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  • NVIDIA Is Joining The Linux Foundation

    Phoronix: NVIDIA Is Joining The Linux Foundation

    NVIDIA will be joining the Linux Foundation, per an announcement coming out in the morning. But for open-source Linux fans, will this be a reason to rejoice about NVIDIA potentially moving forward with open-source drivers? Don't break out the champagne quite yet...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTA2NzI

  • #2
    Any devs want to chime in for a more realistic analysis?

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    • #3
      My first reaction seeing the title in my RSS reader was; This is it, hell has frozen over. Reading the rest of the article though only re-confirmed what I've been remembering for years.

      nVidia doesn't care for linux. Their CEO once made a statement regarding linux back in the riva128 days about they would never support opensource etc etc.

      I think them joining the foundation is just a way to sell more tegra chips for use in android tablets, with their binary blob for video. Good for the foundation to have some extra cash, but don't expect any nVidia opensource miracles.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by oliver View Post
        My first reaction seeing the title in my RSS reader was; This is it, hell has frozen over. Reading the rest of the article though only re-confirmed what I've been remembering for years.

        nVidia doesn't care for linux. Their CEO once made a statement regarding linux back in the riva128 days about they would never support opensource etc etc.

        I think them joining the foundation is just a way to sell more tegra chips for use in android tablets, with their binary blob for video. Good for the foundation to have some extra cash, but don't expect any nVidia opensource miracles.
        Previous generations of Android devices have used Tegra, but currently the reference platform is OMAP4.

        http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/24...n-nexus-galaxy

        OMAP5 is shaping up as the future:

        http://9to5google.com/2012/01/13/tex...head-of-apple/

        IMO Nvidia need desperately to do something positive re Linux or Tegra won't be used any longer for Android. This is a big market to miss out on.

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        • #5
          Only sad thing about the omap's is, they use our big bad friend, PowerVR.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by oliver View Post
            Only sad thing about the omap's is, they use our big bad friend, PowerVR.
            and i don't even know who's worse...
            personally, i hope for Samsung and ARM to kick some ass with Exynos, Mali and Tizen.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dfx. View Post
              and i don't even know who's worse...
              personally, i hope for Samsung and ARM to kick some ass with Exynos, Mali and Tizen.
              Well ARM Mali 400 will have open-source graphics thanks to the Lima Project, not because ARM is awesome or anything; their driver is closed as well.

              Regarding NVIDIA, I hope the does mean they're going to start playing nice with Linux. The proprietary graphics drivers on my desktop are rubbish; my mobile Sandy Bridge graphics animate GNOME3 transitions orders of magnitude smoother than this damn Quadro FX 1800 (768 megs of freakin' RAM).
              Last edited by aorth; 03-07-2012, 07:46 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by aorth View Post
                Regarding NVIDIA, I hope the does mean they're going to start playing nice with Linux. The proprietary graphics drivers on my desktop are rubbish; my mobile Sandy Bridge graphics animate GNOME3 transitions orders of magnitude smoother than this damn Quadro FX 1800 (768 megs of freakin' RAM).
                <joking>OMG, such trolling is not accepted on the Phoronix forums, only complaining about Catalyst, the nVidia blob is to be considered perfect</joking>

                Now on a serious note, except for FSF all so called Linux or "Open Source" organizations are not really against binary blobs, so until you see the nVidia logo on http://www.fsf.org/patrons there's nothing to worry about .

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ansla View Post
                  <joking>OMG, such trolling is not accepted on the Phoronix forums, only complaining about Catalyst, the nVidia blob is to be considered perfect</joking>

                  Now on a serious note, except for FSF all so called Linux or "Open Source" organizations are not really against binary blobs, so until you see the nVidia logo on http://www.fsf.org/patrons there's nothing to worry about .
                  Yeah, actually my post was missing the point. NVIDIA's Linux drivers suck; the fact that they're proprietary is irrelevant.

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                  • #10
                    Open source

                    An aside: I tend to buy NV over ATI because NV usually is quicker with Linux driver support I am not dragging out the "ATI makes crappy drivers" argument here: ATI makes fine drivers for Linux, but not always in a timely manner.

                    My comment: NV can't open source it's drivers for the simple reason that doing so would give away many trade secrets about the structure of it's silicon. Same is true for AMD.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hoohoo View Post
                      An aside: I tend to buy NV over ATI because NV usually is quicker with Linux driver support I am not dragging out the "ATI makes crappy drivers" argument here: ATI makes fine drivers for Linux, but not always in a timely manner.

                      My comment: NV can't open source it's drivers for the simple reason that doing so would give away many trade secrets about the structure of it's silicon. Same is true for AMD.
                      Linux development does not ask NV or AMD to "open source" its code. All it asks for is programming specifications, so that Linux developers can write their own driver code.

                      Like so:
                      http://www.x.org/docs/AMD/

                      Doing this does NOT give away any trade secrets about the structure of the silicon. There are no copycat clones of AMD/ATI silicon around due to AMD/ATI having released the programming specifications linked above. All that has resulted is an open source driver written by developers at Xorg.

                      Releasing these programming specifications has hurt AMD/ATI ... not one teent tiny solitary bit.

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                      • #12
                        I stand corrected.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hal2k1 View Post

                          IMO Nvidia need desperately to do something positive re Linux or Tegra won't be used any longer for Android. This is a big market to miss out on.
                          I agree, I think nvidia has been making a pretty big mistake in regards to their lack of Tegra support on Linux. This is a big reason why ARM tablets are becoming more and more popular. Linux enthusiasts should definitely be buying tablets with ARM chips rather than Tegra chips becauase there is so much more that can be done with them (ie: Debian, Plasma Active Two, etc. runs on ARM).

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sidicas View Post
                            I agree, I think nvidia has been making a pretty big mistake in regards to their lack of Tegra support on Linux. This is a big reason why ARM tablets are becoming more and more popular. Linux enthusiasts should definitely be buying tablets with ARM chips rather than Tegra chips becauase there is so much more that can be done with them (ie: Debian, Plasma Active Two, etc. runs on ARM).
                            Sorry, but this is bulls**t.

                            First thing: Tegra also uses ARM CPU cores.
                            If we are speaking about the graphics cores ARM Mali today is no more or less open than the Tegra. For both you get GPLed kernel drivers (NVidia host a nice git repo for this), but both also need closed source userspace driver parts to get you something on the screen.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by oliver View Post
                              Only sad thing about the omap's is, they use our big bad friend, PowerVR.
                              I'll take powervr over nvidia any day.
                              The biggest problem that can be associated with powervr was actually caused by INTEL.

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