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NVIDIA Developer Talks Openly About Linux Support

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  • #16
    The main comments below are asking what is the usage of the tech, not what is the tech itself.

    Originally posted by Raine View Post

    Nothing new:
    - NO KMS
    KMS is an interesting one, where do you get value from this? There are a couple of areas that it might add vale.

    o BSOD equivalence - get the log messages on the screen with an oops. The joke of the Windows world applied to Linux. I would expect it'll feel just like the old Sun Workstations from 20 years ago.
    o "Flicker free" boot. Well, I don't really see too many problems with this. Sure Apple has it - but that is a closed system, top to bottom. But what value does it *really* provide?

    - NO Gallium3D
    - NO EXA
    These are implementation details. Let me translate

    o Gallium3D (or DRI2) - Full support for composited environments, OpenGL, OpenCL, xV client support. You already get that without it on NV and ATI drivers. Just a different model. Gallium3D is a refactoring of the architecture to easily support more clients without needing lots more developers.
    o EXA - increased 2D performance (and RENDER and dynamic framebuffer realocation). Again, EXA isn't needed. dynamic framebuffer reallocation doesn't need EXA, but it does need RANDR1.2+ to be useful).

    Start with the user or application facing features that you want and dive down from there. What are the features your *really* want.

    The assumption that a single implementation is the *only* path to achieving a user visible feature usually ends up with comprimise. The composited desktop has many paths right now. XGL was an interesting idea, but ultimately went away. Same for EXA for intel (UXA).

    Regards,

    Matthew

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    • #17
      Originally posted by TeoLinuX View Post
      I think that such a high % of code sharing between windows and Unix drivers will prevent nVidia from implementing many new trendy and innovative features that are peculiar to Linux. And it'll prevent them from releasing any tech docs too.
      Most of the code sharing would be abstracting the hardware itself. Most of the trendy or innovative features are in the Unix specific code anyway. Ironically, it is the code sharing that allows some trendy things to be done with minimal effort.

      Having a confirmation that drivers are developed mainly on the needs of OEM and professional workstation users make me sad, because that sounds like they'll put general desktop users on a low consideration. Let alone gamers
      Follow the money.

      Semiconductor companies mostly sell chips. The OEMs, ODMs, AIBs and so on make the products that you buy. It's only when handing over a cheque that you can also add a "and add this feature".

      If there is money in the linux desktop, then there will be a money trail there too. In the PC market, it is the OEMs who buy the OS for the system they sell. Or the SIs that get involved in large deployments.

      If you don't have a money trail, you don't get the corporate investment. Great things can happen without corporate investment, but it's rare (don't use Linux - Linus is a strong leader, and the corp investement in Linux has *always* been huge, it's just that there isn't corp leadership).

      Regards,

      Matthew

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      • #18
        Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
        What... you mean this: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item&px=NzQzOQ ?


        Nice thing about bios is that the magical info needed is what I showed you just up above... and it leads to stuff like this: http://www.coreboot.org/Welcome_to_coreboot


        Really? We're talking REAL HARDWARE RAID, or that fakeraid nonsense? Because last I checked, most of the *REAL* hardware raid manufacturers (adapted, 3ware, etc.) were very friendly to open source...
        Last time I checked, Adaptec support got kicked out of OpenBSD for the exact opposite.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by next9 View Post
          It is strange situation in Linux graphics. I can't imagine any other segment of HW, that was so perseveringly sabotaged by HW vendors. Nowhere else is so much hogwash about IP. In every other segment, there is at least one major vendor who supports Opensource way.
          Find another HW segment that replaces a good portion of their flagship product on a 12 monthly cycle.

          If you have been following bridgman's comments on ATI's threads, each product family has at least one part that is a major diversion from the previous generation. That's where the first part of the issues come in. Each new product family costs 10's to 100's of effort-years of development. You can argue that OSS if fast and nimble, but that is still an incredible challenge.

          Gallium3D goes a long way to simplifing and abstracting the HW out of the drivers, and is a boon for OSS driver development.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Ant P. View Post
            How about motherboard and chipset stuff? To date none of the big BIOS makers have contributed anything (but they're all too happy to sell Splashtop back to you on a preinstalled-Windows hard disk), and hardware RAID is notoriously proprietary.
            AFAIK chipset are well supported by kernel thus their drivers are opensource. I don't know the situation precisely, but at least AMD release documentation.

            So called HW raid integrated on motherboards IS NOT HW raid. it is traditional software raid, modified to motherboard BIOS (now called firmware RAID), because the great Redmond OS is unable to boot from traditional SW RAID. It is bullshit to use this crap in Linus instead of SW RAID.

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            • #21
              well, I buy amd because:
              Fab in Dresden
              (not only but it is another point on the list)

              the oss driver initiative.

              I think that is called 'voting with money'

              Comment


              • #22
                Thanks for this very interesting interview. I still have a few question though:

                - What distro do the driver devs use?

                - Why can't you say that *one* developer should *one* week help the nouveau guys with their problems? If you don't want to open source your driver, why can't you help the nouveau guys a litte little bit, that gallium works? It would be good for you and for everyone who wants free drivers.

                Of course a real opensource initative like ati does is better, but i think even a bit support for the nouveau would help pretty much.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Good interview! It's good to know that instead of leaving their customers in the dark (like AMD is doing with XvBA...) they are very clear that they have absolutely no interest in helping the development of an open source alternative to their binary blob. Reason enough for me to stay away from NVidia products.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by bugmenot View Post
                    Thanks for this very interesting interview. I still have a few question though:

                    - What distro do the driver devs use?

                    - Why can't you say that *one* developer should *one* week help the nouveau guys with their problems? If you don't want to open source your driver, why can't you help the nouveau guys a litte little bit, that gallium works? It would be good for you and for everyone who wants free drivers.

                    Of course a real opensource initative like ati does is better, but i think even a bit support for the nouveau would help pretty much.
                    nvidia answered the first question in a podcast one or two years ago. google might dig it up.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      @energyman

                      ATI chips are not produced in germany, only some AMD CPUs. Ironically Nvidia+ATI chips are produced by the same company

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Thank you for a really nice interview!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Obviously Matthew Tippet has so much to say, you've interviewed the wrong team, lol.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                            How exactly does the code being shared between microshaft and *nix relate to supporting open source? We don't want your crap code. We want *specifications*.
                            You don't have the right to want anything. It doesn't belong to you for you to want it. It's theirs, they can do with it whatever they please. This isn't Soviet Russia.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                              You don't have the right to want anything. It doesn't belong to you for you to want it. It's theirs, they can do with it whatever they please. This isn't Soviet Russia.
                              well said.

                              This thread as been growing like bacteria on a keyboard. its a good topic tho.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Nothing new...

                                [QUOTE=greg;96509]

                                Hi greg!

                                > Read again.

                                Err...extracted from the article:

                                Nothing definite, no, but we do get a lot of requests for it and it is something I hope we can pursue in the future.

                                Hope is not a definite thing
                                What I've meant was in near term. Not in a long possible term...

                                > - NO Gallium3D
                                > - NO EXA
                                >> What for? NVidia's driver already has excellent acceleration w/ NVidia's own framework.
                                >> Again, why? NVidia already provides fast 2D acceleration and did so before EXA saw the light of the day.

                                Why? Standard/kernel developers/community approved way to do things inside the Linux kernel is not important here? Debugging facilities, very small term improvements (i.e. look KMS feature lack time frame on Nvidia), fast community driven bug fix response time, etc...

                                Maybe the architecture inside nvidia's proprietary driver is really good even on 2D acceleration, but not on Linux's kernel way.

                                How can the community help improving overall desktop experience performance without following the Linux's kernel ways?

                                But, I respect (but not agree) the fact tha Nvidia has it's reasons (IP and financial ones) not do so

                                > - NO SLI, NO All-Good-NVIDIA-Windowzer-Stuuf
                                >> I'm not sure what you mean. SLI works fine.

                                Sorry...my bad. I was half thinking on SLI and PhysX when writing.

                                I was referring to SLI profiling and better control-settings-panel (like Windows has).

                                On the other side, you haven't agree in the fact PhysX and other really interesting things from Windows drivers don't exists on Linux drivers

                                >That being said, I think it's a bit sad that NVidia won't be able to >help the Nouveau guys. At least some hardware documentation under NDA >would be pretty nice, if nothing else seems to be possible.

                                Unfortunately they can't help them. But fortunately we (community) have *always* other's ways to do so, like nouveau guys


                                Originally posted by mtippett View Post

                                The assumption that a single implementation is the *only* path to achieving a user visible feature usually ends up with comprimise. The composited desktop has many paths right now. XGL was an interesting idea, but ultimately went away. Same for EXA for intel (UXA).

                                Regards,

                                Matthew
                                Hi Matthew!

                                But no as Linux's kernel approved and correct way.


                                Regards,
                                Raine
                                Last edited by Raine; 10-20-2009, 04:26 PM.

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