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New Documentation Around NVIDIA's Push For A GBM Alternative To Memory Allocation

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  • New Documentation Around NVIDIA's Push For A GBM Alternative To Memory Allocation

    Phoronix: New Documentation Around NVIDIA's Push For A GBM Alternative To Memory Allocation

    NVIDIA has been pushing for a new Unix Device Memory Allocator API as an alternative to GBM, which could be used by Wayland compositors instead and would be a superior API that NVIDIA's proprietary Linux driver would be willing to support...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...c-Memory-Alloc

  • #2
    With NVIDIA's proprietary driver not interested in GBM for performance reasons and such while the open-source developers not being interested in the company's EGLStreams approach for Wayland compositors, a new and superior API is being pursued by both parties.
    The problem with EGLStreams is no one using Wayland wants to implement two different API to do the same thing. If it's true for EGLStreams, it will be true for this allocator if this allocator is not GBM.

    Is the performance issue an Nvidia-only issue (like dx12 async compute)? Or is it an issue for everyone? If it's an issue for everyone, this initiative can have a place (it means GBM must be improved and this allocator is a kind of GBM2) otherwise not.

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    • #3
      This may be a good time to blackmail them. Agree to their stuff, if in return they release hardware details and allow Nouveau to catch up with reclocking and stuff like that, including newest GPUs of course.

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      • #4
        That wouldn't be blackmail. It may or may not work, but it would be negotiation, not blackmail. Blackmail is illegal.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by eydee View Post
          This may be a good time to blackmail them. Agree to their stuff, if in return they release hardware details and allow Nouveau to catch up with reclocking and stuff like that, including newest GPUs of course.
          And what's your leverage for this plan? If you make it impossible for Nvidia to support Linux, I'm pretty sure their response will simply be "fine, we don't care".

          Look at the way they support Linux right now, the way they've been doing so since forever. They do a good job of it, lack of openness aside, but they've been very clear that their focus is on Windows, because that's where their money comes from. They support Linux, essentially, because their approach of wrapping the Windows driver allows them to do so relatively easily, and because they have (traditionally, at least) made some money by ensuring their workstation-class GPUs worked on Linux.

          So, think it through. If the open developers were to be obstructive as you wish, and make it more difficult and more expensive for Nvidia to provide Linux drivers - they'll simply stop. They don't care about Linux - they care about their balance sheet. And on that balance sheet, the contribution of Linux users is at best, a rounding error.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Delgarde View Post

            They support Linux, essentially, because their approach of wrapping the Windows driver allows them to do so relatively easily, and because they have (traditionally, at least) made some money by ensuring their workstation-class GPUs worked on Linux.
            NVIDIA implements a binary blob which is platform-independent in nature, so why would you call it "the approach of wrapping the Windows driver" ?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Delgarde View Post

              And what's your leverage for this plan? If you make it impossible for Nvidia to support Linux, I'm pretty sure their response will simply be "fine, we don't care".

              Look at the way they support Linux right now, the way they've been doing so since forever. They do a good job of it, lack of openness aside, but they've been very clear that their focus is on Windows, because that's where their money comes from. They support Linux, essentially, because their approach of wrapping the Windows driver allows them to do so relatively easily, and because they have (traditionally, at least) made some money by ensuring their workstation-class GPUs worked on Linux.
              They support Linux because their best/biggest customers are on Linux. Because Autodesk Maya. And Maya users aren't requesting open drivers.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ngkaho1234 View Post

                NVIDIA implements a binary blob which is platform-independent in nature, so why would you call it "the approach of wrapping the Windows driver" ?
                Because, like he said, the driver is still developed mainly with Windows in mind even though its design is platform independant. Windows is by far their biggest install base so it makes sense.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ngkaho1234 View Post

                  NVIDIA implements a binary blob which is platform-independent in nature, so why would you call it "the approach of wrapping the Windows driver" ?
                  Because, fundamentally, that's what it is. Even if technically all of their drivers are platform wrappers on a common core, fundamentally it's the Windows driver, because that's the one they actually care about, the one that matters to their business.

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                  • #10
                    I think the great majority of Linux users, me included, do not care about NVidia "openness" as long as their stuff works fine, which it does. In fact, it works exceptionally on my 5760x1080 3-monitor system on KDE Neon 64bit.

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