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NVIDIA's Optimus: Will It Come To Linux?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by L33F3R View Post
    welcome to phoronix. and thanks for the tip .
    Thanks.

    Originally posted by _txf_ View Post
    I believe that windows 7 shares the driver model with vista. Hence the horrible graphics crashes seen in the beginning of vista's release.

    Either way the vista driver model is much more advanced than osx and linux, that there is no way this would come to linux. That and the fact that it would require the nvidia driver to load the intel driver (which now resides in the kernel (mode setting etc.)
    Vista uses Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 1.0
    Windows 7 uses WDDM 1.1

    An advantage with WDDM 1.1 allows you to have multiple video cards from different companies; installed at the same time. (In this case, Intel IGP and Nvidia discrete video).

    While a WDDM 1.1 driver is backward compatible with WDDM 1.0 OS (Windows Vista), Nvidia's Optimus Technology only works with WDDM 1.1 infrastructure at this time.


    From here: http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/win...-graphics.aspx
    Optimus only works today on Windows 7. NVIDIA’s software and Windows 7’s driver model (Windows Driver Model – or WDM) and APIs (like DirectX and DirectCompute) allow for the kind of experience Optimus provides.
    If you look on the official Optimus Technology page, you'll see there's only drivers for Windows 7.
    => http://www.nvidia.com/object/optimus_technology.html

    Vista (and older) users? => LOL! Tough titties! You'll need to upgrade to Windows 7. (Don't be surprised this situation continues in the future with WDDM 2.0/2.1 and future versions of Windows.)

    Right now, Linux's graphics stack can be considered "under major renovation". Until it has finally stabilized and matured, Nvidia won't bother with things like Optimus Technology under Linux; and will continue to do things their way (as seen with the closed driver)...Linux users will need to suffer a few more years as the underlying infrastructure evolves and matures...Patience is a virtue.

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    • #32
      WDDM1.1 was backported to Vista after Windows 7 was released, although i don't know if that's sufficient to run Optimus or not.

      Comment


      • #33
        This thread says it all: http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=144750

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        • #34
          Linux support not even planned

          It seems there won't be any official support in the near future. This would probably require too many changes to both X.org and the kernel. Perhaps the Nouveau team could take the challenge and cooperate with Intel on this, who knows... :-)

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          • #35
            I'll translate the PR speak.

            We have no plans
            - don't expect it any time soon.
            to support - we aren't investing any serious engineering effort.
            <insert feature here>
            at this time - but we reserve to change our tune if there is a clear ROI opportunity that requires us to do it.

            So it is a non-committal message which doesn't really say anything than "We aren't working on it at the moment". When I've been in the position to make public comment, I usually go one level deeper in double-talk and say.
            We have no public plans for this feature at this time.
            Never say never, but if an OEM were to require it for a high volume SKU that targets Linux explicitly, then who knows...

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            • #36
              Originally posted by mtippett View Post
              I'll translate the PR speak.

              We have no plans
              - don't expect it any time soon.
              to support - we aren't investing any serious engineering effort.
              <insert feature here>
              at this time - but we reserve to change our tune if there is a clear ROI opportunity that requires us to do it.
              Heh... Thanks for the Laugh Matthew. I needed it today.

              So it is a non-committal message which doesn't really say anything than "We aren't working on it at the moment". When I've been in the position to make public comment, I usually go one level deeper in double-talk and say.
              We have no public plans for this feature at this time.
              Never say never, but if an OEM were to require it for a high volume SKU that targets Linux explicitly, then who knows...
              Profound words that...almost makes me wonder if you're getting the same info from a differing grapevine than mine there... NVidia ought to watch what they're saying about things Linux...

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Svartalf View Post

                Profound words that...almost makes me wonder if you're getting the same info from a differing grapevine than mine there... NVidia ought to watch what they're saying about things Linux...
                Aaron's comment was straight PR talk. No commitment, no de-commitment.

                Nothing particular, just the economics of the situation. Like it or not, there isn't any grand altruism flowing through the companies that make Open Source efforts at any cost. They all come down to economics one way or another. In almost all cases you can follow the money to see why people are doing things. Of course there is a touch of idealogical slant that taints a lot of the decision, but if it is going to sink millions of dollars with no real or assumed return, the work stops pretty quickly.

                For AMD and NV, the historic driver has always been Workstation. For Intel they have been enabling other markets for other reasons. If you look really carefully at almost all the organized efforts on the commercially sponsored drivers, you'll see patterns emerge that lead to who and why.

                My comment wasn't based on any information, just an assertion that if someone puts money on the table things happen. For the space that Optimus is relevant (mobile), it'll take an OEM to want to take the differentiation to the Linux environment. I see a number of markers that will indicate it's coming (an increased focus on battery life by OEMs or IHVs, enabling technology coming through).

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                • #38
                  We've created a Launchpad team called https://launchpad.net/~hybrid-graphics-linux that is a group of hybrid graphics laptop owners and/or developers interested in getting it to work 100% under Linux.

                  Please subscribe to this team if you are new by clicking on the "Join Team" link at the right of https://launchpad.net/~hybrid-graphics-linux.

                  Use the mailing list hybrid-graphics-linux@lists.launchpad.net to report on your testing.

                  ACTIONS:
                  We are looking for students with basic Linux kernel/graphics notions interested in applying for the X.org Open Source PRIME multi-gpu support Google Summer of Code 2010:
                  http://wiki.x.org/wiki/SummerOfCodeIdeas

                  We are looking for Linux users with Nvidia Optimus-enabled laptops willing to provide debugging information for Open Source PRIME multi-gpu support features being worked on. Please join the team by clicking on "Join" on the right, fill in this doodle:
                  http://www.doodle.com/63fyczzrxqaquhqx
                  and send an email to the mailing list specifying your laptop model with these commands:
                  sudo dmidecode -s system-product-name
                  sudo dmidecode -s system-version
                  lspci -vnnn | perl -lne 'print if /^\d+\:.+(\[\S+\:\S+\])/' | grep VGA

                  Originally posted by phoronix View Post
                  Phoronix: NVIDIA's Optimus: Will It Come To Linux?

                  Last week we reported on GPU switching and then delayed GPU switching coming to Linux via some Linux kernel hacks, but today NVIDIA has launched a new technology for dual-GPU notebooks and that is "Optimus Technology." NVIDIA's Optimus is similar to the hybrid-switching technologies that have been available on notebooks up to this point for switching between ATI/AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA GPUs on notebooks depending upon the graphics workload, but with Optimus the experience is supposed to be seamless. With NVIDIA's Optimus, no manual intervention is supposed to be needed but the notebook will automatically switch between onboard GPUs depending upon the graphics rendering workload. This technology was just launched today via a press release and can be found on a few select notebooks...

                  http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=Nzk3Mg

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    your lspci command is a bit curious, it has just the same output as:

                    lspci -nn|grep VGA

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      In most cases it does, yes, but I've found little subtleties in different nvidia cards before...

                      Originally posted by Kano View Post
                      your lspci command is a bit curious, it has just the same output as:

                      lspci -nn|grep VGA

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        It's this kind of Garbage which makes the community want OS drivers. I like how when interviewed repeatedly nVidia says it's so easy for them to port features over to linux because it's cross-platform code for 90%+ of it. Yet when these kind of features come out we're left in the dark.

                        I for one will not consider nVidia products in the near future.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by BloodyIron View Post
                          It's this kind of Garbage which makes the community want OS drivers. I like how when interviewed repeatedly nVidia says it's so easy for them to port features over to linux because it's cross-platform code for 90%+ of it. Yet when these kind of features come out we're left in the dark.

                          I for one will not consider nVidia products in the near future.
                          The main area that you get the benefit of the common drivers is in the HW enablement and generic validation. You can leverage a lot of the testing to ensure the products are mostly stable. With features that begin to get tied to the OS, you don't get the same leverage.

                          Optimus as implemented by NV is built heavily around the Vista/Win7 architecture. That doesn't translate to the Linux in any meaningful way.

                          Hence it's very expensive to port to Linux where it isn't going to be a clear differentiator that results in return on investment. The most likely source of improvements will be from the the efforts of avilella earlier in this thread. But you won't get NV's driver working on that until there is a generic architecture that supports it in a vendor neutral and vendor friendly way.

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                          • #43
                            Yet it seems it's supported on Apple..

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by curaga View Post
                              Yet it seems it's supported on Apple..
                              Wrong, Apple has it's own built in house implementation. Nvidia had nothing to do with that.

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                              • #45
                                http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...t_optimus.html


                                Link for ya.

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