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Old 07-08-08, 03:22 AM   #1
NeHe
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Unhappy Big Problems Down The Road?

I've posted to this thread a few times in the past. Almost a year ago now that I think about it. At the time I had noticed that it had been almost 2 years since this thread was started and still there were no Nvidia drivers for FreeBSD/AMD64. Like many of you, this completely blew me away. I never once thought there wouldn't be AMD64 support. I was so sure my card would just work, that I wiped my disk and installed BSD AMD64 without doing the research before hand.

A few days of using AMD64 BSD and I was in love, but 3D is important to me... I had to go back to i386

Recently I've been playing with ZFS on FreeBSD. I haven't had any issues, and know that in the future all my systems will use ZFS.

So here's is my latest thought.

What happens when ZFS shows up as an option in the BSD installer? Right now my only option is to waste half my ram, and run the very memory hungry ZFS in 2 gigs (i386)...

Why?

Because I'd rather not give up compiz, accelerated 3d, and all the other nice things that I get from the current Nvidia driver.

I see 21 pages of posts... Is there not someone we can contact to get this done? Google summer of code? Collect a Huge bounty? Get someone from Nvidia and someone from the BSD team talking and working towards a solution.

I see that most of you feel you have found a solution... ditch Nvidia! But that is not something I want to do. I have been an Nvidia fan for a VERY VERY VERY long time... and although I don't mind ATI... I'd still prefer to see an Nvidia AMD64 driver. I'm Canadian eh, so for me to pick Nvidia over ATI is a big deal

We need to get this issue resolved.

Someone in this forum must have access to higher ups. Even a point in the right direction would be a start!
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Old 07-08-08, 06:19 AM   #2
adamk75
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Default Re: Big Problems Down The Road?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeHe View Post
I've posted to this thread a few times in the past. Almost a year ago now that I think about it. At the time I had noticed that it had been almost 2 years since this thread was started and still there were no Nvidia drivers for FreeBSD/AMD64. Like many of you, this completely blew me away. I never once thought there wouldn't be AMD64 support. I was so sure my card would just work, that I wiped my disk and installed BSD AMD64 without doing the research before hand.

A few days of using AMD64 BSD and I was in love, but 3D is important to me... I had to go back to i386

Recently I've been playing with ZFS on FreeBSD. I haven't had any issues, and know that in the future all my systems will use ZFS.

So here's is my latest thought.

What happens when ZFS shows up as an option in the BSD installer? Right now my only option is to waste half my ram, and run the very memory hungry ZFS in 2 gigs (i386)...

Why?

Because I'd rather not give up compiz, accelerated 3d, and all the other nice things that I get from the current Nvidia driver.

I see 21 pages of posts... and not a single response from anyone at Nvidia.
Errr... Actually, there have been a lot of responses from nvidia.

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...11&postcount=3
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...1&postcount=81
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...&postcount=172
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...&postcount=188
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...&postcount=221
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...&postcount=252
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...&postcount=283
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...&postcount=285
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...&postcount=287
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...&postcount=290
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...&postcount=314
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...&postcount=325
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...&postcount=328

You should really read through them before starting up yet another thread about the same old subject. AMD64 drivers are still being held up by a lack of necessary features in the FreeBSD AMD64 kernel.

Adam

EDIT: By the way... If people still continue to use nvidia, and just decide to use the i386 version of FreeBSD, there is absolutely no incentive for nvidia to so anything further (even if they could). The only way you'd be able to get nvidia to release amd64 drivers for FreeBSD (again, even if they could work around the current limitations in the kernel) is to switch to another vendor. Companies don't listen to a few minor complaints... They do listen to lost sales, though.
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Old 07-08-08, 03:04 PM   #3
zBeeble42
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Default Re: Big Problems Down The Road?

Conversely, FreeBSD risks being relagated to being an OS unsuitable for desktops by not supporting the things requires to make AMD-64 nvidia drivers work. As I understand it, these are necessary items to make 64 bit systems run well (regardless of 3D solution) and there are some segments of the market (like high performance laptops) where there nvidia is the only player.

That-all-said, there's been some talk here (that I haven't substantiated) that the open source 3D drivers for AMD's video cards work. If this is true, it would mean that however desirable the 64-bit requests nvidia has made are for any OS, there exists some way for 3D drivers to be written without them. This begs the question: what is the associated effort required?

It seems, from my time following this debacle, that nobody on the FreeBSD side has denied that the features requested by nvidia are both required and elsewise useful. It also seems, by the progress, that these features are fairly hard to implement.

Sigh.
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Old 07-08-08, 05:16 PM   #4
adamk75
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Default Re: Big Problems Down The Road?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zBeeble42 View Post
That-all-said, there's been some talk here (that I haven't substantiated) that the open source 3D drivers for AMD's video cards work. If this is true, it would mean that however desirable the 64-bit requests nvidia has made are for any OS, there exists some way for 3D drivers to be written without them. This begs the question: what is the associated effort required?

It seems, from my time following this debacle, that nobody on the FreeBSD side has denied that the features requested by nvidia are both required and elsewise useful. It also seems, by the progress, that these features are fairly hard to implement.

Sigh.
I think the real question is: Is nvidia willing to break their unified driver architecture to support the rather miniscule market of FreeBSD AMD64 users?

It seems unlikely.

Adam
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Old 07-09-08, 03:01 AM   #5
NeHe
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Default Re: Big Problems Down The Road?

I've read the Nvidia responses in the past... what I meant is no responses since I last logged on... the problem is there, I have read all of the posts, I am aware of the problem. The problem should not exist however. To me it sounds as if both sides are unwilling to work together. My goal is not to motivate Nvidia... or to start a "It's because of users like you... the ones that always go back to i386" discussion. I've said it in past posts... we need to get a bounty going for the BSD camp. We need the issues Nvidia has pointed out to be resolved... once this is done, there will be no excuses! If someone can set it up, or if someone mentions they are interested... I will be the first one to donate... As for the minuscule FreeBSD AMD64 market... it's because of problems like this that no one wants to go to AMD64. When you have a choice between a stable working OS, or an OS that appears to have issues and less support... what's the motivation to make the switch?
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Old 07-09-08, 10:54 AM   #6
zander
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Default Re: Big Problems Down The Road?

FWIW, somebody started working on removing the blocking FreeBSD/amd64 kernel limitations in early June and has been making some progress since. That said, please keep in mind that the FreeBSD project is driven by volunteers who, even though they agree that the feature requests are valid, may not have the interest and/or time to drive their implementation. Please also see http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...&postcount=290.
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