Originally Posted by johnc
I don't doubt that the nvidia driver is causing the crash... it's just that it doesn't happen to everyone, so maybe there's a way to at least mitigate it in your particular setup. There's no way NVIDIA can support the many different permutations of Linux software and kernels, but if you're having problems across many stock distros and kernel versions, then it seems that it could be something hardware-specific.
Xorg 1.13 brings some changes that are nice for Optimus potential but I think without access to the DMA-BUF stuff in the kernel it might not be possible on Linux. My understanding is that the kernel devs weren't willing to relax the license bit for the dma-buf code, which is understandable. I suspect NVIDIA is going to have to tackle this one way or another for their Maxwell GPUs so we'll see. But at this point it seems that getting Optimus on Linux is not trivial and riddled with license land mines.
Fortunately, I know it's not hardware-specific because the windows driver doesn't crash. (That's an old windows driver, incidentally - last time I tried installing newer nvidia drivers, the nvidia installer crashed, so I gave up. AFAIK the newer nvidia windows driver might also crash.)
Although prime is the way forward - assuming nvidia ever make the mods required to their driver - I assume there must be a way that exposes access to raw framebuffers created by the blob that isn't affected by licencing - and should give better framerates, bumblebee currently works nicely for optimus. Except that the nvidia driver crashes.