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-   -   NVidia should STOP supporting Linux (http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=56621)

treed 09-15-05 08:23 PM

NVidia should STOP supporting Linux
 
I've been a Linux user for 13 years. I had always avoided nvidia graphics cards because of the binary only drivers. I finally broke down and decided to give the card a try. But my Linux computer uses a kernel with Xen compiled in, a virtualization technology that lets my one computer run a number of different instances of Linux (and soon, Windows once the next generation of Intel and AMD chips with Pacifica virtualization technology are available) which allows me to consolidate a bunch of different servers into one box and make much better use of the hardware. It's more like a mainframe with efficient resource sharing. And the nvidia binary drivers won't work under a Xen kernel. I found this out after a day of trying to get the nvidia drivers to compile a custom interface for my kernel. I talked to the Xen developers and they confirmed my worst fears: It's just not going to work. If these drivers were distributed with the rest of the kernel like everything else this would have been a piece of cake. I have just returned from the store where I returned my Nvidia card. I should have known better than to think binary kernel modules would work out. I wish nvidia would either just GPL the drivers (it's the hardware that makes them money anyway isn't it?) or stop supporting Linux altogether so people would stop wasting time trying to get this stuff working because unless you have anything other than the simplest of systems it's going to drive you nuts. I know I'll never give nvidia another try until the driver problem is properly fixed.

uOpt 09-15-05 09:33 PM

Re: NVidia should STOP supporting Linux
 
Easy solution: just switch to FreeBSD/amd64 :D

So what's the deal with SMP safety in the latest drivers? Is that indeed broken? Are the lock statements in the binary code or the source wrapper?

retsam 09-16-05 09:54 AM

Re: NVidia should STOP supporting Linux
 
Quote:

I wish nvidia would either just GPL the drivers (it's the hardware that makes them money anyway isn't it?)
they have already stated that they would not do this because it would compremise system securty.... i dont know if this is true or not but im just repeating what they said...

uOpt 09-16-05 11:35 AM

Re: NVidia should STOP supporting Linux
 
No, it would allow everybody to see what level of optimization is in the drivers. A large part of the work of making a fast gaming card is figuring out what work you can skip without a human possibly noting it. A large part of this is done in the driver, not the hardware. Opening the drivers would mean that first the competitors can see how you do it and what the result of your research was, and that there will be a huge zealot backslash about all the things that the driver skips and very suddenly people start noticing.

That is all fine.

However, while I did buy NVidia's reasons not to opensource the graphics cards drivers I also think the fact that NForce SATA and GbE are also not documented to driver writers clearly shows that there is a large part of company politics involved here.

While I have no problem buying a complicated graphics card with no opensource drivers when the competitors don't give hardware docs either, I really don't see why I should trust a company which does not document hardware that the competitiors do document. And since it is the same company the SATA/GbE issue now makes me seriously considering buying other graphics cards in the future, too. I already avoid the mainboards.

Also, lets not forget that while both ATI and NVidia document enough of their modern cards to do 2D, the ATI driver does support TV and dual-head and the NVidia driver does not. The absense of power management in the nv driver also hurts pretty badly, leading to high power consumption while idle in 2D mode.

I bought a pretty good number of $200-$500 cards lately, all NVidia. If NVidia wants my continued business they will have to show some sign of interest in my business, which would be one or more of
  • Provide documentation for SATA and GbE and other NF devices
  • Straighten up ACPI on NF boards
  • Document more of the 2D part of the cards to enable TV out, dual head and power management in the OpenSource "nv" 2D driver
  • Fix a bug or two in the Linux driver
  • Linux SLI
  • Make absolutely sure the drivers are SMP-safe. It's the age of dual-core, dammit

Any one or more of these would put some faith back into me that NVidia is still a cool company. If they want my part of their core business, even while keeping the 3D driver closed, that would come in handy.

wnd 09-20-05 04:39 PM

Re: NVidia should STOP supporting Linux
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by treed
I wish nvidia would either just GPL the drivers (it's the hardware that makes them money anyway isn't it?)

It's the hardware, but hardware won't do any good without proper drivers to access it. And like already discussed, writing decent drivers takes great deal of effort in algorithm research -- very valuable knowledge. Most companies don't like sharing their secrets just like that.

Apart from that, GPLing virtually any commercial product isn't exactly straightforward; most of the time there are bits and parts from your business partner or whatever 3rd-party who is unwilling to share their itellectual property under GPL. To put it brief: even if nVidia wanted to GPL their drivers, they probably couldn't do it without lots of trouble.

Quote:

or stop supporting Linux altogether so people would stop wasting time trying to get this stuff working
Excuse me, but that sounds slighty like "if I can't get it, nobody will" -attitude. I fully understand your point, but IMO giving people a chance to try the drivers won't really hurt anyone. It's not like anyone would force you to buy the hardware.

Quote:

I know I'll never give nvidia another try until the driver problem is properly fixed.
It's always good to know that consumers can make difference by voting with their money.

Just my two cents.

ciruz 10-07-05 09:37 AM

Re: NVidia should STOP supporting Linux
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by treed
I've been a Linux user for 13 years. I had always avoided nvidia graphics cards because of the binary only drivers. I finally broke down and decided to give the card a try. But my Linux computer uses a kernel with Xen compiled in, a virtualization technology that lets my one computer run a number of different instances of Linux (and soon, Windows once the next generation of Intel and AMD chips with Pacifica virtualization technology are available) which allows me to consolidate a bunch of different servers into one box and make much better use of the hardware. It's more like a mainframe with efficient resource sharing. And the nvidia binary drivers won't work under a Xen kernel. I found this out after a day of trying to get the nvidia drivers to compile a custom interface for my kernel. I talked to the Xen developers and they confirmed my worst fears: It's just not going to work. If these drivers were distributed with the rest of the kernel like everything else this would have been a piece of cake. I have just returned from the store where I returned my Nvidia card. I should have known better than to think binary kernel modules would work out. I wish nvidia would either just GPL the drivers (it's the hardware that makes them money anyway isn't it?) or stop supporting Linux altogether so people would stop wasting time trying to get this stuff working because unless you have anything other than the simplest of systems it's going to drive you nuts. I know I'll never give nvidia another try until the driver problem is properly fixed.

You look to me like someone who can't get the driver to work and yells at nvidia because of his own fault. For most people, the driver works, so stopping the linux drivers would be the worst thing NVidia could do.
Also, you didn't really investigate into that: The kernel module is open source. Only the X11 driver is closed source. I doubt that you even really looked at the driver! I even doubt that you tried to install it, otherwise you would have seen that the kernel module gets compiled!

Dragoran 10-09-05 05:34 AM

Re: NVidia should STOP supporting Linux
 
Quote:

The kernel module is open source. Only the X11 driver is closed source. I doubt that you even really looked at the driver! I even doubt that you tried to install it, otherwise you would have seen that the kernel module gets compiled!
only a part of the kernel module gets compiled. This parts then loads the binary part (nv-driver.o)

ciruz 10-10-05 06:29 AM

Re: NVidia should STOP supporting Linux
 
But it's still open enough to port it to NetBSD, which is way different from the Linux Kernel. So porting it to Xen should be even easier than to NetBSD.

brian33x51 10-10-05 12:18 PM

Re: NVidia should STOP supporting Linux
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Martin Cracauer
Easy solution: just switch to FreeBSD/amd64 :D

So what's the deal with SMP safety in the latest drivers? Is that indeed broken? Are the lock statements in the binary code or the source wrapper?

Umm..how is this gonig to fix Xen?
Or freebsd is able to run everything in the world?

Ugh I hate trolls...

wshadow 10-10-05 01:55 PM

Re: NVidia should STOP supporting Linux
 
just a quick question...Has there been any major games ever that have been released on disc with a linux version?

wnd 10-10-05 02:11 PM

Re: NVidia should STOP supporting Linux
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wshadow
Has there been any major games ever that have been released on disc with a linux version?

Does UT2004 count?

wshadow 10-10-05 03:47 PM

Re: NVidia should STOP supporting Linux
 
yes that would, any other ones?


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