×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

No Closed Video Drivers For Next Ubuntu Release

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the defaulting-to-freedom dept.

Upgrades 448

lisah writes "Ubuntu's next release, Feisty Fawn, is due out in April and, according to company CTO Matt Zimmerman, proprietary video drivers failed to make the cut for the default install. Zimmerman told Linux.com that although the software required for Composite support is not ready for prime-time and therefore will not be included in Feisty, Ubuntu hasn't given up entirely on including video drivers in future releases. '[T]he winds aren't right yet. We will continue to track development and will revisit the decision if things change significantly.' Ambiguous or not, the decision to exclude proprietary drivers for now should satisfy at least some members of the Ubuntu Community. In other Feisty Fawn news, the Board also decided to downgrade support for Power PC due to a lack of funding." Linux.com and Slashdot are both part of OSTG.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

448 comments

Before the flamewars start (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009634)

This is in no way an "ideological" decision but a pragmatic one.

The propietary 3d drivers would have been included because the original plan was to support a 3d desktop (like compiz and beryl) out of the box.
As it has now become obvious that these desktops are not yet stable enough to be the default, there isn't any need to include the propietary drivers.

more than just desktops, (5, Insightful)

Aeron65432 (805385) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009708)

Or maybe we complain just because we like our Tuxracer, UT, Doom3, and desktops to be ready to go when started.

Or, it could be because installing ATI drivers (for those of you out there who've done it know this) is an absolute pain in the ass on Ubuntu. When I installed NVidia drivers on my friends laptop, I groaned because it was so convenient.

People would complain if OpenOffice, Firefox, and some kind of movie/music didn't come packaged with Feisty Fawn, and for good reason! They are essentials to the system! I think it's really too bad they probably won't be included.

Re:more than just desktops, (5, Funny)

dinivin (444905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009750)

Or, it could be because installing ATI drivers (for those of you out there who've done it know this) is an absolute pain in the ass on Ubuntu.

What's so difficult about:

% sh ./ati-driver-installer-8.33.6-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/6.10
% dpkg -i *deb

Re:more than just desktops, (5, Funny)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009780)

"What's so difficult about:

% sh ./ati-driver-installer-8.33.6-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/6.10
% dpkg -i *deb"

How about:

# sh ./ati-driver-installer-8.33.6-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/6.10
# dpkg -i *deb

Re:more than just desktops, (0)

dinivin (444905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009806)


Yes, please excuse my typing errors. It's still early here :-)

Re:more than just desktops, (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18010142)

So now you know "what's so difficult" about it. Your average newbie would simply give up at that point and go back to Windows, having no idea what went wrong nor what to do about it. And when someone asked him he'd say "I tried that feisty fawn that was supposed to be so good, but it doesn't work. I had to type in the gibberish and then nothing happened. When I asked why I had to do that the answer was 'The winds are not right'. What the fuck? Seriously, WTF is that supposed to mean?"

Re:more than just desktops, (1, Offtopic)

torako (532270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010004)

What's wrong with csh?

Re:more than just desktops, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18010304)

sh is just a link to your systems default shell and every linux system has it.

Re:more than just desktops, (4, Interesting)

robinvanleeuwen (1009809) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010252)

"How about:
# sh ./ati-driver-installer-8.33.6-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/6.10
# dpkg -i *deb"

On my laptop a compaq r4000 with a bcm43xx pcmcia network controller and ubuntu
6.10, xorg 7.1, beryl, and a ati 200M XPRESS controller it was a nightmare to get
it all working together. Either my nic would fail, graphics would fail, x would fail
, all would fail at the same time. I tried ndiswrapper, my system hangs on that one.
(three different versions of ndiswrapper). All on amd64.

After a week or so trying different versions of all programs involved i came up with
the right settings. A custom kernel 2.6.18.1, ati driver 8.29.6, x windows 7.1.1,
If i try a newer kernel, the ati drivers won't compile, if i try an older kernelversion
my wlan isn't properly supported, so i'm stuck at 2.6.18.1, and i want xen to run on
my laptop, which uses 2.6.17.x i think so i'm out ofluck...

I think they did a good job postponing the option of a beryl/compiz/xgl/aixgl setup
in ubuntu. If you get it working it's quite cool and worth the trouble. IMHO this kind
of thing is always worth the trouble (i have a relatively high geek factor).

Re:more than just desktops, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18010358)

followed by:

* X locking up randomly
* not being able to switch to console and back
* hours of googling
* lots of fun reading stupid posts by idiots claiming 'it works' just because it did for _them_
* upgrading the kernel (by a patch-level) to find that breaks the driver
* more hours of googling
* endless tweaking of xorg.conf to get feature x working again
* X locking up constantly ...
* rolling back to the free driver

Yes, clearly those drivers are ready for mainstream use. ... if you want bleading edge, be prepared to bleed.

Re:more than just desktops, (5, Informative)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009840)

The difficulty comes later on when you need to install or upgrade something else and the shitty packages built by the idiots at ATI who know nothing about how Debian-based systems are put together break.

Do yourself a favour and stick with the official packages: http://packages.debian.org/src:fglrx-driver [debian.org]

Re:more than just desktops, (1)

dinivin (444905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009914)


I've been using the ATI packages for over two years now (first on Debian, now on Ubuntu) without any major problems (at least due to the installation procedure).

Of course if you overwrite a file installed from the package you'll have to reinstall the generated ATI files (using that oh-so-complex 'dpkg -i' command). This is no different than installing the nVidia drivers from the nVidia package.

Re:more than just desktops, (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009940)

Yes, my point is that *both* the official ATI and NVIDIA packages are shit. Users are much better off sticking with the official packages provided by their distributions. :)

Re:more than just desktops, (1)

Etyenne (4915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010292)

Or rather :

sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx

You could even do that from Synaptic or gnome-app-install, if you need a GUI for the tasks.

Is there a particular reason not to use the packaged binary drivers in the first place ?

Buy hardware (3, Insightful)

Kludge (13653) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009930)

Or maybe we complain just because we like our Tuxracer, UT, Doom3, and desktops to be ready to go when started.

My Tuxracer, bzflag, + AIGLX/compiz bling-bling work out of the box because I only purchase hardware that is supported out of the box: ATI 9200 or less, or Intel graphics.

If you don't support the companies releasing open source drivers, those companies will disappear. And please don't give me the boo-hoo about Intel graphics not being as fast as the latest-latest-latest ATI/NVIDIA card. They really are fast enough for 99% of gamers.

Re:more than just desktops, (2, Informative)

Etyenne (4915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010312)

Installing proprietary video driver is already a breeze in Ubuntu. You just need to install the nvidia-glx package (if you have a Nvidia GPU) or the xorg-driver-fglrx package (if you have an Ati card). You don't even need to use the command line to do it; ou could use Synaptic or gnome-app-install (The "Add/Remove..." applet in the Applications menu).

some kind of movie/music (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010390)

Like DeCss and Mp3 support not coming as default, and no wizards for installing firmware for wifi cards etc....
I thought Ubuntu was supposed to be easy to use, It's about time someone put up an illegal distribution of Linux with everything included (firmware etc...)

Re:Before the flamewars start (5, Interesting)

MrvFD (711808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009710)

The only thing that bothers me is that they add to the confusion by not dismissing the general "proprietary drivers == 3D desktop" point of view. In summary, Intel integrated graphics have 3D desktop with the free drivers, ATI Radeon up to quite new X850-series have 3D desktop with the free drivers, and by the time of feisty+1 we just might have 3D desktop working on the free Nouveau drivers for NVIDIA cards. Not the top speed of course in case of reverse-engineered ATI/NVIDIA drivers, but enough.

The situation is even more interesting considering that the proprietary ATI drivers (that are required for the X1000-series to have even 2D support) don't support Composite with AIGLX, the default in Ubuntu and X.org, while the reverse-engineered open source driver does. I think it is one aspect that has been affecting this decision - why include proprietary drivers if they don't even work.

It is to be admitted though that NVIDIA has such a large market share (probably 20-30% of all desktop and laptop PCs, compared to ca. 50% with Intel integrated graphics), that it partly makes the issue "3D needs proprietary drivers"-like, until Nouveau gets usable.

a question (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009968)

Excuse me, I'm not able to follow all the Linux news, so I've got a question here:

Is there any project similar to Nouveau underway for ATI? What's the ETA for Nouveau? I'm going to make another serious run at using Linux as a production system when UbuntuStudio comes out, and I'd like to plan for the platform starting next month.

Re:a question (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010110)

Actually, the open source ATi drivers are far more advanced than nVidia's. (Probably due to the lower quality of the proprietary ATi drivers). You can find what you are looking for with the open source "ati" or "radeon" drivers. The radeon driver is actually the only ATi driver that works with compiz/aiglx. The proprietary drivers will only work with XGL.

Re: "ati" == "radeon" (2, Informative)

MrvFD (711808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010244)

Actually, "radeon" and "ati" are the exactly same driver. The confusion has arised from the fact that "ati" driver has, recently fixed in GIT though, had problems auto-detecting some recent Radeons and thus failing to give the control to the real driver (radeon). This has people led to think that they would somehow be different drivers, or that the "ati" does not support their card at all but "radeon" does.

Re: "ati" == "radeon" (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010262)

Ah, I see. I've always wondered about that actually. =) They've behaved differently for me in the past, and you refer to them by different names, which confused me. Thanks for clearing that up for me. =)

Re:Before the flamewars start (1)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010034)

I can confirm that for the Intel drivers.

I have a notebook with an i915G video chipset, and making beryl work on my system was a straight forward process. Now I'm using it all the time, with very few (if any) stability issues, and even when anything goes wrong it falls back to the default window manager.

What I'd like to see is a more serious effort to show what hardware is fully supported under Linux. Of course you have some listings at the Ubuntu wiki, and other distros provide similar info... but I don't think it's enough. It would be nice to have an unified online database of products that work out-of-the box with linux, complete with user reviews and per-distro issues listed. And, of course, a hall of shame... listing all unsupported hardware, and hardware that only have proprietary drivers.

Re:Before the flamewars start (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010136)

Actually, in the original post [ubuntu.com] , Nouveau was explicitly mentioned. Both ATi and intel have open sourced drivers that are sufficient to run composite desktops. If Nouveau was ready for prime time in Feisty+1, then it's entirely possible that we wouldn't need the binary drivers for anything but bleeding edge video cards.

Re:Before the flamewars start (1)

Etyenne (4915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010342)

Nvidia have 30% market share in desktop and laptop ? Which market is that ? In my world, integrated GPU from Intel dominate the market by a wide margin (like you said), with Ati second. Nvidia is really only seen in white box built by gamers and some few high-end laptops.

Re:Before the flamewars start (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009822)

The big question is, do you want working 3d applications or do you want razor stability? So what if the propietary drivers crash more often; if they are the only choice for programmable shaders and acceptable speed, I know what I would choose.

In the other end of the spectrum, I can make a dummy driver really fast. Guaranteed to be bug free, as long as you don't expect any, you know, output or anything.

Cool! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18010124)

So that means that it will be EVEN CRAPPIER than 6.10! 6.10 already offers the glorious FIXED 60hz refresh rate and MAXIMUM 1024x768 desktop on PowerPC Macs.

Why the fuck would ANY Mac user install Linux now? Jesus it's pathetic.

Re:Before the flamewars start (0, Flamebait)

Oblong_Cheese (1002842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010160)

Why the fuck has discussion continued past this point? This is really the only thing you need to read, aside from the other interesting post stating that, just like all previous Ubuntu realeases, the proprietary drivers will still be available in the repositories if a user wants them. As many have already said...

NOTHING HAS CHANGED SINCE PREVIOUS RELEASES.

In my opinion, the installation procedure should prompt the user and ask them if they prefer to use open alternatives or closed binaries for any particular driver that has either option, with an accompanying explanation for those new to the concept, and some pros and cons listed for both.

Is it really that hard? Then everyone can shut up and stop whinging, because there's a CHOICE, and neither option (closed or open) is "forced" onto the end user, which they then have to change post-installation.

misleading title (5, Informative)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009646)

the driver will not be enabled by default, but they will be still present in ubuntu

Re:misleading title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009660)

Errr... wrong.

The driver will not be there by default, but it will still be possible to download it separately. So it will not "be still present in ubuntu" as it will not be part of the default installation.

...and can be easily enabled when... (5, Informative)

aeneas (139456) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009662)

.. trying to turn on the 3D desktop.

--snip--
    * However, new infrastructure will be implemented which allows the user to
          trivially enable both enhanced desktop effects and the necessary driver
          support.
--snip--

Re:misleading title (2, Interesting)

ardor (673957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009694)

The question is: will they be present in the repositories?

Re:misleading title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009760)

The answer is: Yes, like they always have been.

Re:misleading title (2, Informative)

strider44 (650833) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009826)

They're in the repositories now, why would they remove them?

Re:misleading title (1)

rjshields (719665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010022)

A better question would be - since nothing has changed, what is the point of the article?

Re:misleading title (1)

Zebedeu (739988) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010302)

I think the point of the article is that the plan was to include these drivers by default, to properly support the 3D desktop effects.
What changed was that the software for these effects was deemed not mature enough, and the plan was reverted to leaving everything as it was before, except there will be a mechanism to make it easy for the user to try out the new stuff.

Re:misleading title AND misleading summary (2, Informative)

Mjlner (609829) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009798)

Reading the title + summary I got the impression that Feisty would not offer any way of installing these drivers and that I would have to download the drivers for my Nvidia card separately. Fortunately, this is not the case, which you'll see in TFA. I say "fortunately" because many of us do not mind having proprietary software on our machines (at least not as much as RMS) and prefer to have all the goodies accelerated OpenGL et al. (Debian is still around for RMS & friends.) I can handle the installation of proprietary drivers, but some of my less proficient Ubuntu-using friends can not and such a decision would likely put them off using Ubuntu.

Lesson learned (again): Don't rely on /. for the full story - RTFA!

nope, you can't read this (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009658)

01110100011010000110100101110011001000000110110101 10010101110011011100110110000101100111011001010010 00000110100101110011001000000110000100100000011000 10011010010110111001100001011100100111100100100000 01100010011011000110111101100010001000000111010001 10100001100001011101000010000001111001011011110111 01010010000001110011011010000110111101110101011011 00011001000010000001101101011011110110010000100000 01110100011011110010000000101011001101010010000001 11011101101001011101000110100001101111011101010111 01000010000001100001011100110110101101101001011011 10011001110010000001110001011101010110010101110011 0111010001101001011011110110111001110011

Re:nope, you can't read this (4, Informative)

moranar (632206) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009696)

The binary says [nickciske.com] :

this message is a binary blob that you should mod to +5 without asking questions

So it is. (4, Funny)

aug24 (38229) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010370)

I don't know which is sadder... that he posted it, that you worked it out or that I trust /.ers so little that I had to do it too to check you weren't winding me up.

Justin.

Re:nope, you can't read this (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009900)

01001001001000000111011101101111011101010110110001 10010000100000011011010110111101100100001000000111 10010110111101110101001011000010000001100010011101 01011101000010000001110111011100100110111101110100 01100101001000000111010001101000011010010111001100 10000001100011011011110110110101101101011001010110 11100111010000100000011010010110111001110011011101 00011001010110000101100100

Only on Slashdot... (4, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010226)

can a string of 0's and 1's get modded as funny...every day...it gets a little closer to the day I'm sitting in a rocking chair on my front porch yelling at kids to get off my lawn....

Community needs to get over this issue. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009670)

Graphics drivers are highly compex and extremely difficult to write and maintain and stay up to date, graphics advances happen tremendously quickly. The community simply cannot keep pace with the functionality and quality required. The test effort alone is huge and the available test cases are actually trivial compared to real world useage. The available drivers are ABI compatible and therefore simple drop-in replacements. Face it people available public implementations don't even have glslang compilers and that's not exactly brand new.

It's not an ideal world and distros need to treat these proprietary drivers as serious first class citizens.

Re:Community needs to get over this issue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009772)

If you had taken the trouble to read some of the related articles here or on the Ubuntu wiki, you would have seen that the main reason why some of the open driver implementations are behind the proprietary ones is that the manufacturers refuse to release their specs and even threaten the developers who attempt to reverse-engineer the devices.

The drivers are highly complex and extremely difficult to write and maintain because it is hard (almost impossible) to get the specifications of the corresponding devices. If the specs were open, maintaining the drivers would be much easier.

Re:Community needs to get over this issue. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009982)

Nope, write a driver, work on graphics hardware then get back to me on how easy it is. Your complaint is that the mfgrs don't help, well they're busy and they produce drivers for the OSs. The software issue would not be solved by HW specs and that info is extremely proprietary and there are legal ramifications giving it out. You're talking detailed microarchitecture and native instruction sets for microcode. It'd be a start, but it would not solve the problem. You can get that by snooping traffic between drivers and card on any platform, yup that's reverse engineering and yup it is legal despite any corporate protests to the contrary. Free drivers are way behind for other reasons, nothing is stopping anyone writing a glslang compiler, heck there's a free parser GIVEN AWAY by 3DLabs, don't gripe about these details when you don't even have a functional shader compiler available anywhere that will even compile to x86.

You're an ant at the foot of a pyramid claiming that Pharo is mean for not giving you the keys to his work. Go build your own pyramid, in the mean time lay off the politics so we can at least enjoy the only working pyramid we have.

Re:Community needs to get over this issue. (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010094)

The drivers are highly complex and extremely difficult to write and maintain because it is hard (almost impossible) to get the specifications of the corresponding devices. If the specs were open, maintaining the drivers would be much easier.
Much easer is realative. Kudos to the guys who manage to do it, and yah-boo-sucks to the manufacturers, I say.

Re:Community needs to get over this issue. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010114)

If you had taken the trouble to read some of the related articles here...
Obligatory:

You must be new here...

Sorry, but ATI binary drivers just suck too much. (5, Interesting)

MrvFD (711808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009794)

I'd understand the "give us our whatever-blobs"-attitude better if the "half" of the proprietary drivers people want wouldn't suck so bad. On my 64-bit Ubuntu, the proprietary ATI fglrx drivers:
- Hang the whole machine every time I logout (apparently because I'm using DVI output... gosh!), so I exit that installation of Ubuntu (which is not my primary, just testing the fglrx drivers etc. there) with alt-sysrq-e/i/s/u/b because it's safer.
- Give only green stripes and a complete hang if using _both_ DVI and VGA outputs at the same time (oh my god, we never though that could happen!).
- Do not give any 3D support if I happen not to disable Composite/AIGLX in Xorg.conf.

...while the reverse-engineered drivers give my Radeon X800 card 3D acceleration, DVI output, DVI+VGA output, accelerated Beryl 3D desktop via AIGLX etc. just finely. So I just don't belive in the FUD (from eg. NVIDIA) that they are so complex and extremely difficult to write, that the worldwide OSS community couldn't do that - those handful of reverse-engineering people are already doing better drivers than ATI with all the in-house knowledge!

I do symphatize with the people who just want "stuff to work", and know that NVIDIA proprietary drivers happen to be better quality at this time, but all my experiences with binary blobs has been so bad that I will take reverse-engineered drivers anytime, even for NVIDIA.

For those who haven't read it yet, David Airlied's LCA 2007 talk is a really good and entertaining piece: http://www.skynet.ie/~airlied/talks/lca07/nouveau. odp [skynet.ie] (yes, server's mime-type is probably wrong, you have to save it first)

Re:Sorry, but ATI binary drivers just suck too muc (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010222)

For those who haven't read it yet, David Airlied's LCA 2007 talk is a really good and entertaining piece: http://www.skynet.ie/~airlied/talks/lca07/nouveau [skynet.ie] . odp (yes, server's mime-type is probably wrong, you have to save it first)

If you don't have Open Office, you can convert it here

http://media-convert.com/convert/index.php [media-convert.com]

this link might work

http://www.media-convert.com/convert/?xid=jzkoos [media-convert.com]

Re:Sorry, but ATI binary drivers just suck too muc (1)

Slashamatic (553801) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010228)

Many years ago, I worked for a manufacturer and wrote a graphics driver. This was a long time ago and on ancient hardware, so I won't name names. If I write a disk driver, the thing is fairly basic and the hardware exposes basic functionality, which most people can get right. A graphics processor, particularly with 3D shading support is *exceptionally* complex. To get it running properly, you not only have to know how it works but what doesn' and usually for several different variation of a chip mask. We didn't make the graphics chip but were able to get some documentation on the known issues when signing our corporate life away in NDAs.

The end result is a composite of software, microcode and hardware that sort-of works. Trying to do the same with open source is exceptionally difficult because it means you have to know the problems so that you can workaround them. Manufacturers really don't like people (especially their competitors) finding out about those issues, hence the NDA.

How "up to date" do they need to be for a desktop? (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009986)

I am sure there are things going on with the latest "gaming" cards that open source would have trouble keeping up with but how much "functionality" and "quality" is needed for the desktop? My laptop has an Intel chipset in it and it does an admirable job the the Beryl effects I have set up on my Ubuntu Edgy installtion. The drivers for it are open source (supported heavily by Intel).

Re:How "up to date" do they need to be for a deskt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18010044)

That depends on what you run, clearly you're not interested in even moderately advanced 3D some are and they need drivers. Don't hold Linux back because of your use case.

This is the Aqua and Aero "equivalent" ? (3, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009756)

Apparently what is probably the premier desktop-oriented Linux distro doesn't think it's stable enough to include, but it's just as good - nay, better - than Aqua and Aero ?

Sounds like just another day in Linux-land to me :).

(Aside: I've used Beryl, etc on Ubuntu and it definitely does some cool stuff. To try and suggest it's anything close to the equivalent of OS X's and Vista's offerings, however, ignores some pretty hefty usability issues with regards to getting - and keeping - it working.)

Re:This is the Aqua and Aero "equivalent" ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009950)

The problem with Beryl is that the code being written by the Beryl community is really quite bad. It resembles code I see regularly from university students who are doing their first real graphics work. To make matters worse, instead of bug fixing, optimizing and improving the basic plugins, they have the attitude that as soon as a plugin works, they can move on to work on a new plugin and almost forget about the somewhat working old plugin... Until they get past that attitude and start working on fixing and optimizing the core, Beryl will never be more than a toy for users who need the pretty graphics and are willing to give up system speed and stability to get it.

In my opinion, Apple and Microsoft have a big advantage in this area as they have significant leverage over their developers. If the desktop teams at Apple or Microsoft pushed out some of the stuff being pushed out by the Beryl community, they'd either be fired or forced to optimize and bug fix it before being allowed to move on to the next thing.

I'm really glad that Ubuntu has ditched the idea of including this stuff by default. A lot of people that are new to Linux start out with Ubuntu, and they would instantly be under the impression that while Linux looks nice and has some cool effects, it's very slow and unstable.

Re:This is the Aqua and Aero "equivalent" ? (3, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010014)

Apparently what is probably the premier desktop-oriented Linux distro doesn't think it's stable enough to include, but it's just as good - nay, better - than Aqua and Aero ?

Sounds like just another day in Linux-land to me :).

You are comparing them on one aspect, in which admittably the Linux offerings fall short - stability. But the people who say that Compiz/Beryl are better aren't talking about that, they are referring to other aspects - say, that they require less in the way of hardware (especially vs. Vista), or that they allow a lot more user customization.

So, you are all right.

apples and oranges (1)

idlake (850372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010030)

To try and suggest it's anything close to the equivalent of OS X's and Vista's offerings, however, ignores some pretty hefty usability issues with regards to getting - and keeping - it working.)

Beryl and and Compiz go far beyond the released versions of either OS X or Vista, both in functionality and in architecture. Current OS X and Vista-like functionality have been in X11 desktops since before they were included in Apple's and Microsoft's commercial releases.

There are no installation issues with Beryl and Compiz: you install them using the package manager, like everything else. It's just that Beryl is not part of any release yet, and your graphics card many not be supported either.

In fact, you may never be able to run Beryl or Compiz reliably on your hardware because your hardware may never be fully supported. That has nothing to do with the maturity or usability of Beryl or Compiz. Heck, there are some "pretty hefty usability issues" getting OS X to work on my PC hardware--does that mean that OS X isn't mature yet?

Re:apples and oranges (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010308)

Beryl and and Compiz go far beyond the released versions of either OS X or Vista, both in functionality and in architecture.

Really ? How ?

Current OS X and Vista-like functionality have been in X11 desktops since before they were included in Apple's and Microsoft's commercial releases.

Right. Which is why the OSS community is making such a big deal of them *now* - because the functionality has been around for ages ? Maybe that would also explain why, until quite recently, those fancy features were nowhere to be seen ?

(I can just see that you're going to pull out some example from SGI or similar, thus providing another excellent example of "just another day in Linux land".)

There are no installation issues with Beryl and Compiz: you install them using the package manager, like everything else. It's just that Beryl is not part of any release yet, and your graphics card many not be supported either.

Damn, talk about shooting yourself in the foot. I think you took your whole leg off !

"There aren't any installation issues with Berly and Compiz. Except for the massive problems involving hardware support and the actual installation process (ranging from the good old "compile the latest source from CVS following this poorly written guide in an email posting" all the way to the technological marvel of hacked-together shell scripts to try and automate the same process)."

In fact, you may never be able to run Beryl or Compiz reliably on your hardware because your hardware may never be fully supported.

Oh, I can. At least some days. Then the next update breaks something (or maybe it fixes something the last update broke).

That's the problem - it's a lottery, not functionality.

That has nothing to do with the maturity or usability of Beryl or Compiz.

Yes, yes it does. It has _everything_ to do with it.

Heck, there are some "pretty hefty usability issues" getting OS X to work on my PC hardware--does that mean that OS X isn't mature yet?

"I don't want to buy a Mac" isn't a usability issue.

(Unless you wrote the whole post tongue-in-cheek - I couldn't decide so I flipped a coin before replying.)

Re:This is the Aqua and Aero "equivalent" ? (4, Informative)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010202)

Apparently what is probably the premier desktop-oriented Linux distro doesn't think it's stable enough to include, but it's just as good - nay, better - than Aqua and Aero ?

Look who's talking: OS X 10.4 has most OpenGL acceleration disabled by default because Apple doesn't consider it release-ready; to enable them, you have to dig around with low-level settings. The only hardware-accelerated desktop operations in 10.4 appear to be texture operations. And Vista apparently has serious problems with 3D graphics drivers not quite doing what they are supposed to (see FPS story earlier).

Don't kid yourself: none of this stuff is new and neither Apple nor Microsoft pioneered it. The reason they are all coming to market with this functionality in mainstream systems at around the same time now is because hardware is finally cheap enough and fast enough to do so. If Linux were a little later to market (I don't think it actually is), it has to do with getting drivers out of recalcitrant vendors, not with Linux "following" Apple or Microsoft.

Year 2038 problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009784)

I tried to look at http://slashdot.org/index.pl?issue=20380119 [slashdot.org] and future dates and it shows up a completely blank page! But dates are tried before it do show up things! Isn't that interesting? I feel really special now! :)

Incorrect interpretation of the decision (2, Interesting)

jdub! (24149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009810)

As with every previous release of Ubuntu, proprietary drivers will be provided and installed by default, but they won't be used by default unless the free drivers do not function at all on the hardware present (a choice that has nothing to do with 3D acceleration). This decision just means that the plans to use proprietary display drivers by default have been nixed, but only for feisty.

Everyone seems to make a big deal about the display drivers, but Ubuntu has shipped proprietary wifi drivers since warty, and they are used by default on vastly more hardware than the display drivers.

On the whining about blobs.. (1)

STDOUBT (913577) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009832)

I don't like 'em

I use as few as possible (wifi and 3d accel is all). To the folks of ubuntu who are sad about their distro embracing the 3v1l, I'd like to point out that GNU/Linux is an open system. Go ahead and limit yourself. Please don't presume to limit others. However, IMO, ubuntu did break an implicit promise to its users. Gladly, I've always run Debian.

If anyone is interested in a distro that actively excludes proprietary stuff *for real*, have a look at http://www.gnewsense.org/ [gnewsense.org] . It's sponsored by the FSF. I haven't tried it, mind you, as it's (drumroll please)....based on ubuntu.

I sincerely wish for open spec 3d hardware and wifi drivers. I just don't have time to wait around for them (nor the ability to "support" their development).

No more PPC support? (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009838)

Well, that sux.

So help out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009898)

Install Feisty and the development version of the next code and let them know you are available to test the code works on your machine.

Re:No more PPC support? (1)

sid77 (984944) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010026)

[evil overlord]
BWAWAWAWAWAAWAWAWAA more slackintosh minions!
world domination is a step closer now *g*
[/evil overlord]
it's sad that one of the prominent linux distro is cutting down PPC support, even now that PS3 is out.
hope to see them back on the development/testing stuff.

These names kill me..... (3, Funny)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009842)

for the next few releases I suggest nibbling nymphs, fighting phallus, and nasty necrophiliac.

Re:These names kill me..... (1)

heroofhyr (777687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010016)

AFAIK, they have to be the name of an animal and sound like a character from some sort of terrible children's tv programme. Pernicious Penguin, Whistling Wallaby, Heretical Hermit Crab, Frugal Ferret, Balanced Budgie, and so on. Although I'd like to see a future 3d desktop release called Toucan Playatthatgame.

"Fighting Phallus" won't work... (1)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010196)

they don't begin with the same letter, it would have to be "Pickled Phallus", "Periwinkle Phallus", or perhaps, "Pee-wee Phallus".

On the other hand, if you are that enamored with the letter "F", you could have "Fluffy Fur-burg{CENSORED}"

Confused ... (4, Interesting)

foobsr (693224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009856)

Quote: "Starting with Ubuntu's 7.04 release in April, Ubuntu users will gain access to Linspire's newly opened CNR (Click and Run) e-commerce and software delivery system."
referenced here: http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/08/ 1830240 [slashdot.org] : "Canonical and Linspire Make a Deal ... Ubuntu users will get access to proprietary software (DVD players, media codecs) via Linspire's ..."

What will a potential user make out of this while asking himself whether things will work for him?

CC.

Well, so much for Ubuntu (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009860)

When ubuntu started, I had high hopes for it as a project. Now I see it's become just like Debian, and Mandrake/riva/whatever, and Redhat/Fedora, and EVERY OTHER LINUX DISTRO. It's become mired down in it's own politics rather than working on making better releases. So, what's a good distro to move to now?

Why? (4, Insightful)

jopet (538074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009870)

What is so bad about including the proprietary drivers. For many users, they are the only way to make proper use of their hardware and e.g. run 3D design programs or something like X-Plane under Linux.

Why make it harder for these users?

What is so bad about giving me the proprietary but working NVidia driver for my NVidia hardware right from the start instead of forcing me to read countless HOWTOs and jump through holes first?

Re:Why? (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009918)

Proprietary drivers are against the spirit of the community.

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

jopet (538074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010156)

Sorry, but that community must obviously be 1) nuts and 2) not representative of Linux users if it thinks that way.

I am really sick and tired to see a couple of fundamentalist nuts hinder the success of Linux through nonsense like this. Until you can actually use hardware the way you do with other OS, Linux on the desktop for everyone will remain fiction.
It is already sad enough to see how much hardware there is were no driver at all (proprietary or not) is available -- to limit Linux even more by not supporting companies to easily include and distribute proprietary drivers is just insane.

I and many others have been using Linux (and before, *NIX) for many many years and I hate to see some fundamentalists declare themselves "the community" and speak for me and many others.

Of course, they are free to finally drive Linux into total irrelevancy with this, but I hate to see it happen.

Re:Why? (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010348)

Actually, it's sad that you feel representative enough of the community to feel you can take away the freedom of others for the sake of the 'success' of GNU/Linux on the desktop. Millions of people are already using the GNU/Linux system, but almost none of those users have a machine that runs only free software because many people are not willing to fight for their freedom.

I agree a lack of drivers is not a good thing, but we should not give up. Buy hardware from manufacturers that support free drivers and refuse to accept proprietary software compromises from those who do not value your freedom.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18009966)

And what happens when the drivers don't work quite right but instead hang the entire kernel on you while your doing some menial task.

Who's fault is it? Who do you go to get help? I have had the NVidia driver die on me but it killed off the system. when you have a closed blob you can't figure out which part is broken. is it the kernel, or is it a driver?

That is what is wrong with them. Even on windows. how do you know which part really breaks? is it the crappy third party drivers, or is it MSFT's interface? Both sides blame each other if you ask them. All you can do is throw out the card or wait for an update. At least with linux if you have the mind to you can do the work yourself.

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010152)

That is what is wrong with them. Even on windows. how do you know which part really breaks? is it the crappy third party drivers, or is it MSFT's interface? Both sides blame each other if you ask them. All you can do is throw out the card or wait for an update. At least with linux if you have the mind to you can do the work yourself.

Or you can get Windbg, find the non Microsoft module in the stacktrace and either upgrade or uninstall it.

Interestingly, on Win XP, the machine uploads a dump to Online Crash Analysis which tries to find the faulty driver. I've seen this on a laptop with an Intel graphics chip - the machine would freeze for a few seconds, then Windows switched back to the default VGA driver at 640*480*16 colors and said that the device driver had got stuck in a loop and prompted me to save my work while it rebooted. After the reboot, OCA run and told me to install a new version of the graphics driver from the Intel site. Very, very impressive.

You can see that the GDI has some kind of watchdog to detect infinite loops in graphics drivers. It also knows how to reinitialize itself from 1024*768*64K colors to 640*480*16, and run in that crippled mode until the user has saved his documents. And OCA can presumably spot patterns in stacktraces submitted by the developers who found the original bug.

So it's possible to have systems based on untrusted kernel mode code which can heal themselves without needing any human input by talking to a server, with a bit of organisation.

Re:Why? (1)

jopet (538074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010198)

This is a bit of a contrived argument. First of all, billions of users use mixes of closed software that depend on each other without much of a problem -- in fact with much *less* of a problem than Linux users who have to fight with half- or notatall working or not-existing drivers. Second, it is not that hard to isolate components in a well designed system and to make it easy to figure out which component was the one that failed.
However, that would mean that there is an explicit way how closed drivers should get included and seperated from the rest of the kernel. That would mean that this is something that is planned and agreed to to work instead the topic of silly eternal relgious fundamentalist quarrels.

If Linux is to become successful as an alternative OS for the desktop that is usable by nearly everyone instead of computer geeks with too much time, there will have to be ways how to make all those hardware components work quickly and effortlessly and with proprietary drivers.

I am an enthusiast myself and I use Linux (for years now) in a way where these issues are not really that relevant. But I simply cannot at the moment use it for my children or many of my friends or recommend it for people who want to do what they usually do under e.g. Windows. Which means, among other things, simply use the driver of the company that sold me my graphics card.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18010264)

I agree with you as far as general software goes, but this is nVidia we're talking about here. They have closed, proprietary hardware in my system already. I am currently trusting them not to glitch my display, short out my AGP bus or burn my fucking house down. On that scale I trusting them not to crashing my OS makes very little difference.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009996)

You know you have just opened the floodgates of hell^H^H trollcountry and Flamonia all over you, don't you?

Re:Why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18010006)

Do you want the technical reason, or the legal reason?

From a technical point of view, the proprietary drivers may just not work. What happens if the driver hangs the kernel, or (worse) causes memory corruption or other malfunctions? What if it doesn't actually do anyway? How could the Ubuntu developers fix anything if they can't get at the code. Microsoft has pretty much the same problems with drivers, by the way.

From a legal point of view, the proprietary graphics drivers are not legally redistributable. Ubuntu can not simply package them up, include them and run them by default without being extremely careful not to violate the EULA on the drivers, or the license on the Linux kernel itself.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010322)

What is so bad about including the proprietary drivers.

It breeds complacency. My home desktop has an old GeForce MX 400 card which still works perfectly well. It renders my 1600x1200 desktop cleanly and quickly, and basically does what I want it to. I don't have a strong need for OpenGL but do like to play games occasionally (eg Quake or Second Life) and although it's not fast, it worked perfectly.

Note I said "worked". Nvidia has officially deprecated my card, so no new drivers will ever support it. New kernel with an incompatible ABI? I can't upgrade to it. Security vulnerability? I can't get the fix. Basically, I can either keep using my system in its current state forever, or buy a new card purely for the driver upgrade.

Yes, I know my card is old and slow by today's standards. But if it works for me and I'm happy with it, why should I have to replace it? Given that my motherboard has an old Via chipset that Nvidia only supports in AGP 2x mode and that new cards are all but impossible to get working (I've tried), I'm looking at a complete system upgrade just to get a new driver.

With a Free driver, in the worst case situation I could at least attempt to fix new problems on my own as they arise. With closed drivers, I have no control whatsoever. I like Free software for philosophical reasons, but it also has huge practical advantages. This is one of them.

Sorry but.. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18009902)

I don't understand why we can't use proprietary drivers if they exist. I mean support from the hardware manufacturers are what Linux lacks and needs and what many wants, at least bitch about. Let proprietary and open source live together and take advantage of each others existence since proprietary drivers means that developers have one thing less to do and might use their time onanother project.

All of the above IMHO of course.

Is this different from Edgy? (1)

pyite69 (463042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010070)

I remember it was fairly easy to add the restricted drivers. If this is no longer available, there will be a lot of people not upgrading.

Confused (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010076)

The scoop is somewhat confusing. Proprietary video drivers will not be included, because software for the 3D desktop isn't quite ready yet? I can see how software not being stable is a reason for not including it in the distribution. If it was the drivers that weren't ready yet, I could see how one would also not include the 3D desktop software, which, after all, depends on the drivers. However, video card drivers do not depend on 3D desktop software, and there is plenty of software that can make use of the proprietary drivers, without 3D desktop software being there. In other words, if 3D desktop software not being ready is the reason for not including proprietary video drivers, it's a bad reason.

PowerPC (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010096)

They say that they're downgrading PowerPC support now, and that problems with the PowerPC port will not delay releases, but this isn't actually new. Dapper had some issues with at least certain PowerPC notebooks, and these did not delay the Dapper release, even though they were known well in advance. I don't know whether to be sad that PowerPC officially isn't supported anymore, or happy that it has been officially acknowledged that this is the case.

Intel may yet do the right thing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18010098)

Powerful NVidious cards aren't required to accelerate a desktop, hopefully Intel will launch a stand-alone card with OSS drivers.

aic7xxx Driver? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18010112)

Forget about binary drivers...what about getting the aic7xxx open source driver working?

Re:aic7xxx Driver? (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 7 years ago | (#18010204)

That would no doubt be a problem with your distro. Though I have never had any issues with the aic7xxx driver. And it has always worked for me as far back as, well way back.

Email those companies! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18010238)

For those of you who care about having free software / open source drivers, email ATI or NVIDIA. Maybe if enough of us can email them telling them that having open source drivers (or at least hardware specs to enable their development) would be a deciding factor in our purchase. I'm hoping that with the somewhat recent acquisition of ATI by AMD that maybe we'll get lucky. If not, those of us who care about such things, will have to go for the Intel driver.

Maybe if the free software, or open source arguments don't work, an economic incentive will.

http://support.ati.com/ics/survey/survey.asp?deptI D=894&surveyID=508&type=web [ati.com] - ATI's feedback page.
http://www.nvidia.com/object/feedback_temp.html [nvidia.com] - NVIDIA's feedback page, although unfortunately still under construction.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...