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Old 02-26-04, 11:35 PM   #1
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Question Linux + PPC + nVidia drivers = happy user

I am not sure if nVidia developers even read this forum, but I'd like to voice my desire to have XFree86 nVidia drivers for running Linux on my 12" PowerBook.

As a user, I'm not really concerned whether or not the drivers are Open Source or not (although I would certainly commend nVidia for such a bold step). I just want them to be available.

I'd like to ask a question, though: is it even conceivably possible to use the binary code distributed with OS X 10.x in Linux? What I mean is, is it possible that one could (in theory) write a wrapper for the Mach-0 based code for the video drivers? Kind of like what these guys have done to allow x86 Linux to use Windows wireless drivers:


I don't even know which .dylib(s) hold(s) the appropriate code, but I'm imagining something like the following:

1. Identify the appropriate .dylib files (and their dependencies?) in OS X (perhaps "otool -L /System/Library/Frameworks/OpenGL.framework/Versions/A/Libraries/libGLSystem.dylib"?)

2. Find/write a Mach-0 object loader for Linux (is this necessary? Linux uses ELF, and OS X uses Mach-0, right?)

3. Identify the approprate nVidia-specific symbols in the .dylib files (this probably requires some heavy reverse engineering/experimentation and a lot of patience)

4. Write the wrapper/glue code to abstract the Mach-O loader/nVidia symbol calls as an XFree86 driver

Is there anything wrong with my thinking here? If there are any nVidia developers reading this list, is this something nVidia would be willing to do? It seems like this might be a decent compromise (nVidia doesn't have to release its IP, and Linux users get updates with OS X). Alternatively, are there any bright independents out there who are capable/willing to tackle such a daunting task?

An thoughts, comments, responses (especially from nVidia folks) would really be appreciated here. Thanks in advance.

Last edited by mbogosian; 02-27-04 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 03-12-04, 05:58 AM   #2
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the XFree86 4.4 is out and it has a really good support for nvidia cards.

New Crux-PPC is quickly under development to enclose this good stuff!

Crux-PPC home

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Old 03-12-04, 10:55 AM   #3
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Unhappy Missed the mark....

Originally posted by acrux
the XFree86 4.4 is out and it has a really good support for nvidia cards.
Perhaps you misunderstood my original post. The OpenSource nv driver that comes with 4.3/4.4 only supports hardware 2d acceleration, not 3d.

New Crux-PPC is quickly under development to enclose this good stuff!

Crux-PPC home
I'm not in the market for a new Linux distro just yet, but thanks for the pointer. However, what I was proposing (although not quite right) would work for all Linux distros, not any one in particular.

Are you familiar at all with Linux kernel or kernel module development?
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