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Old 04-08-08, 08:12 PM   #289
zander
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Default Re: FreeBSD-amd64 driver ?

@salkillen: please see my last few posts.
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Old 04-08-08, 08:41 PM   #290
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Default Re: FreeBSD-amd64 driver ?

There's two more points I'd like to clarify.

I've seen claims that given the relatively small user base, NVIDIA is interested in supporting FreeBSD amd64 only if the platform provides the means to run pre-existing Linux/Solaris graphics drivers with minimal changes, and is therefore demanding features in and fundamental changes to the FreeBSD kernel that make the operating system more like already supported platforms (to minimize the porting effort).

This is not the case.

Although the core functionality is shared between platforms, the FreeBSD i386 graphics driver is still a native FreeBSD driver, as would be a FreeBSD amd64 graphics driver. Arguably, there is one exception: there's a requirement that the Linux OpenGL libraries be able to work in the Linux ABI compatibility enviroment without fundamental changes or, more specifically, without custom ioctl() memory mapping interfaces in place of mmap(). Please note that the Linux/x86 OpenGL libraries are used as-is to enable Linux/x86 OpenGL applications on FreeBSD i386 today.

I've also seen claims that the request for a vmap()-like kernel interface only serves to enable a "dirty hack" allowing for improved compatibility with systems that have large amounts of memory and GPUs with limited (e.g. 32-bit PCI/PCI-E) addressing capability installed. While improved compatibility with such configurations is desired, vmap()-like functionality only makes sense in combination with the mmap() character driver interface improvements discussed in the original writeup. It is not an enabling feature by itself. I'm not sure which aspect of this is viewed as a hack.
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Old 04-09-08, 03:21 AM   #291
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Default Re: FreeBSD-amd64 driver ?

I think some of the point is being lost in a working driver. Take my case, for instance. I have a widescreen monitor. The nv driver that comes with Xorg does not work on my system(not a FreeBSD issue as it happens with Linux too). I use FreeBSD as my primary OS(the one on the 500 gig sata hard drive) and Ubuntu as my "necessary" second OS(which is on a notebook harddrive using an adapter to hook up to the ide cable). I use Ubuntu for wine(where I do use the nvidia driver). But for watching movies for instance, I do not want to use the vesa driver! I've left the cover off my case and have become good at popping the video card in and out. All I really need is 1440x900 and I'd be satisfied with a FreeBSD/amd64 driver!

Not to mention, with VIA opening up their docs, I imagine my via chipset might get better.

If you need any little bit of motivation, NVidia, open up your drivers, be a hardware company, leave the software to dozens of indivuals who'll spend hours and hours out of their week to improve your hardware's behavior. Can't get rid of in house software development, but can increase the workforce with little extra expenditure. Better drivers everywhere, happier users, better market share. Sounds logical, right?

I imagine there would be many willing to work the nvidia driver and FreeBSD kernel into cooperating to an acceptable level, especially with growing interest into using graphics cards for non graphics computation.
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Old 04-09-08, 04:23 PM   #292
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Default Re: FreeBSD-amd64 driver ?

I think part of the frustration is the lack of quality in the nv driver itself. I have a laptop with dual-8800's in it (Dell XPS) and it would be "OK" if the nv driver did acceptable 2D stuff.

But the NV driver sucks. I can't watch a movie at fullscreen resolution (lack of hardware scaling or somesuch) and dragging windows around is painful (lack of blit?) and until I fetched the svn version of the nv driver, it had an annoying race condition whereby cusor changes had a random chance of locking up the entire machine.

I'd love to have my 3D back on FreeBSD. I used to play eve-online under wine. But with 4G of RAM and ZFS wanting 64 bit, running 32 bit feels quite lame. Even in 32 bit, the current driver isn't all that savvy. I still have to use the openGL driver on mplayer to get videos to scale. Now that the 9xxx cards are out, can we get some reasonable support for 8xxx cards?
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Old 04-12-08, 10:36 AM   #293
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Thumbs up Re: FreeBSD-amd64 driver ?

Thanks Zander for keeping us updated. This is much more information than vendors usually provide about not yet released products/software/drivers. Now, as an end user I really hope that both Nvidia and the Freebsd team will resolve this issue soon.
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Old 04-13-08, 09:34 AM   #294
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Default Re: FreeBSD-amd64 driver ?

Recently I quit using FreeBSD on the desktop, after 8 years of operation. Most FreeBSD developers done the same in the past and switched to Apple, many of them work for this company in the meantime.

The FreeBSD hardware support problems are not limited to nVidia graphics cards. Many other drivers in the FreeBSD kernel are unmaintained for several years and don't work anymore. This applies even to the DRM (nothing done since 2005), part of the shiny new AMD/ATI DRI OSS driver world. Every new FreeBSD release supports lesser hardware than before.

Also the »hardware documenation please and everything went fine« case is not a solution for FreeBSD. If there is no manpower to create some interfaces, where is the manpower to create a complete driver? The nVidia-FreeBSD/amd64 stall is symptomatic for the current state of the FreeBSD project.

I'm a happy Linux x86_64 user now and have a functioning nVidia driver, beside many other issues (e. g. crash the kernel by pulling an USB memory stick), that have gone with the switch.
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Old 04-13-08, 03:32 PM   #295
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Default Re: FreeBSD-amd64 driver ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsn
Recently I quit using FreeBSD on the desktop, after 8 years of operation. Most FreeBSD developers done the same in the past and switched to Apple, many of them work for this company in the meantime.
True, although this mostly applies to notebooks, not desktops and of course not servers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsn

The FreeBSD hardware support problems are not limited to nVidia graphics cards. Many other drivers in the FreeBSD kernel are unmaintained for several years and don't work anymore. This applies even to the DRM (nothing done since 2005), part of the shiny new AMD/ATI DRI OSS driver world. Every new FreeBSD release supports lesser hardware than before.
I don't know where this is coming from, but during 2007 I was delighted to see that google earth now works fine on the ATI 7500 card in my Thinkpad under FreeBSD and I didn't have to fiddle. That's a major reason why I became more pushy on NVidia, the free competition is really not as bad as people make it.

I was pissed that the dual-mouse stuff (touchpad + USB) got broken, but to be honest it looks more like Xorgs fault then FreeBSD's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsn

Also the »hardware documenation please and everything went fine« case is not a solution for FreeBSD. If there is no manpower to create some interfaces, where is the manpower to create a complete driver? The nVidia-FreeBSD/amd64 stall is symptomatic for the current state of the FreeBSD project.
Well...

I didn't see Xorg/dri demand new Interfaces on FreeBSD/amd64. I've been told that even if you have it working you don't get Linux/i386 binary emulation.

But overall that's details. The point is that Linux work on DRI is shared with FreeBSD and they don't go around demanding new interfaces. Sure, if we bashed their performance then they'd reply with "yeah but then we need x.y.z". But people are dumb fat and happy running at medium speed. For most of these users isn't not a problem to buy a graphics card -say- twice as powerful as they need since their needs are an order of magnitude below current gaming requirements.

Overall, if a FreeBSD/amd64 person needs 3D, then it would be insane to invest the time in providing the NVidia interfaces. Because that only gets you a base for a driver that won't last forever, and there'll be a lot of back and forth "oh now what you didn't doesn't do it because...". Investing the time in DRI and ATI based on the available documentation is obviously much more rewarding, because it gets you a driver you get to keep forever.
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Old 04-14-08, 10:20 AM   #296
Aragon
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Default Re: FreeBSD-amd64 driver ?

It's really sad to see the nVidia FreeBSD drivers always lagging behind. I'm about to build a FreeBSD workstation with >4GB RAM. Without having tested anything yet I'm trying to decide if I should go the nVidia+32bit+PAE route or the ATI+64bit route? PAE imposes a lot of limitations regarding device support (don't even know if nvidia's driver will work?), and amd64 means I have to go ATI. I'm also struggling to find text regarding support for recent PCI Express ATI cards under amd64.

Anyone out there with some similar experience they can share please?
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Old 04-14-08, 11:43 AM   #297
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Default Re: FreeBSD-amd64 driver ?

Right now, on my multi-boot laptop, I have both 32bit FreeBSD and 64bit FreeBSD. Because I have 4G RAM, I use PAE on the 32 bit side --- although it doesn't seem to pick up _all_ the RAM, PAE uses more than non-PAE. The NVidia binary driver seems to work with PAE.
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Old 04-14-08, 03:51 PM   #298
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Default Re: FreeBSD-amd64 driver ?

Thanks zBeeble.

I've been doing some more reading and it looks like the radeonhd Xorg driver supports the latest ATI cards minus 3D support, which I can live without for now. Not many reports from FreeBSD amd64 users of this driver though.

Decisions decisions...
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Old 04-14-08, 09:08 PM   #299
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Default Re: FreeBSD-amd64 driver ?

The drive for 64bit systems is actually application sizes. With hindsight, 640k being enough and all, even mundane applications (web browsing) can exceed the address space available on a machine. I find the wireshark is often wanting more memory (wastefully --- it could have been written much better) than a 32 bit machine can give. And since I have to let the kernel have a lot of memory (I use ZFS), my 32 bit address space is even further constrained.

So I live with a driver that's not even competent with 2D acceleration for most of my work --- which is FreeBSD centric --- which is why I have a FreeBSD laptop. ATI doesn't (yet) make credible laptop cards to compete with the likes of the dual-8800 in the XPS system. I don't get that choice.

It seems that someone there at nvidia is responsible for the 2D driver in XOrg. I'd be a lot happier if it grew some reasonable performance (ie: even on par with my matrox millennium card in my desktop/server). The performance of the nv driver (for 2D) is embarrassing.
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Old 04-15-08, 03:06 AM   #300
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Default Re: FreeBSD-amd64 driver ?

My nVidia order is too far gone to cancel so I guess I'm going to see how things work out with 32bit+PAE.
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