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Old 07-02-03, 12:23 PM   #1
connyosis
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Join Date: May 2003
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Default a nvnet driver question...

Just bought a motherboard with the nforce2 chipset, and I must say I love it. It works great. Now. The thing is that since neither nVidias graphics driver or network driver is opensourced, and therefore not included in the kernel it took me quite some time until I got the thing working.
I installed the motherboard and booted up, only to realize there was no sound, network or DMA support. Not very weird since I hadn't compiled a new kernel for it, so I did.

Issue 1: I couldnt find where to turn on DMA support. Was there no nForce2 support in Linux? Yes it was, but it wasnt named nforce2 support in the kernel config, but AMD Viper support. Took me a helluva time to realize thar I can tell you. :-) I guess this might be the kernel developers fault for not being clear enough for us clueless, but what do I know...

Issue 2: Since there was no support in the kernel for the nForce2 soundcard I just enabed sound, so I later could compile the sound module. Well hell no! Trying to compile the module after rebooting with the new kernel gave me unresolved symbols. Something about AC97 blah blah...
Apparently I had to not only enable sound support, but also enable support for a soundcard I'm not using! I enabled support for the ensoniq 1370 card, recompiled and rebooted, and now the compilation worked fine. Why oh why nVidia do I have to enable support for hardware I'm not going to use, just so I can use your drivers?

Issue 3: Of course, there was no network support either in the kernel for the nForce2 NIC, so I enabled network, and PCI network support in the kernel. Well of course, I didnt have the nvnet driver downloaded so I figured that I'd just download it...doh! Since I didnt have any networking going, I couldnt download any drivers now could I? Yes, this is easliy solved by letting a friend download it for me and burn a cd, but it feels really unnecessary to go through this just to get something as basic as a friggin motherboard working.

So...why arent these drivers open source? I mean we dont buy the nvnet or graphics driver from nVidia, it's free. nVidia wont loose any income on opensourcing these drivers. They will most likely be developed faster if they are GPLd and integrated into the kernel, not to mention the reduced hassle with gettting it all to work.
Dont get me wrong, I love nVidia. Their graphics drivers kickss ass, and so far both sound and networking is working like a charm, but I would really really love to see these drivers open sourced. There is nothing to loose in that, only things to gain...
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