The Truth About ATI/AMD & Linux
What's The Competition Got?
While one may think that in this extremely competitive discrete graphics duopoly both NVIDIA and AMD would have relatively similar software development cycles, but from what we have been exposed to speaks quite to the contrary. The entire year we have seen only one formal Linux display driver release from NVIDIA for the GeForce series, along with two beta releases (100.14.03 and 100.14.06) and finally another legacy release (1.0-7185) for their older graphics cards. On the AMD side, however, there have been five Linux drivers this year with another seven expected by year's end. NVIDIA Corporation has no set in stone release cycle other than pushing out a new release when bug fixes or new features warrant an upgrade. We have come to expect a new Linux driver from NVIDIA every few months and it wasn't until last year that they had introduced public beta drivers. NVIDIA's FreeBSD and Solaris drivers follow a similar release schedule.
As far as the NVIDIA Linux driver itself goes, it is separated into independent x86 and x86_64 packages and no distribution-specific scripts are included with the mainstream driver. NVIDIA Corporation does not rely upon distribution vendors and community maintainers for allowing the end-user to generate distribution-specific packages, which AMD relies upon heavily.
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