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nVidia Unified Drivers Including Linux/FreeBSD

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the well-isn't-that-special dept.

Linux 306

Screaming Lunatic writes "nVidia has decided to include Linux and FreeBSD in their Unified Driver Architecture and offer more tech support. Sounds like great news for Linux developers and users if Linux drivers are released at the same time as Windows drivers. (The NV30 emulation driver for Linux was made available about 3 months later than for Windows) The big push is probably from big studios that use Linux tools such as Film Gimp. More info here ." Added by Heunique: You might want to look here if you are using the latest development kernel.

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306 comments

Wow (1, Redundant)

von Prufer (444647) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906653)

But wouldn't it be sweet if they also offered superior ATI drivers? That'd sure make them think.

Sounds like a good business decision to me.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906670)

Who? NVidia offering ATI drivers??? I'm puzzled.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906852)

Haha! Yes! Genius of business strategy makes SENSE!!!

1) Offer superior drivers for a competing product!
2) ???
3) Profit!

IANAL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906658)

But in SOVIET RUSSIA .... anal lieks U!!

The have supported Linux for a long time (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906660)

... it's FreeBSD that is the news!

Re:The have supported Linux for a long time (5, Informative)

SquierStrat (42516) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906671)

The FreeBSD drivers have been out for about a month. The news is that the drivers are part of the official driver package now and will be released with the regularity of the Windows drivers.

in a word... (0, Flamebait)

TechnoVooDooDaddy (470187) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906667)

WOOOT!!!!!!!!

man, i thought ATI was going to take over nVidia, but with this crazy open-source support nVidia is doing, it's going to be difficult to NOT support them in turn.

Scratching my back is a damn good way to get me to scratch yours, WTG NVIDIA!

Re:in a word... (-1, Troll)

Jrme Zago (17794) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906689)

If I understood the article, the drivers aren't going to be Open Source / Free Software. So I don't see why I would support them...

Re:in a word... (2)

bconway (63464) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906728)

How about because they're released regularly for Linux and FreeBSD, run at 95-99% speed of the Windows drivers, and are the fastest and best-supported cards available for Linux?

Re:in a word... (2)

dinivin (444905) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906742)


They're regularly released for FreeBSD? How does one release become "regularly released"?

Dinivin

Re:in a word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906756)

Hey dipshit, there were regular beta releases available to the public, and all future releases will coincide with the Linux releases. Check a dictionary if you're unclear on the concept of regular.

Re:in a word... (0, Troll)

dinivin (444905) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906901)


There has been exactly one public release of the FreeBSD drivers, fuckhead. :-)

That is hardly "regular".

Dinivin

Don't forget price! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906824)

You can find geforce2MXs for like 40 bucks these days.

I guess ... (2, Insightful)

Mr. Marabou Man (533239) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906736)

... that supporting the companies who support open source software ... is also a way of supporting open source software :)

Re:in a word... (4, Insightful)

the gnat (153162) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906750)

If I understood the article, the drivers aren't going to be Open Source / Free Software. So I don't see why I would support them...

Yeah, there are so many other companies with superior products who will give us every single bit of code in their drivers. Besides, who needs 3D acceleration on Linux anyway? I suppose I can just take my 3D apps and run them on Windows.

Moron.

Re:in a word... (5, Insightful)

FoxMcCloud (572729) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906799)

Of course it would be BETTER if they were open source. But the reason to support them is that you need a graphics card in your computer, and you'll choose the one that has good linux drivers.
Anyway, any major company that takes Linux seriously is worth supporting. I fully support them. Like I fully support Id software even if they don't make open source games (which would be totally stupid IMHO anyway). Also, maybe some other graphic cards vendors (or other hardware or even software) will look at the highly successful nVidia, and say "hey, they make linux drivers and are successful, so maybe we should do so too."

Open Source (5, Insightful)

Nevermore-Spoon (610798) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906804)

just because the drivers themselves aren't Open Source doesn't mean nVidia isn't supporting the open source community by release drivers for Open Source OS's. What's with the All-or-Nothing mentality of the open source community. Can't we just be glad nVidia now sees the linux market big enough to spend resources to develop drivers for can pat them on the back for it?

Re:in a word... (5, Informative)

DCowern (182668) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906823)

It's actually not their fault. IIRC, their driver code contains a lot of code from other companies that is copyrighted or under very restrictive licensing. This, unfortunately is very bad for people who would like to see the driver code fully released. It'll never happen without all the contributing corporations signing off on it. I support them because they do the best they can do to support the linux community. They also just happen to do it far better than any other GPU manufacturer ever has.

MOD PARENT DOWN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906863)

Is anyone else getting tired of people trolling Nvidia?

Does Nvidia make fast inexpesnive hardware?
Yes.

Does Nvidia keep its linux drivers as updated as the windows ones?
Yes.

Does Nvidia give open-source drivers for windows and somehow leave linux out of the loop?
No.

Great products, Good Price, and they support our platform. What the fuck is the problem?

Re:in a word... (1)

rembo (630341) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906965)

I think that support maybe ok for now, but what if your hardware ages,and it's no longer comercially interesting for nvidia to support you on what ever version of the kernel you like to use at that date. That means you are dependent on Nvidia for choosing a kernel. This won't happen with open drivers.

Re:in a word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906973)

I am betting your hardware isnt Open Source, but you use that right?

BeOS, anyone ? (2, Interesting)

z80 (103328) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906668)

It would be fun if someone would have a look at the drivers and port them to BeOS. Geforce4 is yet to be supported.

Re:BeOS, anyone ? (2, Insightful)

dinivin (444905) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906717)

It would be fun if someone would have a look at the drivers and port them to BeOS.

It would be fun if nVidia open sourced the drivers so that you could look at them and port them to BeOS.

Dinivin

Re:BeOS, anyone ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906743)

Talk to SGI.

Re:BeOS, anyone ? (2, Insightful)

killmenow (184444) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906856)

It would be fun if nVidia open sourced the drivers so that you could look at them and port them to BeOS.
No, it would be fun if nVidia shared the details on their cards so others could write drivers and port them to whatever freaking OS they wanted.

I have an nVidia card and it is nice, but I think my next will be an ATI card because they have at least tried to be more cooperative with open source developers.

Check this quote from an October 20, 1999 ATI press release:
Recognizing the phenomenal growth and increasing popularity of Linux, ATI is committed to ensuring that the open source development community has access to technical development information on all its key components.
Hello, nVidia? This is Open Source calling. We want your specs.

Maybe They just love linux (1, Funny)

diverscuba023 (615113) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906673)

why can't the increased support be that thier engineers just like linux better and have managed to convince thier management ... opps sorry management isn't that smart....

Re:Maybe They just love linux (2)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906745)

Actually I read somewhere that's what happened for FreeBSD. They were getting pressure from some big customers to produce decent Linux drivers, so the order came from the top, and then some engineers did the FreeBSD port because it was pretty similar to doing it for Linux and was a fast hack.

I'd much rather they started shipping RPMs for all the stable kernel versions that are out there. Have they finally produced Psyche RPMS yet?

Re:Maybe They just love linux (2)

yobbo (324595) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906861)

Yes, the latest 40.xx drivers for linux are now available in rpm packages for both redhat 8.0 and mandrake 9.0

http://www.nvidia.com/view.asp?IO=linux_display_ ia 32_1.0-4191

Re:Maybe They just love linux (4, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906912)

Thanks. My god, no wonder they took so long. They have to provide separate RPMs for every single different optimisation for every CPU type???? I hope the kernel gets some semblance of binary compatability soon, that's nuts.

Dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906853)

Dude, right on the money. What I don't get is why management gets all the cash and we have to work. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't slashdotters be walking around making millions handing out ASIC's instead of some bobble head doll?

Supported platforms. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906675)

That still means you get shafted if you use something different than i386/i64/amd64whatever. There's still no PPC support, and that sucks. Badly.

Re:Supported platforms. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906731)

Maybe that's because PPC sucks?

Even worse... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906747)

there doesn't seem to be any C64 or even Amiga drivers! (cry me a river)

Re:Supported platforms. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906797)


Yes, you really need to use it on your PowerMac 7200....

*sigh*

Great news? Or bad news? (-1, Troll)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906680)

The drivers aren't Free or Open. That makes them crap in my book. Repressive crap, even.

I've just sent an email to nVidia telling them to stay out of the Linux world as their attempts to take over our freedoms has not been appreciated. You can thank me later.

Re:Great news? Or bad news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906687)

I like drivers that work.

Re:Great news? Or bad news? (4, Insightful)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906707)

Please point me to WORKING nvidea drivers for a non intel/amd architecture.......

At best you could say they support i386-linux not linux... and you are still limited to a subset of all the available kernels...

They have linux drivers, they don't support linux.

Jeroen

Re:Great news? Or bad news? (0, Flamebait)

Keck (7446) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906776)

Please point me to WORKING nvidea drivers for a non intel/amd architecture.......

Umm. right. point me to someone with an IQ over room temperature who bought a non intel/amd architechture + an nvidia card with gaming in mind. I agree that the driver source would be much better, esp in light of the changes regarding exporting the entire symbol table to modules upcoming in linux 2.6, but nvidia is doing a great job of recognizing our 'demographic' and doing *something* to support it. I honestly can't think of a business justification for them to release the source for those drivers, I really can't. They're in a cut throat business, and if you ahve the source to their drivers the cat's out of the bag. You're technically right that they don't support 'linux' in all it's ported architechtures, but they are doing a good job supporting the most used ones. My Ti4200 arrives Thursday; good frame rates here I come.

Re:Great news? Or bad news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906803)

'nv'

Re:Great news? Or bad news? (5, Interesting)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906724)

Quoth the AC: I like drivers that work.

Apparently those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it. The formalization of the Free Software movement by RMS in the form of the FSF was a direct result of a buggy driver (for a printer). So while it's nice that nvidia sees value in releasing these drivers and giving GNU/Linux the option to play on a level field with Windows... it hardly pushes the cause of Free Software forward to pollute machines that would otherwise be 100% Free with little bits of wholly un-Free software. Now, as I understand it, it's unfortunate that much of the competitive edge nvidia's hardware has is actually the result of the proprietary code in their drivers. It's going to be hard to convince them to forego that, since it would endanger their cash flow.

Just a little late (1)

BobSutan (467781) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906686)

Why is this newsworthy today when these have been out for two weeks now?

It seems 'Taco Boy' is slipping in his old age.

Re:Just a little late (1)

Nevermore-Spoon (610798) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906821)

This is NEW news. Last week drivers were released for linux, this week, linux was offically added to the Unified Driver Archetechure. Two Different developments.

Good. (2)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906691)

I think this will help them a lot. Linux runs quake much better, so if they officially support it they can start advertising the FPS of quake in linux. Users will compare it to quake in windows and think the card is even better.
This will also help get developers(other than the gods at idsoft) to take linux a little more seriously.

Yet another reason ... (5, Informative)

JSkills (69686) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906692)

... to buy nVidia based graphics cards.

They're arguably equal or (in most cases) superior to most other cards

They've always supported Linux

Installing a Geforce 4200i in my Mandrake box was a snap last year ...

BTW - it was interesting to see the comment by Tim Sweeney of Epic Games (Unreal), who was applauding nVidia for their support of Linux. If we could only get all the gaming companies to pay as much attention to the Linux platform as the consoles or the PC, I could see the entire desktop shifting towards Linux next. Ok, well maybe I'm just dreaming ...

Re:Yet another reason ... (2, Informative)

Mr. Marabou Man (533239) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906754)

They're arguably equal or (in most cases) superior to most other cards

You havent ever seen an ATi card in action, have you?
Waaay superior 2D (picture quality) ...

Re:Yet another reason ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906817)

Hahaha. I love it when people claim unquantifiable 2D quality is superior. Have something to back that up, or just talking out of your ass because you got stuck with a card that can't do 3D worth shit?

Re:Yet another reason ... (1)

ShwAsasin (120187) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906833)

If your looking for 2D Image Quality, buy a Matrox video card. Their video cards aren't fast at 3D, but have far superior visual quality and are the video cards of choice for many PC graphics artists.

Re:Yet another reason ... (5, Informative)

the gnat (153162) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906771)

Add to this:
  • Their GLX implementation offers features that are non-existent in Mesa.

One piece of software I use almost daily essentially requires the NVidia driver if you use it on Linux, because of display lists. The difference in speed is simply ridiculous.

Re:Yet another reason ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906980)

One piece of software I use almost daily essentially
requires the NVidia driver if you use it on Linux, because of display lists.

You have no idea what you are talking about, have you?

Film Gimp (-1, Flamebait)

codexus (538087) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906695)

OK, could we stop gloating about how Film Gimp is used by the big studios. Yeah, that's nice but that's not point of this story, is it?

Nice, but... (2, Interesting)

Kryptoff (611007) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906703)

How about releasing the drivers as open source? Then you'll have a lot of support from the Linux community. (see previous thread about the linux kernel)

Re:Nice, but... (0)

term_0z (583581) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906746)

I so agree. Giving out the entire thing as Open Source under GPL would shure make me like Nvidia better. Since ATI did it with their drivers I don't see why nVidia can't do it.

Re:Nice, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906827)

Wow, you really have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:Nice, but... (2)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906781)

But the drivers are open source. They just aren't GPL. Which is good enough for me, since I can compile it against any customized kernel I'm using.

If they were completely binary, you'd have to grab the drivers for a specific kernel for a specific distro (Hed Rat being the most popular). That's the argument against binary-only kernel modules.

Re:Nice, but... (4, Insightful)

vrt3 (62368) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906812)

They are not open source. They have a small kernel modules that comes as a source tarball, which you have to compile against your kernel. The driver itself is binary only and communicates to the kernel using that module.

Re:Nice, but... (2)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906848)

Even that is good enough to completely avoid all problems associated with kernel modules that are completely binary.

Re:Nice, but... (5, Insightful)

dinivin (444905) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906857)


Do you even know what "open source" means? It does not mean having a HUGE closed binary driver (larger than most people's linux kernel) that links to the kernel using a tiny wrapper whose source code is available. Nor does it mean having a OpenGL library and GLX extension whose source is completely unavailable.

Dinivin

Film? what about games. (5, Insightful)

OmniVector (569062) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906704)

Id software can practically drive the industry sometimes, and without decent driver support for the platform Id would have a hard time putting out games like doom III or Quake III for the linux platform.

whee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906705)

So to get the Linux drivers for my card I have to also download all that bloated useless Windows crap too?

Great.

Is this news? (2, Informative)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906709)

NVidia have been "supporting" Linux for a few years so far. Unfortunately, their drivers have been closed-source, binary-only -- a fact which has caused quite a bit of grief for kernel developers, since it makes it impossible to trace the cause for a kernel oops when using the NVidia drivers.

I did a search through the article for the word "open". I found "OpenGL", but no "open source". So, IMHO, this news release is just PR bullshit (apart from the BSD bit, which may be new) -- there appears to be no move whatsoever for NVidia to open up their source.

I wonder what implications the continuing close-source approach of NVidia will have, what with the upcoming abolition of binary-only modules in Linux kernel 2.6?

Re:Is this news? (2)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906763)

Closed source may be what the Linux kernel needs to keep things stable.

Maybe if it weren't so easy to diagnose what errors mean for more products, the kernel folks would take a more conservative stance toward keeping the api's and constructs more consisten, particularly in "stable" kernels.

Re:Is this news? (4, Informative)

OmniVector (569062) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906780)

Not that i'm trying to be an ass,

but this is posted every time the topic comes up. NVidia can't release the drivers because of legal reasons. There are things in the code that they do not own, thus cannot release.

Not to mention right now, the Nvidia cards win hands down on driver quality, which is a good advantage over ATI cards.

Re:Is this news? (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906811)

but this is posted every time the topic comes up. NVidia can't release the drivers because of legal reasons. There are things in the code that they do not own, thus cannot release.

OK, the thing to do then is release the code that they do own as GPL, and then package the stuff that they don't own into a binary module -- and tell us who owns this Top Secret(tm) stuff. We can then stop lobbying NVidia and lobby the people who own the secret stuff. Everybody wins -- we get more source code, NVidia stops getting blacklisted, and there is a chance of getting all of the source.

Re:Is this news? (1)

ShwAsasin (120187) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906882)

That sounds like a great idea, but it's NOT going to happen. Microsoft, SGI, S3, Intel, ATI, and other ALL own patents inside OpenGL. Some like ARB_VERTEX_PROGRAM, an essential for the OpenGL 1.4 specification is *apparently from ARB meetings* owned IP from Microsoft, which means NVidia has to license the technology to use it. Do you really think Microsoft gives two shits about making their source-code open when they are fighting like hell to get others closed? What serious benefit in a realistic business sense would it have for them?

It's great to say OPEN SOURCE everything, but in the real world, companies cannot simply give away trade secrets, patent info, algorithms just to help the enemy.

Re:Is this news? (2, Funny)

killmenow (184444) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906891)

...and tell us who owns this Top Secret(tm) stuff.
But they can't tell us...because then they'd have to kill us.

Re:Is this news? (2)

dinivin (444905) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906814)

Not to mention right now, the Nvidia cards win hands down on driver quality, which is a good advantage over ATI cards.

Hardly... Take my home computer, for example. A brand new i845 motherboard, with a single P4 processor. Using a GeForce3 and the drivers from nVidia, there is literally a two minute wait between the time I type 'startx' and the time X actually comes up. In the mean time, the screen flashes about three or four times, but the machine is completely unusable, even through ssh because the entire computer just stops functioning till X comes up.

Compare that to the FireGL drivers from ATI with a Radeon 8500 on the same machine. X starts up in less than 3 seconds.

Unfortunately, no one at nVidia can seem to tell me why this is happening. Until this is sorted out, and nVidia actually learns the meaning of "support", they've lost my business.

Dinivin

Re:Is this news? (1)

DanMilburn (120933) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906790)

I did a search through the article for the word "open". I found "OpenGL", but no "open source". So, IMHO, this news release is just PR bullshit (apart from the BSD bit, which may be new) -- there appears to be no move whatsoever for NVidia to open up their source.
Nor is anyone claiming otherwise. The point is that this should mean that Linux/FreeBSD drivers get released at the same time, and have the same features, as the Windows ones. As well as actually being supported.

I wonder what implications the continuing close-source approach of NVidia will have, what with the upcoming abolition of binary-only modules in Linux kernel 2.6?
Currently, the kernel module part of the NVidia drivers is provided as source code. It's the XFree86 module that contains most of the code which is binary only.

Re:Is this news? (2, Informative)

jdkincad (576359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906858)

I wonder what implications the continuing close-source approach of NVidia will have, what with the upcoming abolition of binary-only modules in Linux kernel 2.6?

The hernel developers aren't abolishing binary-only modules, they're just changing the way they interact with the kernel.

Because of Film GIMP? Not hardly... (5, Insightful)

Quarters (18322) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906718)

The big push is probably from big studios that use Linux tools such as Film Gimp.

Right, because workstations that use a 2D, time based, painting program need programmable pixel shaders, programmable vertex shaders, hardware transform and lighting, massive fill rate, AGP 8X transfer speeds, and astronomical triangle throughput.

I suspect (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906720)

that the economy is Linux's best friend. While the recession continues(and grows deeper), companies will have to work harder to make their profits and grow their company. Like hollywood, these companies will lower their IT spending; this means Linux. This also will means that some smart companies will offer better service which will lead to improved sales which their competitors will notice. 4)Profit!!!

One prob (2)

Alethes (533985) | more than 11 years ago | (#4907001)

Note: This discussion is a diversion, not necesarily off-topic. :)

While the recession continues(and grows deeper)

A recession is a period of general economic decline; specifically, a decline in GDP for two or more consecutive quarters. We've actually had growth (in the USA anyway) for at least the last two quarters and, I believe, the last four.

Anyway, you're correct that a weak economy is a good way to encourage companies to at least consider open-source software, especially when companies cannot afford to take the hits of security breaches and downtime that competitors are notorious for providing. That doesn't even take into account the licensing costs that are saved by using open-source software.

Probably just down to market share (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906769)

A disproportionate number of Linux users have nVidia cards primarily because they have decent drivers which work for all kernels, and tend to install without too much hassle. I downgraded my Linux box to a TNT2 because of this.

This has resulted in a large chunk of the market share going to nVidia, encouraging them to invest a little more in Linux. A sort of feedback loop.

It may only be a niche, but it's another chunk of income for them. nVidia will sell chips to anyone if they can get more money back than they spend.

I doubt filmgimp has as much of an impact. This is a smaller market than 3d enthusiasts with dual boot Linux systems.

but.... (2, Insightful)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906794)

Installing nVidia drivers means changing open source operating system into open-closed source hybride. Keep in mind, that you have choice with other cards, like ATI or Matrox.
I know most people answer "I am not interested with changing or even reading driver source", but they forget why Open Source is good. I will write just two reasons:
  • when something doesn't work - you can ask for help, open source projects (DRI, emu10k1, etc...) has mailing lists when you can submit bug raports, but help is not limited to drivers author - you can also find help on newsgroups, from people who has same hardware like you, open source help works better, because there is a lot of coders floating around on newsgroups, these coders can do nothing with closed source
  • spyware - yes, it's hard to believe there is some kind of spyware in device driver, but it is possible (in future!), and remember - open source Linux means no spyware at all, with closed source you can be never sure

Re:but.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906838)

"Installing nVidia drivers means changing open source operating system into open-closed source hybride. Keep in mind, that you have choice with other cards, like ATI or Matrox."

You don't have ANY choice in this matter, unless you want to use single monitor without 3D:

1. ATIs drivers are closed source
2. There are open-sourced drivers for ATI cards, but even a 1.5 years old Radeon 8500 is poorly supported. Don't even dream about playing games with those drivers and new hardware.
3. Even Matrox Parhelia 2D-drivers are closed source. There aren't any 3D-Linux drivers for Parhelia.

Re:but.... (2)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906906)


1. ATIs drivers are closed source
2. There are open-sourced drivers for ATI cards, but even a 1.5 years old Radeon 8500 is poorly supported. Don't even dream about playing games with those drivers and new hardware.
3. Even Matrox Parhelia 2D-drivers are closed source. There aren't any 3D-Linux drivers for Parhelia.


1. and 3. are true, but 2. is completly false. Please give any proof for what you wrote. I don't own Radeon 8500, but I played with old Radeon VE in OpenGL games, and my OpenGL code also works there without problems. VE is R100 (8500 is R200), but AFAIK it uses same radeon DRI driver now.

Do you have 8500 in installed with Linux system? Which applications doesnt work for you?

Half right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906943)

NVIDIA should be applauded for supporting Linux and FreeBSD, but there is more to the equation that they haven't yet grocked. Binary only drivers have to be acceptable because our legal system forces companies to close their source code in order to protect themselves from frivolous lawsuites. Patent searches are expensive, and not reliable. I am, quite frankly, surprised at just how many open source project there are considering the legal danger of letting someong sue you for infringement of their overly general patent - patents that our illustrious patent office issues simply because they are too ignorant and technically uninformed to make even reasonable determinations as to the validity of patent applications.

On the other hand (thank you Topal)... If any binary only driver forces the user to alter ANY other part of their otherwise open source system, in other words, if the binary modules don't cooexist peacefully with legitimate open source infrastructure, then the binary modules should be classified as hostile. Although the vendor has a legitimate point in not opening the source code, they have no excuse for not supporting the open source infrastructures present in their OS. If the infrastructures aren't sufficient for their purposes, then they should invest in the effort to improve the infrastructures, not go off on their own tangent and dismiss the efforts of countless programmers striving to create sanity in the Linux support industry.

Just my two cents....

A breth of fresh air (1)

bace (628761) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906796)

All i can say is GREAT. The most higly supported 3d card under linux is the 3dfx Voodoo 3. I think it is a sad state when the most supported 3d card under linux is made by a company that no longer exists. Thats my 2 cents, probably only worth 1c though

Still doesn't make a lick of difference to me... (4, Informative)

DCowern (182668) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906806)

NVidia still hasn't realeased a set of drivers that work with the 2.5.x development kernel which, unfortunately, I must use day-to-day -- albeit on a non-production machine.

I won't criticize NVidia too harshly for distributing binary-only drivers -- I understand their reasoning and I accept it. I only wish that since we can't have the source, they'd support us developers with beta drivers that work with the 2.5 series kernel. It'd be nice to have an idea of what and how things will work in kernel-next.

Re:Still doesn't make a lick of difference to me.. (5, Informative)

Repugnant_Shit (263651) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906864)

Visit www.minion.de [minion.de] for some patches that will let you use the drivers under 2.5.x (worked great for me under 2.5.50). The author of the patches worked at nVidia as an intern doing work on the Linux/FreeBSD drivers.

Re:Still doesn't make a lick of difference to me.. (2)

DCowern (182668) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906970)

You are my personal hero. :-) I'll take a look at these ASAP. Thanks for the info!

These are unified drivers across OSs now.... (3, Insightful)

caldaan (583572) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906830)

Look, I agree in most cases it makes sense for stuff to be open source and have nice open drivers so that if there are bugs they can be addressed in a more timely fashion.

NVIDIA's track record is already to make high quality drivers, now whenever they make a Windows driver the Linux driver will be right there with it because 95 percent of the code base is now shared.

This is a brilliant move to hurt ATI were there problem is .....drivers... one ATI's drivers suck, they don't update them across all cards at the same time, and they surely don't update them across all supported platforms at the same time. Guess what NVIDIA now can.

Now if NVIDIA were to release their code ATI wouldn't have to decompile it and scratch their heads trying to figure out exaclty how to compete they would have the freaking code.

NVIDIA has a unified driver for all of their cards, for all of the platforms now so that you know that all of their cards will always work with the latst drivers, the operating systems they support and so on. Good luck finding that for ATI, and I for one don't think that NVIDIA should hand them the code on a platter just because people want everything in Linux to be open source. Sometimes vendor support is just as important.

Re:These are unified drivers across OSs now.... (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906881)

I always see posts explaining that Nvidia can't open the source to their drivers because of some proprietary technology they're not at liberty to reveal. I think your explanation is probably more accurate. ATI is not near as good as Nvidia at writing drivers and Nvidia would naturally want to keep it that way.

The only way I see for ATI to strike back would be to open everything, including the tv-out specs.

"great news for Linux?" (0, Troll)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906835)

Sure, it's cool that they're getting drivers out the door, especially with nVIDIA's history of buggy drivers. But "almost as fast as Windows" isn't going to cut it. We Linux users are used to, and demand, superior software. Mozilla, Nautilus, XMMS, the GIMP, EMACS...these applications blow away anything available for Windows. 95-99% of Windows speed is "too little, too late."

OT: New Nvidia Drivers support dual independent (3, Informative)

JeffVolc (89846) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906837)

I have a Geforce2 Dual card which I have been trying to get seperate X screens on so I can play OpenGL games (i.e Terminus, UT2003, etc) on one screen and put XAWTV on the second to watch TV (i.e. Simpsons & Samurai Jack). Well, the new driver supports that...

Here are the highlights of the new driver:

Linux Display Driver
Linux Graphics Driver Download

Version: 1.0-4191
Operating System: Linux IA32
Release Date: December 11, 2002

Release Highlights:
* OpenGL 1.4 with CineFX architecture support
* Support for AGP 8x and nForce2 IGP
* Support for index overlays on Quadro4 to support legacy applications
* Support for separate X screens on nView enabled GPUs
* GLX 1.3 support

Yup, seperate X screens now with the dualhead cards. Hopefully I can put this to the test in the next few days.

BTW, Don't try this on Windows kids....

Jeff

Re:OT: New Nvidia Drivers support dual independent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906922)

know anyone who want's to buy a like new ati card?

Re:OT: New Nvidia Drivers support dual independent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906936)

How about XFree86 4.2.1 on Solaris x86 ? Have a Quadro4 video card and can't use both video ports with bundled NVIDIA XFree86 driver.

Great, now if they get their website to work (1)

Neologic (48268) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906850)

with Mozilla/Galeon/whatever....

Anyone else having difficulty with those drop down boxes at the top?

Duplicate story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906851)

This news was already reported here [slashdot.org] .

How about nforce2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4906874)

I just bought an Epox RDA+ with nforce chipset.
Nothing worked out of the box. I had to patch the ide driver to get ide running, had to patch alsa to get sound support... and OHCI USB is still not running since the bios didn't assign a interrupt at boot time. According to Alan Cox there is no usable ACPI documentation from nvidia.
The Onboard Network only works binary only, grr
another one :(. Next time i will get a via board again. The seem to support the linux comunity much better! At least dma works out of the box with a new kernel on a kt400 also does sound.

What happened to ATI's open source drivers? (3, Interesting)

martinde (137088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906879)

The drivers that the Weather Channel was paying for - did anything ever come of that? This announcment from Nvidia is definitely great, and I have no doubt it's the most they can do right now, but...

It would be much better to have open source drivers available. You'd get more people looking at things like security and performance issues, and then we could have support for architectures other than x86. (Which is probably something Nvidia themselves isn't going to bother with.)

Let them wade in... (4, Insightful)

Keck (7446) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906916)

Companies that are bottom line driven (accept it, you won't change capitalism over night) can't usually afford to jump in head first. This goes double for Nvidia, ATI, etc. Their driver source is like a blueprint of the important parts of their hardware.

I prefer open source, but to say there is no place in the world for closed source modules, applications, whatever, is too extreme IMHO.

For me the dividing line has always been commodity vs non commodity. Example: Of COURSE the OS, office software, web browsers, MUA's, MTA's, etc should be open, they are commodities. Specialized programs like AutoCAD, Drivers for up-to-the-minute video cards, and various other areas do NOT lend themselves to the open source model, and I don't believe they have to.

So right now the devil's choice is,

a) fast nvidia drivers for linux/bsd that get released with the windows drivers, which is 2 steps ahead of where we were in July, or

b) only a community supported driver, created by reverse engineering the chipset or windows drivers, released months (and years) after the windows versions.

It's not a perfect world, we have to change it in small steps. Your idealism is duly noted. Give nvidia credit for moving in the right direction, maybe at some point it *will* make sense to go GPL for them..

Good thing? (2)

pergamon (4359) | more than 11 years ago | (#4906979)

I'm not so sure this is a good thing. My multimonitor/multicard setup works fine under the latest Linux drivers, but doesn't work under the latest Win2K drivers. I have to keep using 30.82 under Win2K. I'd report the problem, but they seem to offer no support for the Detonator drivers at all. Any nvidia people out there?
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