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Nvidia Drops Support For Its Open Source Driver

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the let-them-eat-text dept.

Graphics 412

An anonymous reader writes "While Nvidia is not open-source friendly (despite public outcries over the years), they have traditionally supported the xf86-video-nv driver to provide basic mode setting support and other basic functionality. However, with the 'Fermi' and future products, even that open source support will cease to exist. Nvidia has announced they are dropping this open source support for future GPUs and really ending it altogether. Nvidia's recommendation is to just use the generic X.Org VESA driver to navigate their way to nvidia.com so that they can install the proprietary driver. Fortunately there is the Nouveau project that provides a 2D and 3D video driver for Nvidia's hardware, but Nvidia fails to acknowledge it nor support their efforts in any form." David Gerard points out that Nouveau is going into Linux 2.6.33.

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So buy intel video cards (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633752)

How is this a surprise?
This is about as newsworthy as mono being a patent minefield and a bad idea.

Re:So buy intel video cards (4, Insightful)

GenP (686381) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633954)

buy intel video cards

Oh? Where can I buy offboard Intel video cards?

Re:So buy intel video cards (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634026)

I don't think you can. Sorry I was not 100 clear. I meant buy intel graphics hardware.

Re:So buy intel video cards (1)

PixelSlut (620954) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634088)

Too bad you can't buy Intel graphics that work in a Core i7 desktop.

Re:So buy intel video cards (5, Insightful)

ross.w (87751) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634004)

Try playing Quake 4 on an Intel Video card. Let us know how you get on.

Re:So buy intel video cards (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634064)

It looks as good as on an ATI/Nvidia card so far...
Hang on.. frame 2 is coming up.. yup still looks good.

Re:So buy intel video cards (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634108)

Then you might as well use the closed source driver. This does not change their position on that.

Re:So buy intel video cards (4, Insightful)

PixelSlut (620954) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634114)

Try playing Quake 4 on nvidia Fermi using VESA and let me know how you get on. Seriously, for many people out there Quake 4 is just not a reasonable measure of a video chip. I don't play Quake 4 on my Linux machine. If I want to play video games I go fire up the PS3 or plug a monitor into my Windows box and turn it on. I do basically everything else in Linux now. I don't need insane graphics to do it. I need something good enough to run mutter or compiz, and ideally I'd love to have something with KMS support. That's really about it.

Re:So buy intel video cards (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634344)

Free Radeon drivers + kernel 2.6.33 KMS and reasonable 3D support.

I can play some (native) 3D games with my X1250, which is not exactly an high-end card.

Huh? (2)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633754)

Nvidia's recommendation is to just use the generic X.Org VESA driver to navigate their way to nvidia.com so that they can install the proprietary driver.

What does that mean? Is the "X.Org VESA driver" now a web browser?

Re:Huh? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633780)

No, they mean you should use the VESA driver so you can fire up a GUI browser and go to their website.

I sure hope you are being purposely obtuse.

Re:Huh? (1, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633838)

Television Advertisement: "So use your computer to go to [PRODUCT WEBSITE] today!"
msauve: "What does this mean? Is my "computer" now a web browser?"

PROTIP: Substituting idiocy for pedantry doesn't make you look cool. Not even on slashdot.

Re:Huh? (1)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633940)

Television Advertisement: "So use your computer to go to [PRODUCT WEBSITE] today!"
msauve: "What does this mean? Is my "computer" now a web browser?"

PROTIP: Substituting idiocy for pedantry doesn't make you look cool. Not even on slashdot.

It will be if you are going to run Chrome.

First (0)

choongiri (840652) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633760)

...what? Sorry I can't read this. Why does my screen look all funny?

Re:First (4, Funny)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633806)

Wow, you've managed to fail time-wise, humor-wise, and punctuation-wise! :-)

Whoops, didn't read your signature. I meant "humour."

Re:First (1)

Svippy (876087) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634086)

Whoops, didn't read your signature. I meant "humour."

I think you meant "humour", humour does regularly not have a full stop in it. I mean, your joke about British English falls flat when you use American punctuation guidelines. Punctuation marks are kept outside quotations in British English, my friend. Why? Because it makes sense.

Though to be fair; it falls flat to me. Because I only focus on details like the jerk I am.

Bad move.... (5, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633766)

Does Nvidia not know there are literally dozens of Linux users out there clamoring for a stable, high-end gaming environment?

Re:Bad move.... (5, Informative)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633788)

They are not discontinuing support for their proprietary driver, just their open source driver, which has always been crap. If you want good 3d performance you can still use (and always should have been using) their proprietary driver.

I know, I know. You were just making a crack about how nobody uses linux...

Re:Bad move.... (0, Redundant)

Bipoha (540839) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633998)

I'm on an up-to-date Fedora 12 system, and the proprietary driver seg faults. It compiles fine, and it loads ... but X just crashes and leaves me with a black screen. Now I'm using the 'nv' driver in all it's crappiness. Being a work computer (with a geforce 6000 series card), I can't really justify fiddling with it all day, when I have more important stuff to work on. I love linux, and feel crippled in a Windows or Mac machine, but c'mon ... when will Linux be ready for the average user? Maybe some day when work is slow, I can try it again, but right now it seems like a time-sucking black hole, and I miss my wobbly windows.

Re:Bad move.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634052)

Try installing a Radeon card.

While the 3d is still experimental, R600/700 with KMS and the latest version of MESA will work for most day to day activities, and another 6 months or so and 3d should be up to OGL 2.1 if not 3.0 levels (Currently OGL 2.0 and SM 1.10 on glxinfo, and depending on GIT revision, it'll run flightgear 2.0 pretty smoothly!)

Re:Bad move.... (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634296)

If you are using an up-to-date Fedora install, why not just use the Nouveau driver? Far better than 'nv' from what I understand...

Re:Bad move.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634324)

I use the proprietary driver on Fedora 12, but don't build my own. Add the rpmfusion repo, and install the meta package "yum install kmod-nvidia" and just be a little careful about updating kernels and rebooting. It should pull down kernel-specific kmod-nvidia- packages as well, but if you catch it right after a kernel update, the corresponding nvidia module may not be prepared yet. If you reboot without getting the module, they have a boot script that falls back to the open source driver when the kernel module doesn't load.

I have not had any seg faults using this, though I have had a few oddities with screen detection where I had to cycle the power to my LCD. (I'm using displayport output via a displayport-dvi cable, after finding this works more reliably than going displayport all the way into my Dell LCD.)

Re:Bad move.... (1)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633836)

What does this have to do with them stopping development on an open source driver?

They will still provide their closed source driver which is better for a "high-end gaming environment" anyway (as long as you have no issues with your entire system not being 100% free/beer/etc).

Re:Bad move.... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634092)

And not 100% stable. And 0% able to hibernate. And being unable to build OpenGL software without jumping through hoops because their driver moves aside mesa libraries while failing to properly set up the replacement.

Re:Bad move.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634332)

It works fine for most people, including hibernation, and works fine for building software. What exactly are you on about?

Re:Bad move.... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633846)

Given the design decisions that went into Fermi, one could be forgiven for thinking that Nvidia are completely unaware that there are any users on any platform looking for a gaming environment...

Re:Bad move.... (4, Interesting)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633860)

Nvidia is so far the only company that managed to provide a high-quality proprietary Linux driver for their hardware.
Others either provide high-quality open source drivers (ex: Intel) or crappy proprietary drivers (AMD/ATI).

So dozens or not, Nvidia is doing fine as far as Linux-using gamers are concerned. Developers, on the other hand, could use a less hostile stance on documentation and vendor support of open drivers.

Re:Bad move.... (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633926)

To be fair ATI makes crap drivers for all platforms, not just linux.

Re:Bad move.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634212)

To be fair ATI makes crap drivers for all platforms, not just linux.

Spoken like someone who's never owned any good ATI cards. Having been through the 9700 Pro and 9800 Pro days, I've rarely had problems with ATI cards at all. I went nVidia for my last computer and have been through 2 cards so far, they may well be the most unstable pieces of crap I've ever spent that much money on. Seriously, these were the highly rated, high end nVidia chips and both were BFGTech cards, and frankly they are unstable junk on any OS. ATI gets a bad rep, but having owned a half dozen or more of their high end cards, I've really never had any instability problems.

There, you've had your anecdote for the day.

Re:Bad move.... (1)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633864)

How is that relevant? Those dozens of users can use the proprietary Linux nVidia driver, which is not being discontinued, and has a lot of the same code in it as the Windows driver. The discontinued driver is an obsolete 2-D only hack; free software purists can use Nouveau, so who cares?

Re:Bad move.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31633878)

not every Linux gamer is an open source evangelist, there is a perfectly fine binary driver...

Re:Bad move.... (1)

frist (1441971) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634140)

They do and so they developed Linux drivers for those dozens of users. They're just not open-sourcing them.

Be sure to vote with your wallet (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633796)

I've made it a habit to avoid nVidia chips in the laptops (especially - because you can't change cards in a laptop) and other computers that I purchase. This only confirms that decision. I'm not a gamer, but obviously lots of software uses 3D hardware these days.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633862)

NVidia is also voting with their wallet. They seem to feel that they're not getting enough in additional sales to cover the cost of supporting the open source driver.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633996)

They don't have to support an open source driver. If they would just publish specs the community could take care of implementing them. This used to be the norm before VESA came along and created a common API and then the market fractured again with 3D.

Why is it so important to have these advanced drivers in the kernel anyway? A framebuffer console only needs 2D and that can be handled with proper VESA support. If something more powerful is needed the kernel should provide hooks to allow userland to switch to another driver or load in a module if that is too much of a performance penalty. A little screen flicker won't kill anyone.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634078)

They don't have to support an open source driver. If they would just publish specs the community could take care of implementing them.

...by making an open source driver and calling it Nouveau.

OK, so that's not exactly how it happened. They had to work without the specs being released.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634244)

A little screen flicker won't kill anyone.

See, right there? From that, we can tell you're quite obviously not a part of the overly obsessive "hardcore" gamer market who buys every new card Nvidia makes as they come out and who thus gives them most of their revenue. Ergo, Nvidia cares not about your opinion. Case closed.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634024)

NVidia is also voting with their wallet. They seem to feel that they're not getting enough in additional sales to cover the cost of supporting the open source driver.

Why is it cheaper to support a proprietary driver where you have to do all the development yourself, then to help developing an open-source driver?

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634072)

All the while my money goes to ATI/AMD.

You don't think they do market research?

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634180)

NVidia is also voting with their wallet. They seem to feel that they're not getting enough in additional sales to cover the cost of supporting the open source driver.

So did I by avoided NVidia, and advised others to the same. In a market where cooperation and open code rule; They simply fall short.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (5, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634316)

Let's not forget that nVidia sued, then purchased at a discount, then killed 3Dfx, the first company to create a fully Open Source stack for 3D hardware. You can still find their "Glide" stack, there's a Debian package for it, but the hardware isn't produced any longer.

Intel and ATI find this a worthwhile market, especially because the technical workstation market is insisting on Linux and supportable (meaning Open Source) full-performance drivers for all hardware. Gamers are a useful market but not the only market that 3D vendors play to these days.

If you asked me what was the reason for this, I'd guess it was collusion.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633888)

Hmmz, I used to have Nvidia all the time, worked like a charm. But then I did what you said. Bought an hd4770... guess what. No drivers that were actually stable for half a year. Next time, it's nvidia for me again. And yes, with their drivers. It's fine to have freedom, but when freedom starts limiting your choice by saying you should never use 'closed' software, well... then they have completely missed their own point. imho though. Can't blame nvidia for this one. Their drivers work great, why look further. It's not that the opensource alternative in the specific case of videohardware will be better... Not by a long shot. At least at this point in time.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634006)

Penny wise Pound foolish.
Do you use what works best today, fully knowing that it will limit your options in the future, or use something less functional that will be better long term?

Freedom, is not as you have pointed out, an absolute good, but when freedom aligns with the common good, only fools go against it.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634200)

Do you use what works best today, fully knowing that it will limit your options in the future, or use something less functional that will be better long term?

This is an economic question, and really, as paralyzing as you black-and-white thinkers may see it, oftentimes the short term solution that works today (even if it *may* limit some options in the future (even though I haven't a clue how my choice of an nvidia GPU in a laptop that will be obsolete in a few years does this) is the best one. I may die in a fire tomorrow.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634222)

Hmmz I do what you say these days. I use what works best today. Cause if I buy or use something, I want the best it can be (for the budget I can afford that is) . Today. I am not so sure though that buying a nvidia today will limit my options in the future... Let alone that I 'fully knowing' would agree to limited options in the future... I also don't see where that argument is coming from. I mean, when I bought my first computer (msx vg8020) back in 86 ot 87 it came with ms basic and was closed. Has that limited my options? No, not at all. If anything I can do today so much more than in 86/87. So I don't see that argument as valid. Yes it 'could'be that one day support will stop. But chances are, by that time, I won't be using this hardware anymore. With regular software I always like to look for a good open alternative. But in the case of hardware, I want drivers written by the guys who know the hardware best. And if they close them, I don't care. Just as I don't open up my TV to 'fix' things I don't want to 'open' my drivers to get my hardware working. I want my hardware to just work and I really don't care if I can see the source. I do however understand your point of view. And let's be honest. If we would agree on everything, might as well stop talking all together :)

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31633900)

LOL. The only reason ATI and NVidia even have drivers for Linux is because of the workstation market. With OS X essentially killing off what little Linux was ever used in academia and industry, it is only a matter of time before Nvidia and ATI drop all their Linux drivers, even if all 5 of you using Linux on your desktops stop buying their products.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633966)

HAHA, good joke. Nvidea drivers for linux are more for render farms. OSX is not killing any workstations either.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (1)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634202)

There may not be a lot of Linux gamers, there are a *lot* of science/engineering people using (or wanting to use) GPUs to do general purpose computation. GPGPU a hot topic in some of those communities, and some organizations are spending research money on finding ways to use them. Looking at the CUDA forums on NVIDIA's site, I see:

  • 1729 topics under "CUDA on Windows XP" + "CUDA on Vista"
  • 1689 topics under "CUDA on Linux"
  • 295 topics under "CUDA on Mac OS X"

So I really don't think NVIDIA is going to stop providing Linux drivers any time soon.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (1, Offtopic)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633928)

I've made it a habit to avoid nVidia chips in the laptops (especially - because you can't change cards in a laptop) and other computers that I purchase. This only confirms that decision. I'm not a gamer, but obviously lots of software uses 3D hardware these days.

Alas, the only other real competitor is intel... and if you've ever been "blessed" by using one of their integrated chipsets on a laptop, you'll probably look a lot kinder on your dental visits.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (4, Informative)

stoanhart (876182) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633990)

I don't understand why people are upset about this. Linux isn't being treated any lesser here; in fact, this is the same strategy they have on Windows. If you stick an nVidia card into an XP machine with no drivers, you get VESA which you use to go to nvidia.com to download the real drivers. Sure, Vista/7 ships with drivers, and so could Linux if the GPL didn't prohibit it. Besides, Nouveau is better than nv, so the driver is redundant.

This decision has no impact on games or on people using 3D software as the parent has suggested in his comment, since the nv driver had no 3D capability anyways. Development is continuing on nVidia's high quality 3D driver. There is no reason to vote with you wallet.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634012)

Only people who insist on having an open-source driver will have problems with this move. People who still appreciate a free, stable, 3D-accelerating driver, albeit a closed-source version, have nothing to worry about. I can't believe you've been modded insightful, since your statement in no way highlights the differences between these two perspectives, which are the only reason why this article even matters. The article does not in any way state that nVidia will stop providing drivers to support 3D rendering.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634130)

Nouveau driver will work for those folks. The only reason they are killing nv it seems is because the Nouveau driver is actually better than nv.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634054)

With respect, Nvidia is not the problem, software patents are the problem.
Nvidia just happens to contain a few people that have already been burnt that way and don't want to release anything that could be used as evidence by a patent troll.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (1)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634066)

I used to work somewhere that exclusively supported 3D on Linux with nVidia cards (we didn't release on Windows).

The drivers and the hardware are simply better on Linux than the competition. If you're trying to develop serious 3D applications on Linux, it's still the way to go. As someone else pointed out, it's not like nVidia's drivers are open source on Windows.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634124)

Yeah, right. You can't change the graphics card in a laptop, because many laptops actually use low profile PCI-Express graphics cards...

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634158)

I have just one question: Why? If it's a choice between Catalyst (AMD's binary driver) and nVidia's binary driver, I'd take nVidia any day of the week on any platform. The two reasons I have a HD5850 in this machine is that a) It's a helluva fast card at a decent price for what it is and b) AMD has been opening their specifications and is building an open driver. Right now though my experience is that the binary driver under Windows is still buggy - far buggier than nVidia, and so far there's no 2D/3D acceleration with the open source drivers under Linux (for this series, r100-r700 has varying degrees of support) but I knew that before I purchased it. The driver is really the last reason I'd want to ditch nVidia, sure they are 100% closed source but being what it is it's very good. Not perfect or anything, but the competition certainly isn't either.

Re:Be sure to vote with your wallet (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634204)

especially - because you can't change cards in a laptop

Actually you can, it "just" requires that the laptop uses MXM [wikipedia.org] modules. Granted, MXM modules aren't exactly easy to find, and there aren't that many notebook models using them, but you can in fact swap graphics adapters in laptops.

Non-issue really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31633824)

I use an Nvidia video card with the Nouveau driver on my desktop. Sure, it's not as fast as Nvidia's closed source driver but it works well for me. Fedora 13 will have a Nouveau release with out of the box 3D acceleration [phoronix.com] and DisplayPort support [fedoraproject.org] too.

This isn't a big deal (4, Informative)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633828)

By this point, Nouveau beats the old nVidia open-source driver, so everyone would want to run either Nouveau or the proprietary nVidia driver. There's no real reason to support the obsolete, limited xf86-video-nv any more (though it's not going away).

Finally Happened (0, Flamebait)

OldGeek61 (1438391) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633870)

This doesn't surprise me one bit, when I got my new quad core and was having a ton of problems with 64bit drivers, all I was ever told in the multiple linux forums was that it works on older hardware! So I installed something that would work on my new hardware, Windows Vista! Haven't looked back since, so the linux community can go ahead and stay in the 20th century, I now have Server 08 installed with Desktop Experience and love it. Linux will never be ready for a normal end user.

Re:Finally Happened (1)

g4b (956118) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634210)

luckily, linux had 64bit support in the 20th century

Re:Finally Happened (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634260)

I could get a decent quad core computer/dual core 64-bit laptop with decent hardware for the price of your license (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/pricing.aspx) and I could even get an Apple machine if I add your hardware, your Server version and whatever you plunked down for your desktop license together.

And yet they're still the only cards... (0, Troll)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633892)

... that are actually supported in Linux. Intel cards have very primitive support (good luck if you want TV out, or if you want your laptop screen to come back after going into suspend), and ATI have no functional support at all.

How hard can it be for a manufacturer to get a tiny bit of clue about this?

Re:And yet they're still the only cards... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633938)

I have an PC connected to my TV with HDMI, it uses an intel X4500HD. What exactly is the issue with TV support you are having?

Re:And yet they're still the only cards... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633950)

Used to run 9.10 now runs 10.04. Only thing I had to do was switch the audio output to digital.

Re:And yet they're still the only cards... (1)

Homburg (213427) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634030)

I assume he means S-Video out, although I'm not sure what problem he's having; S-Video works fine on the Intel GM965 on my laptop.

Re:And yet they're still the only cards... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634160)

S-Video works fine on the Intel GM965 on my laptop.

Only if you want non-accelerated graphics, which doesn't work so well for playing back video.

Re:And yet they're still the only cards... (1)

badpazzword (991691) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633978)

Are you telling me other card makers have even worse solutions than Xinerama for multi screen setups?

Re:And yet they're still the only cards... WRONG! (4, Informative)

malloc (30902) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634020)

When did you last actually try using an intel card? I bought a new laptop in December, Intel X4500 inside, running Ubuntu 9.10.

It has suspended/resumed flawlessly for three months.

Last night I plugged it into a projector, click the Display settings, it auto-detected the new projector (listed by name even) and enabling output was a single click. Options to extend desktop or mirror it worked without problem.

Again, have you actually tried any this lately?

Re:And yet they're still the only cards... WRONG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634306)

Yeah, Intel works great as long as you stick to 2D. The OpenGL support, however, is horribly broken in a thousand subtle ways, which becomes apparent as soon as you try to run serious code on top of it.

nVidia also ran? (5, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633918)

Is nVidia turning into an "also-ran"? I'm not stating, I'm asking. The reason they are "protecting" their drivers is because it "contains" proprietary secrets. If I'm not mistaken Ati is kicking their ass right now so is their strategy paying off for them? nVidia spent a lot of money promoting themselves in game title screens while arguably Ati just went out and built better hardware. Perhaps nVidia needs to refocus on "technical" advances instead of "marketing" ones.

Open matters..... (2, Interesting)

budword (680846) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633922)

In the past, I've made it a point to buy nvidia cards, because of it's Linux support, even though that support wasn't Free as in Freedom. They are a for profit company, who supported a binary driver for my favourite GNU/Linux OS. (I am in favour of the whole for profit idea, but believe there is a place for open source software in it, like Red Hat.) However, since ATI was bought by AMD, and are putting out a truly free driver for their cards, I will buy exclusively ATI cards in the future.

Open matters when I vote with my wallet. This will cost them my business at the very least.

Re:Open matters..... (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633974)

True, but for now, IMHO, the ATI stuff pretty much sucks. I went back from AMD / ATI to Intel nVidia because of stability issues (OK, the instability of the SATA implementation was a lot more problematic than the video problems, but still). And even now I cannot really use Compiz 3D effects on my 64 bit Ubuntu, without all kind of video and 3D issues.

Re:Open matters..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634100)

Nvidia is still the best bet for Linux. Their drivers may be closed source, but they work well and are updated regularly. My 64-bit workstation has a GeForce GTX 275 and I've rarely had a problems with the proprietary Nvidia drivers which I install from RPM Fusion. The KDE eye candy works perfectly. Yes, I would rather the drivers be open sourced, but I'm not going to go with terrible performance just so I can use an open source driver for a proprietary hardware product. Nvidia's Linux support is actually very good compared to other companies (e.g. Broadcom). Pragmatism is often a good practice.

Re:Open matters..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634106)

We have real problems here. For everyone that's use a accelerated GPU to gaming and not for serious GPU programming, I can't see big issues here. But if you needs a really good GPU programming environment, then the only ones thats offers are NVIDIA. For example, ATI Radeon driver / GLSL compiler are very buggy. And in all platforms, not just in Linux. Are pretty easy to see messages from compiler that's means nothing. Something like your C compiler telling you "sintax error", but without line number and what's happening. I've not tested Nouveau for this job, but I really think will not work properly. Sincerely, I dislike binary blobs too, but I'm afraid professional GPU programmers will not have any other option. That's are really bad. If you dislike Linux and prefers FreeBSD or OpenSolaris for any reason? You have the driver, but not CUDA support. And if you have a Mac? Bugs in driver from NVIDIA will pretty stop you playing. NVIDIA really do a very good job on hardware, but the software are pretty targeted only to Windows platform. I don't know others here, but I'll not be comfortable with a Windows powered rendering station. Not to do really hard job ( render geo and medical data, for example ).

DON'T BUY FROM NVIDIA (0)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633930)

enemy of your freedom.

Next time I buy some graphics card, I'll do my homework first. Even Radon needs blobs in the kernel to work.

Re:DON'T BUY FROM NVIDIA (1, Insightful)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634044)

Do your homework.

When you find a really good video card that does 3D well in Linux without proprietary drivers, please let us know.

Only we won't be holding our breath.

Re:DON'T BUY FROM NVIDIA (1)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634134)

Will do - next time.
For now I have Radeon with 2D only.

Why isn't there a generic driver format? (1)

KPexEA (1030982) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633944)

Why don't we have a generic driver format that is only compiled into machine code when it is installed? That way drivers would work across all operating systems and CPU configurations.

Are the current OS / Driver interactions so different that having glue code compile along with them will not work in having an abstract interface?

We certainly don't need buy-in from the OS guys to do this type of compiler/installer.

Slow news day? (4, Insightful)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633952)

As nouveau reaches maturity, nvidia is simply putting the 'nv' driver out of its misery.

Were nvidia to discontinue its binary driver, now that would be news but it isn't.

FUCK NVIDIA NEVER BUYING AGAIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31633982)

Your ship is sunk, once the 8+ core intel chips come out you'll be history.

Already out. (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633986)

David Gerard points out that Nouveau is going into Linux 2.6.33.

Tubal-Cain points out that the use of past tense on "going" was unnecessary [kernel.org] .

Re:Already out. (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634144)

*muttering about a lack of edit button* -- I meant future tense.

No surprise (2, Insightful)

mrsam (12205) | more than 3 years ago | (#31633994)

If someone was actually surprised by this, they haven't been paying attention. Although Nvidia has been providing a non-free binary blob driver for Linux, I've always gotten the impression that it was mostly an afterthought. It took them forever to produce a 64 bit version of their binary blob, long after Linux on x86_64 became commonplace. And, of course, they never, AFAIK, built anything for non-x86 Linux platforms. This is just Nvidia's death spiral. Their future looks rather bleak. Both Intel and AMD have their own GPUs, now. Pretty much every motherboard now has onboard video which, for nearly everyone is perfectly adequate. The market for add-on video cards has no future. Intel offers excellent free drivers, which are already bundled in most distros. I no longer buy new hardware as often as I used to, but when I do, for desktop use I always look for Intel chipsets. I know that accelerated 3D video will work out of the box, on my distro. AMD -- eh, not that much, but they're working on it, from where I'm sitting. So, Nvidia is odd man's out. They always had a 'tude towards Linux. I won't miss them.

Corporate culture shows itself sooner or later. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634002)

and voila. companies may go against their corporate culture in accordance with the needs of the times, but in the long run, they cant avoid showing themselves for what they are. like microsoft blowing with the china-censorship issue and negating all the positive pr they and bill gates tried to do in the last years, nvidia also showed its own nature.

punish with your wallet (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634032)

They screwed me with the nvlddmkm driver. I won't patronize them. The open source community should do the same. They will only change their f***** behavior when it hurts ecnomically.

rasterizing is on it's way out anyway (1)

B.Stolk (132572) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634034)

Well, it's a good thing that rasterizing is on its way out anyway.
Scanlined triangles is not the way to go forward. It is slow at high polycounts. O(N).
With high enough polygon counts, raytracing is actually faster, and you can do that on your multicore or Cell SPUs.
There is no more need for shader hardware.

Is It Worth nVidia's Time? (1, Interesting)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634042)

Honest question - is it really worth their time (and costs) to write open-sourced drivers for Linux?

Has anyone quantified the sales to show that Linux is a worthwhile market segment?

Re:Is It Worth nVidia's Time? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634096)

They could just open the driver they already have. The code between the windows branch and linux one is supposedly quite similar so costs are probably pretty low.

Re:Is It Worth nVidia's Time? (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634258)

There is no time or cost because no one wants them to write a free driver. Others are more than willing to write and maintain the driver for them for free. All they need to do to have their hardware properly supported is quit obfuscating the necessary communication protocols used to access the more advanced functions of the cards.

So what happens to HPC with NVIDIA cards? (4, Interesting)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634074)

Video support in X.org is one thing, but NVIDIA cards are also used for high-performance computing via the CUDA environment. OpenCL (a potential alternative to CUDA) is mentioned as being part of Nouveau, but CUDA is a well-established solution.

So what's the status now of HPC with NVIDIA cards?

Re:So what happens to HPC with NVIDIA cards? (4, Informative)

TeXMaster (593524) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634182)

Video support in X.org is one thing, but NVIDIA cards are also used for high-performance computing via the CUDA environment. OpenCL (a potential alternative to CUDA) is mentioned as being part of Nouveau, but CUDA is a well-established solution.

So what's the status now of HPC with NVIDIA cards?

Exactly the same as before: you use the proprietary driver, like you had to do before this annoucement anyway. And in fact, Linux has been supported better than Windows as an HPC platform by nvidia.

Re:So what happens to HPC with NVIDIA cards? (1)

Dragoniz3r (992309) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634186)

Same as it always has been. The driver they discontinued never supported it anyways. You must be thinking of their proprietary driver (you know... the one that actually supports 3D)

News to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634082)

I don't know what the hell you people are talking about, but nVidia was and is supported extrememly well under linux by their own driver package you can get right off the website. Yes they have to compile code on your machine most of the time but I've found it to be stable and reliable for all the nvidia boards I've used. And it's opengl support appears great too.. running WoW under Wine for example is a killer example of what it can do.

Re:News to me (1, Troll)

Arker (91948) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634184)

You dont know what you are talking about. At best the binary blob "supports" a limited subset of linux-based systems, and even that not properly. You may find it "works well" for you on your specific setup, and you may be myopic enough to not care about anyone or anything else, but fortunately not everyone is so short-sighted. To properly support a free system requires that the actual software (NOT a derivative blob) be available and free as well. To properly support linux specifically means to comply with the requirements of the kernel team so that the driver appears in the kernel tree and is maintained as part of the kernel. A binary blob has never and will never constitute support, period.

ok, Im confused (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634084)

Does nVidia have a proprietary driver for their video card for Linux? Or is it just the Open Source one?

ATI / AMD WIN's!!! (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634120)

ATI / AMD WIN's!!!

not only do they have good on board video they also have open drivers as well.

Dear Nvidia - I've bought my last card from you (1)

rcpitt (711863) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634132)

My workstation has 3 in it - and I have another 10+ sprinked around the house in various machine - and maybe anther 100+ at various customer locations.

ATI gets my business now.

Re:Dear Nvidia - I've bought my last card from you (1)

frist (1441971) | more than 3 years ago | (#31634152)

Why? They have a perfectly good driver on their web site for you to download.

mod D0wn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31634236)

than this BSD box, rival distribu#tion, of open-source. NetBSD posts on at times. From hype - BSD's grandstanders, the everything else
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