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Hardware Linux

NVIDIA Is Joining the Linux Foundation 113

Norsefire writes "NVIDIA is joining the Linux Foundation, along with three other to-be-announced companies. From the article: 'As one of the three big makers of graphics chips for PCs--the other two are Intel and AMD, both of which are longtime Linux Foundation members--Nvidia's increased participation in Linux could be big news for users of the free and open source operating system. Nvidia has long taken a closed approach to Linux drivers for its graphics cards, offering only a proprietary one and declining to participate in the open source Nouveau driver project, which has depended instead on reverse engineering.'"
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NVIDIA Is Joining the Linux Foundation

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  • Already announced (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @06:53PM (#39281463) Homepage

    From the first article:

    Still, there's an exciting potential in this news, which includes also the addition of multimedia software developer Fluendo, Japanese Lineo Solutions, and security-focused Mocana to the Linux Foundation's membership list.

  • by crazycheetah ( 1416001 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @07:33PM (#39281907)

    1. RTFA.

    2. It does not mean any of that.

    3. It means that they're pumping money into Linux. For what means... speculation includes the Tegra platform (which really is not a bad speculation at all), but who knows. You also have Oracle, Adobe, etc. in that list that have little to no support for Linux with their software (or other questionable attributes).

  • Re:Not for graphics (Score:5, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @07:41PM (#39282011) Journal
    Their GPU compute division might also have a hand in it: Linux users as customers for desktop and gaming cards aren't wildly compelling; though certainly not nonexistent; but the people buying racks and racks of Tesla enclosures are an entirely different matter. Nvidia has no obvious interest in more OSS in their bits of that particular arrangement; but they certainly want it to work smoothly.
  • by neonsignal ( 890658 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @08:21PM (#39282399)

    Your impression is five years out of date.

    The radeon driver for the ATI/AMD cards has improved dramatically, the graphics cards have published programming specifications, and AMD actively support the driver. It supports 3D acceleration, and is a viable alternative to the proprietary catalyst drivers in many contexts.

    In contrast, to have 3D acceleration on an Nvidia card, you are often forced to install a non-free driver, and Nvidia may or may not drop support for your card as you move to newer Linux kernels. The nouveau project, while making great advances under difficult circumstances, have to reverse engineer the programming interface to the card, and do not yet have sufficient 3D support for many applications. I would hope that one day Nvidia will give them more support.

    Note that this is not a comment on the relative performance merits of graphics cards from the two different manufacturers. But if you want to run 3D graphics intensive applications, and also have the benefits of a libre software environment, then it is hard to justify using an Nvidia card at present.

  • by Xtifr ( 1323 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @08:30PM (#39282483) Homepage

    It means that they meet the requirements for membership* and have paid their membership fees. Which basically means they're throwing a bunch of money into a pool intended to promote, support, improve, and defend Linux and other OSS projects and developers. And getting a tax credit.

    Does that mean [other stuff]?


    If no, then what's the meaning of joining?

    It means that they've thrown a bunch of money into a pool intended to...blah, blah. And gotten a tax credit. And the right to say "Member of the Linux Foundation" on their website and other promotional materials.

    * Membership is open to "...individuals and entities that engage in or support the production, manufacture, use, sale, or standardization of Linux or other open source-based technologies." (Emphasis mine.) Note that you don't even have to engage in the use of Linux--you merely have to support it (whatever that means).

  • by drcheap ( 1897540 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @08:52PM (#39282687) Journal

    You also have Oracle ... in that list that have little to no support for Linux with their software (or other questionable attributes).

    Oracle? I mean sure Larry's O-monster is definitely one of the major Big Evil Corporations(tm), but you can't say they have no support for Linux. Hell, the flagship product Oracle Database has been available for Linux (and even certified on several distros) for at least 10 years now -- I was running 8i on a Slackware box back in 2003!

    Many years ago, they came out with their own Linux distro (based on RHEL), and now you can even get a turn-key solution that includes an "appliance" server, which runs their software ... get this ... on Linux! They will fully support you with mission-critical issues, as long as you pay for the support contract ;)

    Furthermore, most people don't even know that Oracle has dedicated team of paid staff that does nothing but work on FOSS []. One of these projects is OCFS2, which I have personally been involved with (as a user & community member, not a developer) for 2-3 years now and has recently become part of the mainline Linux kernel.

  • by Daniel Phillips ( 238627 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @10:51PM (#39283405)

    They were the only ones who made a GPU driver that actually both worked and performed well. Whether or not it's open source is of secondary consideration - give me a fucking GPU driver that actually pumps pixels!

    Claiming open source or not makes no difference just shows that you have no first hand experience. I am currently running the open source Radeon driver, and for the first time[1] ever in my 3D accelerator history I have a platform that never segfaults (any more) handles text mode properly (looking at you NVidia) and doesn't break on every kernel upgrade. This is a huge deal-maker for me because at this point I value stability over throughput, and over being able to run OGL 3+, which is the only reason I will boot the Catalyst driver on occasion. I do not disagree that the Catalyst driver pumps more pixels - and it also has other goodies like proper antialiased lines and FSAA - but that does not matter as much to me as being hassle-free. By the way, I can do 50K triangles/frame at 60 FPS with the Radeom driver on a fanless 4830 using 50% of one Phenom II core. Did I mention, I also value quiet? It's true.

    [1] Except for Intel GMA, which is also open for too underpowered for serious development work.

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