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What NVIDIA's Linux Customers Want

NVIDIA

Published on 16 February 2011 12:11 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA
28 Comments

Last week when talking about NVIDIA looking to expand its Linux team (hire more engineers), I asked what else NVIDIA Linux customers wanted that already wasn't offered by the proprietary driver for Linux / BSD / Solaris operating systems. Aside from the obvious one, of many desktop users wanting NVIDIA to support some sort of an open-source strategy, other expressed views are listed below.

- RandR 1.2 support. Support in NVIDIA's binary driver for supporting version 1.2+ of the Resize and Rotate extension within the X.Org Server has long been desired. NVIDIA has said a few times now they are working on it, but it's been years. RandR 1.2+ support within the proprietary driver would allow users to adjust their screen resolution/rotation and other options within their desktop's RandR-based utilities rather than depending upon the nvidia-settings program, which would lead to better and more unified system integration support. With the recent introduction of RandR 1.4, which has some internal changes that may make it easier for NVIDIA to support this X extension, maybe we will finally see proper RandR support in the coming months.

- Optimus support, but NVIDIA has said it's not coming to Linux. However, open-source graphics developers have been working on an alternative though it hasn't received too much attention.

- Kernel mode-setting. KMS support within the NVIDIA binary driver is needed for proper Wayland support, a cleaner virtual terminal, better debugging / problem reporting, and other features. However, it doesn't appear to be on NVIDIA's road-map at this time. There may also be licensing conflicts with a binary graphics driver implementing KMS for the Linux kernel.

Other desired features include game profiles, fan control profiles, and NVIDIA Fermi GeForce 400/500 overclocking support. Read more in this thread.

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 .
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