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View Poll Results: Nvidia should
support free driver developers with tech docs etc. 29 76.32%
release the source code of the current drivers 18 47.37%
ignore me 4 10.53%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-26-03, 04:57 PM   #1
plasma
I want free(libre)drivers
 
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Default I want free drivers

(free as in freedom)

If ATI can do it why can't nvidia?
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Old 03-26-03, 05:18 PM   #2
bwkaz
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ATI has done it? Could've fooled me...

They've released info on their boards to the XFree86 driver developers, but considering how short the ATI product cycle is vs. how long it takes X to release a new version with new drivers, it really doesn't surprise me that not every ATI card works. In fact, the R350 core cards don't work at all (IIRC), and the R300's only work in 2D. With XFree86 4.2.0, up to the 7500 worked, and nothing else (in 3D mode, that is). Even though 8500's had been out for quite some time before X's 4.2.0 release.

ATI also provides closed-source drivers that they've written, that work with all of their cards (well... the 8500 and above). At least, I assume they're closed-source because you can only download RPMs. Yeah, that's swift, leave those of us that don't use RPM distros out in the cold... I think I can say that for me, nVidia's driver setup is better, right now.

However, free drivers would definitely be better than what we have. I, for one, wouldn't have any of my issues with 4191 (or 2960, all those many months ago). For those of you that say "they can't! they signed NDAs with other companies!", there are ways around that. For example, put the code you can't open up into the video BIOS, and then publish the interface to it. Do that, and allow us to see your current drivers (current at the time -- obviously it'd take a while to change how all your cards work by that much).

You get free development help (from people like me that like to think () we know what we're doing), your stupider competition wastes their time on cloning your current boards instead of making their own product different/better, while you can put out even better stuff because you're the original developer of it, plus you'll get a lot of Linux users as loyal customers, rather than the current state of things, where they go with nVidia merely because it seems to work. I know I for one would jump on any manufacturer that came out with truly open drivers, and probably stay with them for life. As it is, yeah nVidia's drivers work (most of the time, see 4191 for ample counterexamples though), so I'm using your cards. That kind of "loyalty" can evaporate quite quickly. Especially if your next driver release is just as crappy as 4191 seems to have been (and especially if my __divdi3() bug isn't fixed yet).

(unfortunately, I haven't thought most of these arguments up -- see ESR's The Magic Cauldron appendix on why closing drivers is a bad idea)

Edit: And oh, you'll probably want to make sure overclocking using your drivers isn't possible. Otherwise you'll get quite a few of the less-intelligent users rampantly overclocking, then complaining about the card burning itself -- definitely not a good situation to be in, even if they don't have a leg to stand on with the complaint.
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Last edited by bwkaz; 03-26-03 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 03-26-03, 06:03 PM   #3
hohlraum
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I'll settle for closed source nvidia drivers that don't suck like these current 4XXX ones do. They were doing great in the 3XXX series and then they release these new pieces of s**t. I really don't care if the various components on the MB have closed source drivers either. However, having close sourced MB chipset drivers is out of the question if that is infact the case.

Last edited by hohlraum; 03-28-03 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 03-27-03, 08:47 AM   #4
plasma
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Quote:
Originally posted by bwkaz
ATI has done it? Could've fooled me...

They've released info on their boards to the XFree86 driver developers, but considering how short the ATI product cycle is vs. how long it takes X to release a new version with new drivers, it really doesn't surprise me that not every ATI card works. In fact, the R350 core cards don't work at all (IIRC), and the R300's only work in 2D. With XFree86 4.2.0, up to the 7500 worked, and nothing else (in 3D mode, that is). Even though 8500's had been out for quite some time before X's 4.2.0 release.
but it's a start.
Quote:
ATI also provides closed-source drivers that they've written, that work with all of their cards (well... the 8500 and above). At least, I assume they're closed-source because you can only download RPMs. Yeah, that's swift, leave those of us that don't use RPM distros out in the cold... I think I can say that for me, nVidia's driver setup is better, right now.

However, free drivers would definitely be better than what we have. I, for one, wouldn't have any of my issues with 4191 (or 2960, all those many months ago).
I still have issues. The most annoying is when the kernel driver gets fried - X keeps locking up (even after being restarted) and the virtual terminals are screwed meaning I have to reboot if I want to use a monitor . Thanks nvidia for "suporting" linux.
Quote:
For those of you that say "they can't! they signed NDAs with other companies!", there are ways around that. For example, put the code you can't open up into the video BIOS, and then publish the interface to it. Do that, and allow us to see your current drivers (current at the time -- obviously it'd take a while to change how all your cards work by that much).

You get free development help (from people like me that like to think () we know what we're doing), your stupider competition wastes their time on cloning your current boards instead of making their own product different/better, while you can put out even better stuff because you're the original developer of it, plus you'll get a lot of Linux users as loyal customers, rather than the current state of things, where they go with nVidia merely because it seems to work. I know I for one would jump on any manufacturer that came out with truly open drivers, and probably stay with them for life.
my 3dfx will continue to be suported by X. (I could use it with a mac if I wanted too..
Quote:
As it is, yeah nVidia's drivers work (most of the time, see 4191 for ample counterexamples though), so I'm using your cards. That kind of "loyalty" can evaporate quite quickly. Especially if your next driver release is just as crappy as 4191 seems to have been (and especially if my __divdi3() bug isn't fixed yet).
unless this gets sorted I will never buy an nvidia anything again.
Quote:
(unfortunately, I haven't thought most of these arguments up -- see ESR's The Magic Cauldron appendix on why closing drivers is a bad idea)
doesn't make them invalid..
Quote:
Edit: And oh, you'll probably want to make sure overclocking using your drivers isn't possible. Otherwise you'll get quite a few of the less-intelligent users rampantly overclocking, then complaining about the card burning itself -- definitely not a good situation to be in, even if they don't have a leg to stand on with the complaint.
why? the current ones are overclockable. (no I'm havn't overclocked my nvidia).
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Old 03-27-03, 12:07 PM   #5
cityhunter
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if nvidia don't want to realease source for video i can understand this.... but for nforce chipset this must be, for better compatibility, for a lot of points, ide performance (cpu use) is really strange.....
we allready use i810 audio driver for nforce apu...
think this should be the best
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Old 03-27-03, 12:15 PM   #6
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80 view and only 9 votes !?!,
vote even if it's to say forget about me
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Old 03-28-03, 01:14 AM   #7
captnmark
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Quote:
Originally posted by cityhunter
if nvidia don't want to realease source for video i can understand this.... but for nforce chipset this must be, for better compatibility, for a lot of points, ide performance (cpu use) is really strange.....
we allready use i810 audio driver for nforce apu...
think this should be the best
Agreed. There is zero chance that I will ever buy a mobo that needs closed source linux drivers. Especially if it forces me to use Nvidia gfx card.
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Old 03-28-03, 03:27 AM   #8
cityhunter
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1) nforce doesn't force you to use nvidia card.... althought I don't know if it's possible to use two opengl board at the same time.... anyway, integrated geforce4mx is on pci 2:0:0, classical vga is on pci 1:0:0.... (it's triker since you have to change XF86Config)
but nothing seems to prevent you to use two Nvidia graphic card on your nforce board (up to 3 screens )
the only problem (if there is problem) is to include other manufacturer accelerated opengl board.......

open source is a way to garantie linux user that even if support will be no longer (because of new hardware) bugs can still be solved....

furthermore be able to compile the drivers garantie the best performances..... and even more since on compilation we can guess the type of hardware and then remove unecesary lines.....
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Old 03-28-03, 09:21 AM   #9
nutball
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Quote:
Originally posted by cityhunter
80 view and only 9 votes !?!,
vote even if it's to say forget about me
That's because the poll asks the question:

"When did you stop beating your wife?"

A) Recently
B) Not yet

I'm not going to vote because none of the answers suit me!

Where's the "I don't care if the drivers are open source or not, just so long as they don't suck" option?

I do wish the open source community would get its collective head around the idea that open source is not a panacea.

Linux is a highly unstable platform, and this very often makes it very frustrating to use and to maintain. Sure it's great for hackers who love spending all day installing todays version of everything, but for those of us who want a working e-mail client, a working web browser, and a sensible GUI toolkit we can develop against it's a nightmare.

Do you really think the open source community could do a better job writing drivers for hardware they no documentation for? Do you honestly expect NVIDIA to start publishing commercial confidential information about the architecture of their latest chips which could give their competitors an advantage?

If NVIDIA have ownership of the drivers and the drivers suck I can tell them they suck and I have the right to expect them to be fixed. If the drivers are open source and there's a problem and I say so, then I get some smart arse saying "well why don't you hack the driver source and fix the problem and send us a patch" it doesn't really get me anywhere. I don't care about hacking kernel or driver source, I got all that hack nonsense out of my system twenty years ago. I just want a stable platform which works correctly so I can do my job and develop end-user applications.

(Which isn't what I have at the moment: NVIDIA your current Linux drivers suck and need fixing).
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Old 03-28-03, 10:24 AM   #10
cityhunter
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Quote:
Originally posted by nutball
[b]That's because the poll asks the question:

"When did you stop beating your wife?"

A) Recently
B) Not yet

I'm not going to vote because none of the answers suit me!

Where's the "I don't care if the drivers are open source or not, just so long as they don't suck" option?
the third one : forget about me : you don't care, then you're not pro or cons open source

Quote:
I do wish the open source community would get its collective head around the idea that open source is not a panacea.
go say that to people that still use 3dfx boards.... they can go suck a cow if they want to find drivers for 2k or xp.... or recent ones for 98..... the result will be the same....
if one day NVidia begins to change the "unified version of the drivers" and decide to support only new boards.... if a bug is found you'll be crying that you must change your MB or CG only for a minor bug..... 3DFx user are still alive on linux thanks to open source.

Quote:
Linux is a highly unstable platform, and this very often makes it very frustrating to use and to maintain. Sure it's great for hackers who love spending all day installing todays version of everything, but for those of us who want a working e-mail client, a working web browser, and a sensible GUI toolkit we can develop against it's a nightmare.
think that's too long that you ever touched a linux pc..... ask to my admin here how much time his gateway router (the one on which he is working all day long) has been running... the answer will be "I've never stoped it since about 4 years"

Quote:
Do you really think the open source community could do a better job writing drivers for hardware they no documentation for? Do you honestly expect NVIDIA to start publishing commercial confidential information about the architecture of their latest chips which could give their competitors an advantage?
the architecture docs are already available, the docs don't give real advantage, a chip to the point of view of a cpu is a set of register, setting some register in some way give some results and so on..... I don't think opensource communeauty will do better but opensource communeauty isn't driven by economical law.... try to make nforce1 lan working...... you'd better suck a cow at least you'll make someone happy....
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Old 03-28-03, 11:27 AM   #11
nutball
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Quote:
Originally posted by cityhunter
think that's too long that you ever touched a linux pc..... ask to my admin here how much time his gateway router (the one on which he is working all day long) has been running... the answer will be "I've never stoped it since about 4 years"
[/b]
When I said unstable I didn't mean that it crashes, I mean that the underlying software is changing very rapidly. This means that if I want to upgrade my e-mail client, or web browser, chances are I'll have to update a whole load of other stuff, and chances are that those upgrades will be incompatible with something else on my system.
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Old 03-28-03, 12:30 PM   #12
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you should use sources based distrib like sorcerer
if you have an unlimited connection, doing a "augur update" will rebuild the entire new stuff for you
I really love it

then you'll always have a uptodate box
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