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2008 Linux Graphics Survey Results

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  • 2008 Linux Graphics Survey Results

    Phoronix: 2008 Linux Graphics Survey Results

    Last week our annual Linux Graphics Survey ended. There were over 14,000 submissions this year to the eleven questions we asked pertaining to X.Org, Linux desktop usage, and graphics hardware. In this article are all of the results from this year's survey.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=13284

  • #2
    How can people keep saying linux is not suited for "normal" users if 56% of it's users describe themselves as "mainstream users"??

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    • #3
      I'm surprised that more people are interested in KMS than in DRI2, although most of them complain about video tearing and not being able to play 3D games while having a composite manager turned on (and the DRI2 should solve that problem with proprietary drivers like fglrx). For that reason, I've disabled my desktop effects, although I was able to play videos without tearing whilst using an open source radeon driver. The problem was that this driver couldn't give enough FPS while playing 3D games, and it lacked power play, which I require a lot, because I'm using linux on my laptop. (Currently I'm using catalyst 8.12)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DoDoENT View Post
        I'm surprised that more people are interested in KMS than in DRI2, although most of them complain about video tearing and not being able to play 3D games while having a composite manager turned on (and the DRI2 should solve that problem with proprietary drivers like fglrx). For that reason, I've disabled my desktop effects, although I was able to play videos without tearing whilst using an open source radeon driver. The problem was that this driver couldn't give enough FPS while playing 3D games, and it lacked power play, which I require a lot, because I'm using linux on my laptop. (Currently I'm using catalyst 8.12)
        I agree. I look forward to DRI2 a lot more than to KMS too.

        What is so special about KMS? A flicker-free boot experience doesn't seem very important to me, I mean, it's only 50 seconds, who cares!?

        If your boot time is so long you get annoyed by some flickering, you should seriously consider buying a new pc/hardware. KMS also allows for BSOD-like error messages, but quite frankly, I am happy to say that I (almost) never have a complete chrash here on Ubuntu. It's not windows, damnit!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Eragon View Post
          What is so special about KMS? A flicker-free boot experience doesn't seem very important to me, I mean, it's only 50 seconds, who cares!?
          Exactly.

          But I am equally surprised about DRI2 coming in 2nd... because everything works just fine as long as compositing is turned off. And who needs nonsense like wobbly windows etc? It just slows down the User-Computer interaction. At least I have better things to do than look at "cool" (aka overhyped) desktop effects, eg like actually use my computer.

          Meanwhile, seriously useful things like MPX, get almost no interest at all. Just imagine how great it would be to have 2+ users play the same game using mouse&keyboard (things already taken for granted eg on eg XBOX and PS) and/or have the kid manage their cartoons watching on one screen while daddy surfs the net or writes an email, completely without disturbing each other.

          My only explanation, people taking part in these type of surveys mostly are the ones that get dazzled by latest graphics hype of no real use, and couldnt care less for actually useful features.

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          • #6
            I really wished that the poll would not have allowed taking it more then one time. Because of it, the results are completely unreliable.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Stedevil View Post
              Exactly.

              But I am equally surprised about DRI2 coming in 2nd... because everything works just fine as long as compositing is turned off. And who needs nonsense like wobbly windows etc? It just slows down the User-Computer interaction. At least I have better things to do than look at "cool" (aka overhyped) desktop effects, eg like actually use my computer.

              Meanwhile, seriously useful things like MPX, get almost no interest at all. Just imagine how great it would be to have 2+ users play the same game using mouse&keyboard (things already taken for granted eg on eg XBOX and PS) and/or have the kid manage their cartoons watching on one screen while daddy surfs the net or writes an email, completely without disturbing each other.

              My only explanation, people taking part in these type of surveys mostly are the ones that get dazzled by latest graphics hype of no real use, and couldnt care less for actually useful features.
              One reason why KMS may have come before DRI2 may be that many users still don't understand what DRI2 is. Or at least thats the impression I got when I asked around the office today about why they voted what on the survey.

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              • #8
                Not sure how many folks taking the survey feel this way, but my main interest in KMS is that it can at least help with making suspend/resume more robust.

                Then again, it seems like every year the survey results indicate that new features and opengl performance are more important than stability and solid suspend/resume; but the forum posts seem to lean heavily the other way.

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                • #9
                  I think I just voted for the less sought after freatures... MPX especially, since that would allow easy multi-seat configuration.

                  @bridgman I think opengl performance is quite important for people that use hardware where drivers aren't on par as what they could get in Windows. I don't play often, but having to get a Windows install to do so, or buy another hardware (= console) would be painful, even if it wouldn't be used as much as suspend/resume.

                  You can work around suspend/resume (you can still save your session and shutdown...) and it's also improved a lot. You can't work around having dismal opengl performance (installing Windows is a bad workaround, and buying another graphic card isn't convenient either).

                  However, I'd put Gallium3D over proprietary OpenGL performance, but mostly because Nvidia's solutions works great already, and Galluim3D would add its own advantages without removing what 40% of Linux users already enjoy

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Eragon View Post
                    What is so special about KMS? A flicker-free boot experience doesn't seem very important to me, I mean, it's only 50 seconds, who cares!?
                    i use console sometimes and really hate that 1980's looking huge ugly font. (framebuffer wasnt working)

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                    • #11
                      Hey folks, I was actually one of those participating in this survey, and to be honest, the results are amazing.

                      I put several answers where I could (Most areas, no?) because it is very important that Linux got whatever it could and it doesn't matter if KMS or DRI2 should have a priority, they both should be in, because they both increase the appeal of using Linux as a better operating system.

                      Regarding my points of interests especially though, I'd say that Gallium3D is actually something I am going to look forward to, as well as Nouveau in it, because when Nouveau gets up to par with the binary driver, we won't need to be dependent on the NVidia drivers. The composite 2d/3d performance will always be better, bugs will be fixed almost as soon as they are reported. And besides, 1 Infrastructure for all drivers, why have 10000000 different drivers for different GPUs?

                      But seriously, Linux users, congrats, I think with this survey we have a chance to impress even the big companies who think we're a minority (And yes I'm sorry that I'm using Vista right now but gaming and music creation is something I need! Don't worry though I use Linux for those stuff too just that there's just not the same amount of content)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Eragon View Post
                        How can people keep saying linux is not suited for "normal" users if 56% of it's users describe themselves as "mainstream users"??
                        I think most people read it as "Mainstream Linux user" instead of "Mainstream computer user." Mainstream Linux users generally do crazy things like compile software. Not mainstream in the grand scheme but mainstream for Linux.

                        What's also interesting is the number of folks that find it necessary to edit xorg.conf manually. I think that alone should serve very well to say that configuring X is a pain and probably impossible for grandma. Well... that is if grandma plays games and wants 3D. Most distributions are getting good at reasonable defaults that "just work." They work well enough that unless you try to game you won't notice. Lots of grandmas don't game, don't use multiple monitors, etc.

                        Ether way you look at it, I think there's plenty of room for a configuration tool which is needed toward the end of Linux adoption by the average joe Windows (mainstream) user.

                        ---

                        I was disappointed that Desktop Effects beat out gaming if by a smidgen. That's just me I guess. On the other hand I'd care more for desktop effects if they didn't break my gaming, and if it didn't require so much tweaking and configuration. At home I spend more time running full screen games than I do wobbling windows or spinning a cube. At work, I don't need to impress anyone or spend time setting up desktop effects. So for both work and play it just doesn't fit for me. So I voted for games games games!

                        The other interesting thing that surprised me was the adoption of X11 release 7.4. I expected more 7.3s and 7.2s. I suppose those results could be biased by the type of people who frequent here at Phoronix which seem to be more the bleeding edge type crowd. I'd be in the 7.4 group but something with my distro repository and the proprietary Nvidia drivers has a problem with an x11-input package. The 3d stuff works but it kills my keyboard and mouse. If I stuck with the distro provided drivers it'd work but I wouldn't be able to try the latest beta drivers out. Still, I'm glad to see that 7.4 is out there so soon.
                        Last edited by Jimmy; 12-22-2008, 06:19 PM.

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                        • #13
                          KMS also removes the need for the X server to fiddle around in kernel space, which is a "good thing" from a stability and/or security standpoint. Or so I've been led to believe...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fart_flower View Post
                            KMS also removes the need for the X server to fiddle around in kernel space, which is a "good thing" from a stability and/or security standpoint. Or so I've been led to believe...
                            In "theory", and we all know that theory doesn't necessarily mean that real-life execution will reflect that.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                              In "theory", and we all know that theory doesn't necessarily mean that real-life execution will reflect that.
                              That's just your theory. I have my own.

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