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  • NVIDIA Wants To Be A Better Linux Patron

    Phoronix: NVIDIA Wants To Be A Better Linux Patron

    It's been an interesting week for NVIDIA with Torvalds speaking quite negatively of NVIDIA, NVIDIA PR's fluffy response, and their recent loss of a huge order due to not having an open-source driver / MIPS port. However, NVIDIA Linux engineers are hoping to be better Linux patrons...

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

  • #2
    The key phrase is 'within the constraints'. I think nobody denies that nvidia's linux guys (the ones active on the various mailing lists and forums) are doing what they can within those constraints.

    To change those constraints, they should lobby and educate the middle/top management of nvidia to re-think their FOSS policies.

    Comment


    • #3
      NVIDIA Doesn't Want To Be A Better Linux Patron

      Stephen Warren of NVIDIA wants to be a better linux patron.

      Huge difference.

      This is made clear by the article itself:

      NVIDIA's Linux engineers have even bought graphics cards themselves to send over for Linux reviews at Phoronix. NVIDIA PR has had no interest in seeing Linux reviews on their products, etc. They've just played games with me for years and never delivered.
      Stephen Warren needs to make a mockup pink slip and send it to NVIDIA PR, if he wants things to change.

      Stephen, thanks for making the attempt(and you too, unnamed engineers within NVIDIA. We love you too). We recognize and appreciate it. But you aren't the problem, those above you are not interested. They are the problem. The first step in solving any problem is properly identifying what the root cause actually is.

      Until then, I hope NVIDIA loses more billions.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by phoronix View Post
        Would that kind of thing help our image even if we didn't open up our HW?
        Keywords.

        for characters limit

        Comment


        • #5
          Supporting Wayland would be a big step in the right direction.

          Comment


          • #6
            Deprecate as many parts of the proprietary driver as possible

            Having said what I said earlier, I do have an answer to the Stephen's query.

            It is my understanding(and I hope others around here will clarify this) that the proprietary Nvidia driver is not just the driver itself. The proprietary driver actually replaces parts of xorg and it's graphics stack, and other portions of software that clearly isn't necessarily covered under super secret hardware specifications.

            I do not mean deprecate all of these parts at once.

            Contribute to xorg whatever features are hidden within the proprietary stack, and when the co-responding OSS software package is capable of doing what the proprietary driver replaces, deprecate it's "replacement" that exists within the proprietary stack and make the proprietary driver more friendly with OSS components.

            Move on to the next re-written software item. Rinse and repeat. Contribute to whatever the OSS software package is, when the OSS software item is fully capable according to Nvidia's standards, deprecate the next part of the proprietary stack.

            The Nvidia driver should be made as small as possible, and designed to cover as little as possible.(hardware only, in other words) Leave the rest up to us.

            We have good software out here in OSS. Nvidia should stop re-inventing our wheel, and just patch the tire instead.
            Last edited by halfmanhalfamazing; 06-24-2012, 04:07 PM.

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            • #7
              There is a few "major" ways they can improve linux support without opening up the hardware.
              1. Provide Hardware to Linux Review sites ( like phoronix).
              2. Provide Hardware to Open Source Driver Developers.
              3. At least provide some Partial opening up of the hardware on "critical" information for Open Source Developers. This information for example could be on the power management systems. After all, the Power management system would be critical in a sense that an improper setting could cause the video cards in mass to die due to overheating because of the driver having an incorrect combination of voltages, gpu frequency, and graphics card fan settings.
              4. Rework the driver to play nicely with other OpenGL Drivers. It's extremely annoying to be unable to test multiple graphics cards from different vendors because the binary blobs fight with eachother, and any other driver. This probably would be the hardest to fix, but It's possible to get a system setup to where the OpenGL Drivers do not constantly fight. After all, it'd be nice to be able to not haft to go through a lot of undocumented hassles to be able to build a system where there is three graphics cards. For example, For testing purposes one might have a Radeon HD4550 ( open source driver), a Radeon HD5650 ( Open source driver), and then a random nvidia card like a gtx600 series to test with.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re

                Linux users are pretty satisfied with what the proprietary drivers offer.

                A Linux user is mostly unsatisfied that Optimus is not supported on Linux.
                Developers are mostly unsatisfied that they have to reverse engineer the proprietary drivers in order to get something working in the open source drivers and that nVidia developers don't help to improve the open source drivers like the AMD developers do for AMD open source drivers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Would you open a GPLv3 driver?

                  Would you release the driver under the GPLv3?

                  First off, I am not a lawyer nor even a law student!
                  This would let you release patents knowing if your competitors use them, you would get their patents back for your use in GPLv3 software.
                  The biggest issue with this is that Mesa/Linux aren't under the GPLv3, so yea.. However I am curious how your management would feel about this trade off.


                  At least recommend nouveau over Vesa / Commit "enablement" patches for Nouveau instead of Vesa
                  I believe you currently recommend people to boot with Vesa and then install the proprietary driver. Change that to Nouveau. Help nouveau developers get new hardware to at least display on release day, so that means you'd have to contribute patches ahead of time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re

                    Originally posted by Dandel View Post
                    There is a few "major" ways they can improve linux support without opening up the hardware.
                    1. Provide Hardware to Linux Review sites ( like phoronix).
                    2. Provide Hardware to Open Source Driver Developers.
                    3. At least provide some Partial opening up of the hardware on "critical" information for Open Source Developers. This information for example could be on the power management systems. After all, the Power management system would be critical in a sense that an improper setting could cause the video cards in mass to die due to overheating because of the driver having an incorrect combination of voltages, gpu frequency, and graphics card fan settings.
                    4. Rework the driver to play nicely with other OpenGL Drivers. It's extremely annoying to be unable to test multiple graphics cards from different vendors because the binary blobs fight with eachother, and any other driver. This probably would be the hardest to fix, but It's possible to get a system setup to where the OpenGL Drivers do not constantly fight. After all, it'd be nice to be able to not haft to go through a lot of undocumented hassles to be able to build a system where there is three graphics cards. For example, For testing purposes one might have a Radeon HD4550 ( open source driver), a Radeon HD5650 ( Open source driver), and then a random nvidia card like a gtx600 series to test with.
                    Lol, buying stuff for review sites doesn't in any way help the Linux community or the Linux user.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Alliancemd View Post
                      Lol, buying stuff for review sites doesn't in any way help the Linux community or the Linux user.
                      Michael begs to differ, I guess.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What really surprises me is why some people care so much about something being open source. Lets say nvidia did open source their drivers and just completely dropped it on the community and said "here you go, have at it". considering the sheer size of these drivers, i don't know anyone in their right mind who would just go ahead and pick up on a few things there and there that the drivers don't include. seriously, even with the nouveau drivers, how many companies or just average joes actually make contributions? hell even the intel drivers, which are compared to the nvidia blob, are dauntingly gigantic for just anybody to join in.

                        My point is, some people just want things to be open source just for the sake of it whether there would be any benefit to it at all, with the 1 exception of compiling the software on another platform. Maybe making little tweaks here and there to make a particular program slightly more compatible would be nice too, but 99% of people wouldn't bother doing such a thing on their own time.



                        From what I gather, the only thing the closed source nvidia drivers need to do is to be perfectly compatible with the kernel, X, wayland, and all other software in the same way that the open source drivers are. I haven't used the nvidia drivers in almost a year but last time I checked, they require their own kernel headers, supply their own glx libraries, and probably more I can't think of. I understand why nvidia is doing this, but for people like linus to be more accepting of nvidia, they need to stop acting like their method is the 1 and only way to get things done. linus doesn't seem to have an issue if someone wants to create closed source software, what he seems to dislike is how it hinders the development of everything else.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                          What really surprises me is why some people care so much about something being open source. Lets say nvidia did open source their drivers and just completely dropped it on the community and said "here you go, have at it". considering the sheer size of these drivers, i don't know anyone in their right mind who would just go ahead and pick up on a few things there and there that the drivers don't include. seriously, even with the nouveau drivers, how many companies or just average joes actually make contributions? hell even the intel drivers, which are compared to the nvidia blob, are dauntingly gigantic for just anybody to join in.

                          My point is, some people just want things to be open source just for the sake of it whether there would be any benefit to it at all, with the 1 exception of compiling the software on another platform. Maybe making little tweaks here and there to make a particular program slightly more compatible would be nice too, but 99% of people wouldn't bother doing such a thing on their own time.



                          From what I gather, the only thing the closed source nvidia drivers need to do is to be perfectly compatible with the kernel, X, wayland, and all other software in the same way that the open source drivers are. I haven't used the nvidia drivers in almost a year but last time I checked, they require their own kernel headers, supply their own glx libraries, and probably more I can't think of. I understand why nvidia is doing this, but for people like linus to be more accepting of nvidia, they need to stop acting like their method is the 1 and only way to get things done. linus doesn't seem to have an issue if someone wants to create closed source software, what he seems to dislike is how it hinders the development of everything else.
                          I don't think any OSS advocate wants the source of their blob. Nor do we really want catalyst opened up. What we want is that the open source drivers, are properly supported (r600g/nouveau) by the companies themselves. Why? Because we want the driver to be included in the mainline kernel. It would ease maintenance etc.

                          The source to the blob may help people reverse engineering the thing, but it's extremely unlikely the freed blob would 'just get included'.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Divide Linux driver into a completely open kernel part and a user space part which communicates with the kernel driver.

                            That way:
                            1) Your driver will always be compatible with new kernel releases and we won't have to wait for new drivers releases 'cause Linus has once again broken the kernel APIs/ABIs.
                            2) NVIDIA driver won't be able to make system crash or freeze.
                            3) You will be able to easily support KMS and implement Optimus.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by birdie View Post
                              Divide Linux driver into a completely open kernel part and a user space part which communicates with the kernel driver.

                              That way:
                              1) Your driver will always be compatible with new kernel releases and we won't have to wait for new drivers releases 'cause Linus has once again broken the kernel APIs/ABIs.
                              2) NVIDIA driver won't be able to make system crash or freeze.
                              3) You will be able to easily support KMS and implement Optimus.
                              That's actually what Matthew Garrett suggested in his reply:

                              Originally posted by Matthew Garrett
                              Stop working on the nvidia kernel driver. The things that you consider
                              trade secrets are almost entirely in your 3D engine. Move your 3D driver
                              to userspace and use nouveau for command submission. It'd still somewhat
                              suck having a closed 3D driver, but it'd be far better than the current
                              situation of having two drivers for the same hardware.
                              http://lists.linux-foundation.org/pi...ne/000336.html

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