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Northern Islands & Fermi Busted On Open-Source

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  • Northern Islands & Fermi Busted On Open-Source

    Phoronix: Northern Islands & Fermi Busted On Open-Source

    Even with the likely release of the Linux 3.0 kernel, open-source graphics drivers continue to be a big problem for the Linux desktop. While they have improved a lot in recent years, for many Linux users they can cause horrific headaches. Recently it was mentioned on Phoronix that Intel Sandy Bridge is in bad shape for Ubuntu 11.04 and that it even broke upstream in Linux 2.6.39, but Intel's far from being the only driver experiencing a choppy boat ride...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTQ4OA

  • #2
    Wow, this is really "full whine" mode in this article

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    • #3
      yet another "whine" article about open source graphic drivers.

      I wonder when the usual "via still has not commited to OSS as promised" and "intel poulsbo mess" article start to appear again.

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      • #4
        When testing out the Nouveau kernel tree for its brand new Fermi FUC microcode replacement, that too was bugged up. As of this morning, on the GeForce GTX 460 it's not working right and there's just lots of PRUNK140 messages being emitted. For better or worse, at least this Nouveau code isn't being primed until the Linux 2.6.41/3.1 release.
        Duh? It was committed so people could test it and file bug reports, so that it can work on all the hardware it needs to support. It's not worth whining when something is broken by a commit to an unstable git repository. Just file a bug report so it can be fixed, instead of writing an article about it and uploading a YouTube video, which accomplished nothing.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Plombo View Post
          Duh? It was committed so people could test it and file bug reports, so that it can work on all the hardware it needs to support. It's not worth whining when something is broken by a commit to an unstable git repository. Just file a bug report so it can be fixed, instead of writing an article about it and uploading a YouTube video, which accomplished nothing.
          It accomplished.... Page views!

          Really though, can we even call a very clear work-in-progress "broken"?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mattst88 View Post
            It accomplished.... Page views!

            Really though, can we even call a very clear work-in-progress "broken"?
            Technically it's broken till all the serious showstopper bugs are fixed.

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            • #7
              Perhaps borked graphics drivers give us time to look at the kernel power regression again..?!

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              • #8
                Michael,

                Here's a thought. How about doing something useful about it and filing a bug report[1]? There are other boards with the same chipset as the one you tested (one of which I own), that actually work quite fine. We'd probably learn something useful about fermi in the process of fixing it, that'd actually benefit everyone..

                Ben.

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                • #9
                  I'm not even sure I understand why the open-source video drivers are so important to people, and why so much effort is spent on developing them. The proprietary drivers, though imperfect, are the far better option for almost all people (at least for nvidia, can't speak for all the others). There should really only be a tiny portion of users that use the open-source drivers, maybe for legal reasons or whatever.

                  There are so many other areas in the linux software domain that need to move forward; it seems like a waste to spend time on these open-source drivers.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by johnc View Post
                    The proprietary drivers, though imperfect, are the far better option for almost all people (at least for nvidia, can't speak for all the others).
                    There's the answer to your own confusion. The reason you can't understand the appeal of the open source drivers is because you've never even tried the good ones.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                      There's the answer to your own confusion. The reason you can't understand the appeal of the open source drivers is because you've never even tried the good ones.
                      Are there any good ones?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by johnc View Post
                        I'm not even sure I understand why the open-source video drivers are so important to people, and why so much effort is spent on developing them. The proprietary drivers, though imperfect, are the far better option for almost all people (at least for nvidia, can't speak for all the others). There should really only be a tiny portion of users that use the open-source drivers, maybe for legal reasons or whatever.

                        There are so many other areas in the linux software domain that need to move forward; it seems like a waste to spend time on these open-source drivers.
                        Several things:

                        1. The people who work on graphics drivers are either doing it because they're volunteers and graphics drivers are the one thing that they are most capable of contributing to, so saying it's a "waste of time" is ridiculous -- it's not like they could put down graphics drivers and then go contribute to GNOME or something. They don't want to, and they're probably not able to, being that their specialty is drivers, not desktop software. As for the paid employees, there are so few of them that they're little more than a drop in the bucket -- AMD doesn't even notice their salaries on their bottom line. Intel might, but they have an entire campus called the Intel Open Source Technology Center, so I think they're a little more invested in FOSS than the average company (so much so that you don't have the proprietary driver option for them).

                        2. It's not because of "legal reasons" that people want or insist on "open source" graphics drivers; it's because of the very fact that they're free and open source. Some people value the ideals of FOSS so highly that they would rather have less featureful software that is FOSS, rather than more featureful software that is not FOSS. And the feature disparity is measurably closing, too, despite what anyone here might tell you.

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                        • #13
                          Open source drivers are crucial for out of the box support, and also track with updates to everything else much easier. I know that especially the former is of great interest with AMD.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mirv View Post
                            Open source drivers are crucial for out of the box support, and also track with updates to everything else much easier. I know that especially the former is of great interest with AMD.
                            I think this is the most important reason for majority of people. Just, install and use, and don't worry about old propietary drivers, or having to install something manually, it's great.

                            I'd would like to have libre (=free as in freedom, in spanish) software too, and sometimes I prefer it, if it isn't a lot less featured.

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                            • #15
                              For those that don't know, these types of articles do usually promote change in some manner... Whether it be a company acknowledging they need to get with the initial support better for the next-generation of hardware or marketing representatives that are clueless about Linux learning something new. Etc.
                              Michael Larabel
                              http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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