Linux Foundation Complains About Nvidia Drivers

Aron Schatz
June 24, 2008

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The Linux Foundation is going on a rant and complaining about Nvidia's binary only drivers. Nvidia is the only large graphics company to not attempt to open up their specifications on the hardware. Intel, VIA, and even AMD have opened up their hardware. Linux is the future and if Nvidia continues this trend, AMD is in a good position to clean up. I have in my hands a Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 that works well in Linux and was just released.


"We...consider any closed-source Linux kernel module or driver to be harmful and undesirable," the official statement begins. "Vendors that provide closed-source kernel modules force their customers to give up key Linux advantages or choose new vendors." But Bottomley gets much more specific than this. "Their (Nvidia's) binary module is one of the top causes of kernel crashes, which makes Linux look bad," he said. "Nvidia does a reasonable job of Q-and-A-ing (quality assurance) of a certain number of configurations but the problem is that their configurations (are) a lot less than what's actually out there on the market," Bottomley said.

That being said, AMD's fully open source driver team at Novell still as a ways to go before being on par with the FireGL binary driver. Even so, AMD is providing more and more feature with FireGL including Crossfire support (finally!).


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