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Graphics Open Source Hardware Linux

Nvidia Drops Support For Its Open Source Driver 412

Posted by timothy
from the let-them-eat-text dept.
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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Nvidia Drops Support For Its Open Source Driver

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  • by h4rr4r (612664)

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

    • by GenP (686381) on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:11PM (#31633954)

      buy intel video cards

      Oh? Where can I buy offboard Intel video cards?

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

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

        • by PixelSlut (620954)
          Too bad you can't buy Intel graphics that work in a Core i7 desktop.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bhtooefr (649901)

            Technically, you can.

            The performance will make even the worst integrated graphics that you can buy nowadays look significantly better, but you can get Intel graphics on a Core i7. Or anything with a PCI slot, really.

            It's called the i740.

            I believe it'll work with the drivers for Intel integrated graphics, as the i740 is the direct predecessor of Intel's integrated graphics line, and IIRC, the i740 is actually the same as the i810's graphics hardware.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              This is incorrect. I own an i740 graphics adapter and, unfortunately, it is unsupported:

              http://dri.freedesktop.org/wiki/Intel [freedesktop.org]

              There's a driver for the card, but it's 2D only, and hasn't been improved in any way for the last 10 years or so. Of course, the card 3D performance is so weak that software acceleration on a modern CPU would probably be faster, however I was hugely disappointed when I wanted to get some 3D acceleration on one of my old Pentium 2 PC. And if you want a cheap card with no 3D or unusable

    • by ross.w (87751) <rwonderley@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:17PM (#31634004) Journal

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

    • by moosesocks (264553) on Friday March 26, 2010 @08:18PM (#31634568) Homepage

      IANAL, but the Mono business has been cleared up (unless there are non-Microsoft patents lurking somewhere).

      A legally-binding decision not to sue is a legally binding decision not to sue. No respectable judge would even agree to hear the case unless you decided to rip off some bit of code that Microsoft didn't release.

      Mono is safe. Stop spreading this BS.

      • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@nOsPAm.hotmail.com> on Friday March 26, 2010 @09:45PM (#31635422) Journal
        Mono is safe. Stop spreading this BS.

        Microsoft has a history of trying to sell Linux-relevant patents to trolls and of using third-party proxies to attack Linux.

        Microsoft has not changed its hostility towards Linux or open formats. Mono MAY be safe, but don't use it for infrastructure projects. Don't encourage the use of Microsoft-sponsored formats or protocols.

        Mono is best used as a solely Windows compatibility tool.

  • by msauve (701917)

    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?

    • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

      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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sir_Lewk (967686)

      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.

      • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by einhverfr (238914)

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

      Only if it is installed as part of EMACS.....

  • by Itninja (937614) on Friday March 26, 2010 @06:54PM (#31633766) Homepage
    Does Nvidia not know there are literally dozens of Linux users out there clamoring for a stable, high-end gaming environment?
    • Re:Bad move.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk&gmail,com> on Friday March 26, 2010 @06:58PM (#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...

    • by SIR_Taco (467460)

      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).

      • by KiloByte (825081)

        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.

    • 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.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Alex Belits (437) * on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:03PM (#31633860) Homepage

      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by h4rr4r (612664)

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

      • Re:Bad move.... (Score:4, Informative)

        by icebraining (1313345) on Friday March 26, 2010 @08:06PM (#31634456) Homepage

        Actually, AMD has released many programming specifications and sponsors the Free radeonhd drivers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphics_hardware_and_FOSS#ATI.2FAMD [wikipedia.org]

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Draek (916851)

          Exactly. NVidia users should really get out of their heads the notion that, if a company offers propietary drivers, they *must* be superior to the open-source ones in some shape or form.

          Sometimes, companies do stupid things like sending a terrible piece of software to compete with a superior one that's available with far less strings attached, and that they support as well, just because they can. AMD is one of those companies.

    • by JoeBuck (7947)
      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.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Friday March 26, 2010 @09:10PM (#31635060)

      I know at least 200 CGI artists whose IT department would love to switch to Linux and use economically affordable but quite powerful NVidia cards, and a desktop vendor who lost the sale because they couldn't legally pre-install the NVidia drivers nor rely on the NVidia setups to remain stable. The NVidia installer moves aside OpenGL libraries and replaces them: any software updates that accidentally include fresh OpenGL libraries break the NVidia setup.

      They're testing ATI based video cards right now to try and close the deal.

  • by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Friday March 26, 2010 @06:59PM (#31633796) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • by Kenja (541830) on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:03PM (#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.
      • 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 t

        • by Kjella (173770) on Friday March 26, 2010 @08:50PM (#31634850) Homepage

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

          1) You assume that there's a ready set of PDFs that could be uploaded somewhere. There's not, there's actually a mess of various documentation mixed in with tons of internal notes, foreign IP, trade secrets and stuff that was fixed in the driver and commented there but isn't really in a separate document at all. AMD has put a helluva lot of effort in creating a process to produce the documentation and get formal signoff from lawyers, technical experts and executives that this information is safe to release. Often they've given up on documentation and found it's easier to produce a clean code snippet and get that through the review - it's far from a trivial process.

          2) Since it's normally a one-to-one hardware-driver combination, things get redone. A lot. Many things are simply removed and replaced by software, kind of like winmodems. It's not like you build a OpenGL 2.0 driver and next generation you have a working 2.0 driver on 3.0 hardware, you have to keep up with the changes to get any hardware support at all. It wouldn't be entirely impossible to do it from specs alone, but it would be difficult. In practice you need people in the project or available to the project to answer questions, correct documentation and work with the internal driver/hardware team. And/or possibly have some sort of NDA program in addition to the public specs, but all of this takes time and effort which equals money.

          3) The community is quite frankly not that big. At last headcount there was about a dozen working on the AMD source drivers, of which three are AMD employees. I've heard Bridgman say they use 2-3% of the effort on Linux despite accounting for 1% of the sales, so a back-of-the-napkin calculation says the internal driver team is something like 100 people. With complete access to all the documentation including on unreleased products, the hardware designers, hardware simulators, early engineering samples and so on. So on top of all their other disadvantages, the community is vastly outnumbered. Not to dispute that they could do a lot more specs than without, just that there's a lot more missing than specs.

          • by epine (68316) on Friday March 26, 2010 @09:41PM (#31635384)

            I've heard Bridgman say they use 2-3% of the effort on Linux despite accounting for 1% of the sales

            If documentation disclosure had been baked in from the beginning, they might have been able to keep their IP from becoming so difficult to untangle. Perhaps moving forward they are taking this better into account. If so the burden should already be on a downward trajectory.

            Plus they have nVidia's recent decision to thank for potentially shifting another 0.5% their way.

            While they're at it, they might wish to adopt a living documentation model internally, so that bugs fixed in the code base are directly reflected in the primary documentation. How is that an insurmountable process challenge to a group of 100 smart people coding device drivers for billion transistor chips of mind boggling complexity?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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?

        • by tftp (111690) on Friday March 26, 2010 @08:27PM (#31634658) Homepage

          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?

          You can't pick and choose developers in an open source project. And it will be very expensive to support people who may be not qualified for the job. You can't expect everyone to be familiar with hardware, or with driver coding, or with industry-standard methods. If you do the programming in-house you, as a manager, simply give the job to people who know how to do it right, and it gets done right.

          There is also that cathedral vs. bazaar problem. You, as a manager or as an experienced programmer, may know how certain things need to be done. Perhaps this is not your first project of this type. In the cathedral you simply issue directives how to do it, and it gets done exactly to your requirements (if not, they fix it until you like it.) In the bazaar you only can voice your opinion, and everyone else is free to ignore it. As result, if bazaar members are not as competent with this particular problem as you are, you may watch them making the same mistakes that you did 10 years ago. Meanwhile the software suffers, and your company's hardware is unfairly blamed for that. If the company supports the open-source model then it will be also said that "Company N is unable to make the feature X work, even though they allocated their best engineers to help the developers." Bad news. If you want something done right, do it yourself.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Yaa 101 (664725)

          Probably litigation costs due to patented stuff they use inside their products. It's probably easier and cheaper to have a few people developing their closed source stuff instead.

          But don't ask me, I am just a simple Linux user...

      • by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:50PM (#31634316) Homepage Journal

        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.

    • by santax (1541065)
      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 furthe
      • 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.

    • by stoanhart (876182) on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:15PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheSpoom (715771)

        Sure, Vista/7 ships with drivers, and so could Linux if the GPL didn't prohibit it.

        What part of the GPL prohibits shipping a completely separately licensed binary with it? Ubuntu's graphics are more encumbered than the GPL and yet they ship on the CD.

        Now, nVidia's license, that's a more likely reason.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      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.
    • by Prien715 (251944)

      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.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      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 accel

    • 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.

  • by JoeBuck (7947) on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:01PM (#31633828) Homepage
    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).
    • by DrYak (748999) on Friday March 26, 2010 @08:13PM (#31634534) Homepage

      The big deal is in how it's handled.

      ATI way:
      They collaborate actively with the 3rd party open-source driver guys (RadeonHD project, etc.)
      They publish specs to help them, and take efforts to make subsequent hardware more opensource friendly.

      On the day they drop support for some old hardware from their official driver, they point to the opensource project which is mature enough by now for the old hardware.

      Nvidia way:
      Actively ignore that a 3rd party open-source driver effort exist (Nouveau).
      Don't make the slightest effort to help them and don't release anything (well, on the other hand, they don't send Cease and Desist letters at least).

      On the day they drop support for the own official opensource driver, they point to some other limited functionality driver (VESA BIOS based) so users have a GUI to download their official closed source driver.
      They pretend Nouveau doesn't exist at all, despite the fact that it's gaining widespread usage: Specially since inclusion in Kernel, virtually all distributions are starting to use it, either in the current or the next iteration.

      I mean that Nouveau is very probably what the 2.6.34 / 2.6.35 kernel-based distros are going to offer to Fermi owner (although very probably 2D only support).
      They could at least acknowledge its existence, even if only with the proper "Not supported by Nvidia" warnings.

  • nVidia also ran? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by headkase (533448) on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:07PM (#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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kimvette (919543)

      Maybe nVidia is following the path SGI did?

      Work hard, become top dog, and then sit on your haunches licking your nuts while your formerly-inferior competition whips by you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by smash (1351)
        Well, they DID (allegedly) buy/steal a lot of SGI I.P.
  • Open matters..... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by budword (680846) on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:07PM (#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.

    • by owlstead (636356)

      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.

  • Slow news day? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:11PM (#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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tepples (727027)
      Discontinuing 'nv' wouldn't be an issue if NVIDIA were giving even the slightest help to the Nouveau project, but they're not.
  • No surprise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mrsam (12205)
    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
    • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ardor (673957) on Friday March 26, 2010 @08:17PM (#31634558)

      If you want hardware-accelerated OpenGL without lots of headache in Linux, you want Nvidia.
      If you want hardware-accelerated OpenGL that supports more than OpenGL 1.4 (which is an ancient version), you want Nvidia.

      ATI/AMD: driver headaches to no end. *Correct* OpenGL code causes kernel freezes, graphics glitches and so on.
      Intel: the older GMAs have terrible OpenGL support and are performance-wise in the 90s. The newest GMAs are OK for low-end stuff, but only because they are actually PowerVR SGX chips, and not made by Intel.

  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by smash (1351)
      hello? nvidia is a publicly traded company who is in this to make money. they're not a person. I'll bet dollars to donuts that supporting this open source driver costs more money than it generates. Most of the linux users who truly care about open source 3d drivers should be on intel already anyway.
  • 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.

  • 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?

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GreatBunzinni (642500)

      Are you considering graphics cards as gaming accessories or graphics cards as parallel math coprocessors for the medium-end number crunching on a budget market? If you consider the latter then drivers for graphics card, which bring support for OpenCL, will make linux a worthwhile market segment. Where do you find people crunching numbers? Windows? OSX? No. All the cool kids crunch numbers with linux. [top500.org]

    • by cpghost (719344)

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

      How much time does it take to publish the source code of their currently closed binary blob? Nobody asks them to write a different driver that they could open-source, as that would be silly.

  • by ClickOnThis (137803) on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:23PM (#31634074) Journal

    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?

    • by TeXMaster (593524) on Friday March 26, 2010 @07:36PM (#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.

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MtHuurne (602934)

      There are 3 drivers for nVidia cards:

      • the "nv" driver, which only does 2D and is open source; this is the one for which support is being discontinued
      • the "nvidia" driver, which does 3D and all other bells and whistles, but is not open source
      • the Nouveau driver, which does 2D and is starting to do 3D too; it is being written based on reverse engineered info without any help from nVidia

      Since Nouveau is becoming mature enough to be the default nVidia driver in distros now (Fedora was the first, as far as I know)

  • ATI / AMD WIN's!!!

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

  • 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.

  • by smash (1351) on Friday March 26, 2010 @09:14PM (#31635118) Homepage Journal
    ? seriously, most open source software on a linux box is not supported by any huge corporation to any great level of detail. the driver will still be there, it will still work in VESA mode. to get the best performance you have always had to install the binary driver. the binary driver, that nvidia have compiled most of will be far easier for them to provide proper support for, as they won't have to deal with idiots compiling it on their overclocked gentoo box with -o9 and then blaming nvidia support/hardware when it crashes and or won't compile.

    if there is a market for a competitive open source friendly (hell, open source hardware) 3d video card, someone will make it. currently, it does not appear to economically viable to be both open source and competitive, in the 3d hardware world.

    Until then, the binary driver will still exist.

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