2767965) | about a year ago | (#43408251)

Yes, and with Unity game engine doing well and likewise the amount of new titles from well known developers, especially those on Kickstarter who are making games for Linux things are looking better than ever. But, to be honest the biggest issue generally I have with Linux has the been the audio, for example when installing the Nvidia proprietary driver it "activates" the modules needed for HDMI and is a bit of a pain to work-around through blacklisting/kernel recompile if you're using the card through DVI and a separate audio card.

Re:Nice! (2)

PouletFou (1221320) | about a year ago | (#43408367)

Depending on the distro you use, you do not have to blacklist the HDMI audio module. Simply choose the appropriate audio output. Works well on kubuntu.

Re:Nice! (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43410313)

Ah, finally Nvidia fixed the son of a gun. :) I already have classical music playing in the background, and I will bring on the wine and cheese when fast hardware accelerated HTML5 video or Flash is reality in Linux world.

YUH!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407563)

GOOD JOB!!!

Will the bumblebee project still be necessary? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43407569)

I can't get it [bumblebee-project.org] working with the 3.8 kernel in the new ubuntu beta... wonder if this will make that project unnecessary..?

Re:Will the bumblebee project still be necessary? (5, Interesting)

marcansoft (727665) | about a year ago | (#43407999)

As far as I can tell, this only adds support for using the nvidia card for everything (rendering the whole desktop) while sending its final framebuffer to the Intel for scanout. This is a strictly different use case from what bumblebee enables (rendering *specific apps* on the nvidia card while using the Intel for everything else).

Personally, since I only need the performance of the nvidia card one in a blue moon, the bumblebee approach is much more useful to me. Otherwise, I'd have to deal with tearing on everything (the current version of the nvidia RandR output provider does not support vsync) and increased power consumption.

I think what nvidia calls "render offload" in their README (which is currently not supported) is what would in fact replace bumblebee, if/when implemented. I'm curious as to how it would interact with power management, though. One of the very nice things about Bumblebee is that it doesn't even power up the nvidia card (via ACPI) until required, and that's easy because it starts up a background X server on demand to do the rendering. It's probably trickier to puil this off if you have to load the nvidia driver into your primary X server to take advantage of the direct integration.

Holy crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408051)

A thoughtful, complete, and informative reply on Slashdot. It's like 1998 or something! Thanks for that!

I noticed that it was doing that passthrough to the intel as well, but figured that might suffice... esp if it's something that can be turned on and off on-the-fly as needed (the way it apparently is on Windows...)

Anyway, hopefully bumblebee will still work w/it once I figure how to get it going with this new ubuntu 13.04 kernel.

Re:Holy crap. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408099)

To answer my own question-- looks like this was an issue with xorg [github.com] not the kernel.

The solution:

lspci | grep NVIDIA

then add the right value to /etc/bumblebee/xorg.conf.nvidia, such as

BusID "PCI:01:00.0"

THIS IS GOOD NEWS! (1)

fekmist (2857907) | about a year ago | (#43407631)

This is good news. I bought a new Intel/nvidia rig a few days ago and am now looking even more forward to using Linux on it! :)

Parity? (3, Interesting)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#43407783)

So does this release bring the Linux drivers into parity with the Windows drivers? I'm sure this is a large step in the right direction, but if the Windows driver is still more capable or efficient, then Linux will still suffer on the gaming front.

Re:Parity? (-1, Flamebait)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#43407821)

You seem to have a strange combination of superficial sincere interest and cluelessness. They're really kind of at odds with each other.

Never tried? Never looked into it?

More than anything your question seems like an excuse to propagate doubt.

Re:Parity? (2)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#43408171)

On the contrary. I want to know how the Linux driver compares with the Windows driver, feature-wise, and performance-wise. It's not a technical question. It's a user-oriented question, e.g. with this new driver, how could a game compiled or run under Wine in Linux compare to the same game for Windows quality-wise and framerate-wise, assuming OpenGL takes advantage of all of the features of each driver when available.

I don't need to propogate doubt. There's plenty of it out there. Answers are what there aren't. Your attitude seems like an excuse to propogate that.

Re:Parity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408609)

jedidiah is a Jewish troll and zealot. Tell him to go screw himself.

Re:Parity? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43410385)

On the contrary. I want to know how the Linux driver compares with the Windows driver, feature-wise, and performance-wise. It's not a technical question. It's a user-oriented question, e.g. with this new driver, how could a game compiled or run under Wine in Linux compare to the same game for Windows quality-wise and framerate-wise, assuming OpenGL takes advantage of all of the features of each driver when available.

There's always the problem that Windows games are mostly DirectX and the DX->GL translation incurs always some overhead when playing games under Wine (as the Linux graphics driver does not support DirectX).

Re:Parity? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#43411317)

Very few people care about Linux on the gaming front. Linux is for computer professionals who use their high performance graphics cards to do real useful things with their computers such as scientific applications and CAD/CAE/CAM. It will always be true that if you want to play games, investing in toys is a better approach than trying to shoe-horn a professional OS into the mix.

nVidia have been jerking Linux around (4, Interesting)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#43407801)

for as long as I can remember, and that is long
(Linuxer since 1991).

Never bought anything else for a display card though.
Explain that.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (4, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#43407899)

Because, unlike ATI/AMD, their driver works by and large? If you only play AAA titles released around the time of the driver version you're using, amd cards work alright...usually. Try doing anything else with the card (autodesk/adobe/video playback accel/demoscene/older games/newer games) and prepare yourself for the glitch gremlin.

I'm not saying that nvidia drivers are perfect. They're not, but they're a lot better than AMD.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (4, Insightful)

thesupraman (179040) | about a year ago | (#43408057)

Quite Agree.

Lets also not forget that the linux kernel (and other projects) have done their share of jerking NVidia around also, in the name of forcing them to work in the way the OSS people want, rather than in the way NVidia is willing to (they make/sell the cards after all).

It pretty much looks to me that NVidia have been waiting for X Server support for the features, and can now support it since that has arrived.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#43408827)

Well, the kernel devs have good reasons for wanting (and setting things up to encourage) open driver code. It's nearly impossible to debug kernel dumps riddled with binary only drivers, and it retards the freedoms of open source on platforms containing nvidia chips. So I agree with linus, but I also want my computer to work, so I use nouveau on older chips and the nvidia driver on newer chips and whenever I need the best 3d possible.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43409603)

If you can isolate the code to the binary blob, then that is enough. It's no longer your (kernel developer) problem. If an end user wants to run a binary blob driver for massively improved performance, they should be able to.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43409607)

Furthermore - a GPU driver crash should not take down the OS. It doesn't on Windows, it shouldn't on Linux.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43410675)

Furthermore - a GPU driver crash should not take down the OS. It doesn't on Windows, it shouldn't on Linux.

Virtually all of my Windows crashes have occurred in the GPU driver, even while running nVidia. I have a hard time believing this never happens in Windows any more. It's not like they threw it away and rewrote it.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43411671)

SHHH..

in a linux bashing article on graphics, you should never bring up that windows barfs in just the same way as linux in GPU errors taking the OS down.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43409899)

If an end user wants to run a binary blob driver for massively improved performance, they should be able to.

They can and no one stops them. They just shouldn't expect help from the kernel devs if they do.

I think people forget this (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year ago | (#43409365)

nVidia has reasons for doing things the way they do. Yes, one of them is probably "because we don't want AMD grabbing our work," However there is some validity to that in that it is expensive to have a team of highly qualified people to do your development.

However that aside, there are licensing issues that keep their drivers closed, and there may be good reasons to want to use that code rather than try to re-implement it. Likewise there may be reasons to do their own thing and bypass some of the standard way of interfacing.

nVidia produces Linux drivers that work. They support the latest OpenGL features the hardware can handle, they are fast, and they are stable. That's pretty damn useful. So they are doing something right in their development. People should consider that, rather than just assuming that nVidia could easily deliver everything the same, but just in a format that makes OSS heads happy.

Also consider that maybe working with someone is an easier way to get at least some of what you want than fighting with them.

Re:I think people forget this (4, Insightful)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about a year ago | (#43409707)

They're a hardware company. I have no problem with them running custom firmwares or whatever *on the hardware* but a closed-source software driver stack is just absurd. I'd much rather we move to a model where the drivers were always OSS, even if it meant we needed more firmware running on the GPU itself since it'd be a return to having standard interfaces and it would mean everyone would get the benefits of improvements in the driver stack, rather then just the favored operating system.

Re:I think people forget this (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43410653)

They're a hardware company. I have no problem with them running custom firmwares or whatever *on the hardware* but a closed-source software driver stack is just absurd.

It is no more absurd than the law which governs it. nVidia drank the Microsoft kool-aid long ago and now their lips will be forever stained by it. Not until Microsoft is destroyed do we have any chance of an Open nVidia driver.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408117)

nVidia is still the worst company regarding linux support. I have phisical pain because I can't connect an external montitor to my linux labtop. They are fucking morrons who obviously can't program a driver. FUCK U NVIDIA! Linus is right that they are a lot worse than AMD. At least they could have the dignity to support the nouveau driver. FUCK U NVIDIA. At least Ubuntu 13.04 and probably fedorda 19 won't support the latest latops that have an current nvidia chip. And thanks to optimus you can't connect an externeal monitor. FUCK U NVIDIA!

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#43408797)

umm..ookayy. I'm sure the kernel devs would love all the kernel drivers under gpl2. I agree with linus, but I also want my computer to work. In the end, that's what's important to me. On older boards (geforce 7-), I usually use nouveau as it gives a nice high res accelerated terminal. The 3D support is passable enough to run opengl screensavers and the like. If I really need 3d support, I use the nvidia driver. Both work fine for me, far better than the radeon garbage.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43410419)

nVidia is still the worst company regarding linux support. I have phisical pain because I can't connect an external montitor to my linux labtop. They are fucking morrons who obviously can't program a driver. FUCK U NVIDIA! Linus is right that they are a lot worse than AMD. At least they could have the dignity to support the nouveau driver. FUCK U NVIDIA. At least Ubuntu 13.04 and probably fedorda 19 won't support the latest latops that have an current nvidia chip. And thanks to optimus you can't connect an externeal monitor. FUCK U NVIDIA!

In your case I would simply recommend to get a laptop with Intel HD Graphics.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (2)

trevelyon (892253) | about a year ago | (#43408693)

That USED to be the case until optimus. I've been a pretty avid nvidia on linux until optimus and that even after having one of the dell geforce mobiles that delaminated (hardware issue). Now I get to live with crashing to login every few days (a common occurence for us optimus users even before we load the bumblebee stack) but hey, who doesn't want their linux machine reduced to win98 reliabiity levels. Needless to say nvidia gives ZERO support. From here on out it's only Intel or other open-source drivers for me. I have no more time to waste with nvidia and their problems. Nvidia is in the same category as ATI for me now.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#43408769)

I agree.. optimus is crap, even on windows.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (0)

gilboad (986599) | about a year ago | (#43409037)

Not sure I fually understand your main point, but I've been using nVidia Linux drivers since, 1992 (*gasp*) on *many* different machines, ranging from top of the line Xeon/Opteron workstations w/ Quadro cards down to ATOM notebook with ION chipset and all in all, nVidia Linux support has been nothing short of exemplary.

BTW, While not ideal, Optimus can be used with some pain under Linux, using bumblebee.
Me and my co-workers have been using it on our i7 laptops (running Fedora 18/x86_64).

- Gilboa

What he means (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year ago | (#43409379)

Is Linux users have been whining that nVidia should open up their drivers. nVidia won't, so LInux users thing nVidia is the bad guy and "jerking them around" rather than investigating if there might be some valid reasons.

However despite that ideological point, he still uses their products, because they are the best for Linux. That again is a reason I say maybe people should consider that nVidia has reasons behind what they do.

Re:What he means (1)

gilboad (986599) | about a year ago | (#43412541)

Linus' screw you comment aside, I'm not certain the Linux users as all, consider nVidia to be anti Linux.
I'd image only a small minority stick to the "open or die" attitude.

- Gilboa

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43409399)

Well of course you had no problems using nvidia linux drivers since 1992. Time travelers tend to get better support.

On the other hand, I remember helping alpha-test 2D acceleration drivers for XFree86 back then, when we were still doing register dumps from Windows to help get new 2D cards into useful video modes where the acceleration could start to be tested.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#43410015)

I've been using nVidia Linux drivers since, 1992 (*gasp*)

Gasp indeed. I'd be very impressed by this, given that nVidia was only founded in 1993 and released its first graphics card in 1995.

Re:nVidia have been jerking Linux around (1)

gilboad (986599) | about a year ago | (#43412501)

Note to self: Writing comments after 20h+ work is known to produce interesting results....
I meant 2002 :(

- Gilboa

Wonder if a long time xinerama bug is fixed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408069)

Wonder if they've fixed the wonky error message about RandR missing when Xinerama is enabled yet...

Lenovo Notebook? Don't Celebrate Just Yet... (3, Informative)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year ago | (#43408177)

I'll be glad when this is actually able to run on Lenovo's notebooks, which require an ugly ACPI hack to enable the Nvidia GPU: https://github.com/Bumblebee-Project/bbswitch/issues/2#issuecomment-3797568 [github.com]

Re:Lenovo Notebook? Don't Celebrate Just Yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43409571)

I think the ACPI hack you are referring to is no longer necessary with version 3.8.5 or greater of the kernel. I think this is the patch that makes the hack no longer necessary on my Lenovo Y580:

https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git/commit/?id=b842701f3d800a0fba3cee5ec4163a2356f3aaa5

Re:Lenovo Notebook? Don't Celebrate Just Yet... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43409905)

What's ugly about the ACPI hacks? Isn't this---powering up and down optional hardware in a standard way---exactly what ACPI is meant to do?

Honest question. I don't have an Optimus laptop.

Re:Lenovo Notebook? Don't Celebrate Just Yet... (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#43411337)

When you fix a broken ACPI table because Lenovo ships thier laptops with a broken ACPI table it isn't an "ugly ACPI hack", it is a beautiful testament to the power of Linux, which actually allows you to do such things.

It's time to get serious about bugs NVIDIA (2)

eddy_tn (144901) | about a year ago | (#43408201)

Please NVIDIA do something about reliability, compatibility, provide debug symbols, meaningful error messages, and a way to easily provide feedback and response and the understanding of how the collected data is used rather than the impression it goes to /dev/null.

You have subtly reassigned your user base to serve as your beta test annoyance discovery team, selling hardware with drivers that provide the air of functionality but each with its own nuances of failure and glitches.

I try not to be nasty, but Linus's response was correct. It's time to draw the line and make up for the last 4 or 5 years of failed promises.

So what license is this under? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43408393)

GPL?

Re:So what license is this under? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43409275)

No. If it was GPL they could have done this long ago. The problem was a component in the kernel that they needed to use but couldn't use because their code isn't GPL. The solutions were to: 1) Allow non GPL code to interact with that kernel component (the kernel devs said no), 2) Release their driver as GPL (this is nvidia- never going to happen) or 3) Get a working wrapper, that is GPL, to interact with the kernel component, get it into a kernel release, then release their drivers to work with it... Which is why it took as long as it did to get Optimus support uner Linux.

You can pick whom to blame for it but really, it's just as easy to blame anyone thinking anything but option #3 would ever happen. It's not a surprise that kernel devs aren't going to bend over backwards and make exceptions for closed source drivers (both both technical and non technical reasons). It's not a surprise at this point that nvidia isn't going to open source their drivers. It shouldn't be a surprise at all that nvidia drivers on Linux are, therefore, going to be slow in supporting new cards and features.

Re:So what license is this under? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43409749)

Then the driver is worthless.

No improvement what-so-ever.

Linux Torvalds? (1)

fizzer06 (1500649) | about a year ago | (#43408479)

In the summary. Seemed funny to me.

Re:Linux Torvalds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43409323)

Funny indeed that it takes so long to notice His name is Linus. Not Linux.
(yes: I said 'His' in stead of 'his'). But that's a matter of perception.

don't care: no sell (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43409015)

haven't purchased anything (for myself or clients) with an nvidia chip in it for at least the last year. nvidia had time to design their way out of old third party impediments to open sourcing the driver code and they haven't even started. i don't care what their reasons are. I'm not installing their closed source (security and stability issues) code into a perfectly good linux machine and i don't appreciate their cavalier attitude towards me and mine as a market. The open source radeon driver (http://www.x.org/wiki/radeon) works really well these days on supported cards and i hope the rest of the community will vote with their wallet and send a message. AMD needs to double down while they have the chance. @nvidia: you think this whole linux thang is going away? You'll get yours...

Re:don't care: no sell (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43409643)

Will all become irrelevant soon anyhow. Intel is open source and they are getting better fast.

Who? (4, Informative)

minus9 (106327) | about a year ago | (#43409765)

Who's this Linux Torvalds guy?

Somebody get Soulxkill his coffee.

Re:Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43409949)

Linux Torvolds? Well obviously he's the founder of Linus

still waiting for clock control on Fermi and later (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43409989)

As far as I know the only way to overclock with the binary driver, being as nVidia has neglected to implement clock control in the Linux driver for every GPU chipset from Fermi onwards, is still to set a static overclock in a modified firmware. In the role of a workstation this probably isn't an interesting feature to many users, but when you are comparing gaming performance the amount of additional 'free' performance you can extract from a given card alters where the available options rank in price/performance and is at least a consideration for many power users. The ability to alter the ratio of core to memory clock to reduce power consumption while optimizing performance for GPGPU tasks is also a consideration. I personally have purchased nVidia cards for several generations SOLELY on the basis of the stability, maturity, and feature-completeness of their drivers. After three iterations waiting for feature parity of a fairly essential function I am starting to seriously consider giving AMD's offerings another trial.

Re:still waiting for clock control on Fermi and la (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43411905)

Not true, K3000M and up you can alter clock via nvidia-smi.

For most Linux laptop owners with less than 17" screen/chassis (where K3000M+ is not available) this effectively means you can either eat sh*t (i.e. live with stock clock speeds), or roll the dice with a vbios mod.

I have mixed feelings for Nvidia: on the one hand they do provide a Linux driver, one that is generally quite stable (in my experience) and feature rich (relative to alternative chips), so am thankful to Nvidia. On the other hand they fix clock speeds for mid-to-low end chips, and force max power mode with multi-head setups, thus pointlessly heating up the GPU and making laptop fans go on & off, on & off, on & off for no reason, and for this I have a finger for Nvidia.

Had to resort to vbios mod to undervolt/underclock the Nvidia chip in order to have some peace & quiet. Hopefully once latest driver is stable vbios mods won't be necessary anymore (i.e. integrated chip can drive the laptop and dedicated chip can driver the external in a simple 2 monitor setup).

This is proprietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43410271)

That's the real problem with nvidia.

better late than never (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about a year ago | (#43410319)

but its too late for me, nvidia already lost me as a customer, i wont buy their products anymore and when shopping for a new laptop or desktop i always look for ATI video now, (i dont like having my PC half_broken because some snooty hardware MFG wont build decent Linux drivers

Re:better late than never (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43410669)

when shopping for a new laptop or desktop i always look for ATI video now, (i dont like having my PC half_broken because some snooty hardware MFG wont build decent Linux drivers

So uh, why are you still running AMD? Only intel is making a serious effort to deliver decent Linux drivers. fglrx is crap and AMD trickles out the information too slowly for ati to be worth a crap either.

No Linux support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43410659)

As far as I know, it doesn't exactly provide "linux support", but rather "Linux X86/X86-64 support", all numerous other platforms staying unsupported as always.

I've always understood THAT being the major complaint about their "linux support".

And of course in the future when binary compatibility will be broken for whatever reasons, guess if they are going to update their older binary-only drivers?

Re:No Linux support (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#43412493)

Since their cards are designed to be installed in x86 and x86_64 systems, why would one expect any different?
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