1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

The Biggest Problem For A Linux PC Vendor

Ubuntu

Published on 08 May 2012 10:58 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu
58 Comments

Yesterday at the Ubuntu Developer Summit while trying to enjoy the disappointing beer selection, a leading PC vendor that sells Linux-loaded PCs shared with me the biggest problem they face when it comes to Linux pre-loaded systems at this time.

Marketing issues? Poor open-source drivers? Lack of Linux hardware enablement at launch? Nothing attractive about Unity? Nope, not any of those, it all comes down to one feature at this time: NVIDIA Optimus. That is the company's (they ask not to be identified at this time) biggest issue right now with how NVIDIA and other stakeholders are pushing hard for this multi-GPU technology in new notebook designs. Under Linux, the level of NVIDIA Optimus support is a shit-wreck.

There are projects like Bumblebee to try to get some level of Linux support (and other advancements like DMA-BUF PRIME), but all of the attempts thus far to provide a dynamic and worthwhile NVIDIA Optimus experience under Linux have still left a lot to be desired. Some of the challenges can be attributed to current X.Org Server limitations, but NVIDIA isn't investing in addressing the problems or in other technologies (e.g. Wayland). At least on the Tegra side, they may possibly do something interesting.

Reportedly with the latest revisions to the 2012 Optimus MUX-less design, it's even worse for Linux users and causing major challenges for this vendor. The NVIDIA Linux engineers reportedly say that there still can be a MUX-ed version, but the NVIDIA hardware engineers say that's not possible with the latest hardware.

Optimus has already long been causing issues for those not after Linux pre-loads but installing Linux by themselves on laptops with an integrated Intel GPU and discrete NVIDIA GPU. AMD's technology is also in a similar sour spot, but at least it's less popular than NVIDIA's hybrid technology.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. The MSI X99S SLI PLUS Is Working & Running Well On Linux
  2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980: The Best GPU For Linux Gamers
  3. ROCCAT LUA: A Linux-Friendly Gaming Mouse
  4. Cheetah Mounts: The Affordable Way To Put Your TV On The Wall
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Preview: Radeon Gallium3D Performance For CS:GO On Linux
  2. XWayland Linux Gaming Performance With GNOME Wayland On Fedora 21
  3. EXT4/Btrfs/XFS/F2FS Benchmarks On Linux 3.17
  4. Fedora 21 Alpha First Impressions: It's Great
Latest Linux News
  1. Other Projects Participating In This Winter's Women Outreach Program
  2. Radeon 7.5 X.Org Driver Enables Hawaii, Adds New PCI IDs
  3. PHP As A Next-Generation Programming Language?
  4. Steam Linux Usage Rose 0.1% During September
  5. Understanding The Xen XSA-108 Security Issue
  6. Fedora 21 Workstation Is Making Great Progress
  7. Dash As The Default Shell For Fedora?
  8. CUPS Turn 15 Years Old, CUPS 2.0 Released
  9. VA-API Gallium3D State Tracker Added Back To Mesa
  10. Radeon DRM Gets New Information Ioctl Queries
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Microsoft Announces... Windows 10 With A Start Menu
  2. Borderlands 2 Launches On Steam For Linux
  3. Take the Steam Survey results with a grain of salt. It is flawed.
  4. X.Org Is Looking For Some Female Help
  5. Hacking Express gate (Asus Splashtop)
  6. NVIDIA Alerts Nouveau: They're Starting To Sign/Validate GPU Firmware Images
  7. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  8. Nero CD/DVD Burning Software On Linux Is Dead