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Operating Systems Linux

Next Linux Kernel Due Early March 196

swandives writes "The Linux.conf.au is in full-swing in Wellington, New Zealand, and Computerworld Australia has an interview with Jon Corbet in the leadup to his Kernel Report. The latest kernel release is due early March and will include reversed-engineered drivers for Nvidia chipsets."
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Next Linux Kernel Due Early March

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  • by rastilin ( 752802 ) on Monday January 18, 2010 @03:56AM (#30805500)

    So, Nvidia writes drivers for your system, and those drivers work. What's the problem? This is hardly a new situation, so presumably you knew this when you bought your Nvidia chipset.

  • Re:3D (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Monday January 18, 2010 @05:15AM (#30805768) Homepage

    Ignoring the obvious troll:

    Anything that works will be accepted, like every other driver in the kernel... if it doesn't make *everything* work, that's not a big problem. Especially new drivers rarely have code that actually makes the device inherently useful, or supremely accelerated, immediately - but it will function. That's how you code - one bit at a time, gradually building as you go. When you have all the DMA, 2D drawing, multiscreen crap worked out *THEN* you can think about 3D. At the moment, even simple combinations like dual-displays can cause major headaches with some chipsets, whether the hardware supports them or not.

    The programmers are effectively working blind with unknown hardware - and programmers don't work that way, that's a reverse engineer's job. To say they can't merge *anything* until all the features are working just means you'll never see *anything* at all. But if they merge a 2D driver today, they can add basic 3D access tomorrow and 3D acceleration the day after and maybe some day you'll see something of use. If not, at least you'll be able to boot Linux and *see* something in X-Windows on any computer that runs off that chipset (or has backwards compatibility for it).

    You will not see full 3D accelerated drivers for any chipset (especially not any that compete with manufacturer's drivers in terms of acceleration) that matters to you on a new computer until manufacturers fully co-operate and help get coding too. Don't expect it, don't complain about it, don't moan when it doesn't happen or only "obsolete" chipsets ever get 3D support. When the manufacturer's co-operate, it takes nothing to make a driver. When they don't, it means knowing *everything* they know before you can really start properly.

  • by Zero__Kelvin ( 151819 ) on Monday January 18, 2010 @07:44AM (#30806468) Homepage

    "I have such a chipset and I've been cursing NVIDIA on a regular basis. After updating to any new kernel, I must boot into no-X mode, then run the proprietary driver installer."

    Or you could get one of the many, many, many Linux distributions that handle this automatically. Mandriva comes the mind since it has handled this stuff for years and is extremely user friendly, but as I say there are many other options as well.

  • by thue ( 121682 ) on Monday January 18, 2010 @08:50AM (#30806822) Homepage

    Except that the two other major Graphics providers, Intel and AMD, both give the Linux community far better support than NVIDIA. Intel is writing excellent well-integrated open source drivers themselves, which AMD is providing full specs, which has allowed others to write drivers. AMD's making the specs available is far better Linux support than NVIDIA making closed source drivers available.

    NVIDIA has provided neither open source drivers, firmware, nor specs. So the open source developers have to resort to reverse engineer the drivers. And to make all kinds of jumping through hoops to use the firmware, which NVIDIA has not allowed to be redistributed in binary form.

    So I think we have every right to criticize NVIDIA when comparing to the marked at large. They are doing a horrible job at supporting Linux.

  • by Lennie ( 16154 ) on Monday January 18, 2010 @09:10AM (#30807000)
    Linux has: USB3 before any other OS, hotswap-memory, hotswap-cpu, hotswap-pci, hotswap-scsi, numa, scales to I don't know how many nodes in a cluster and cpu-configurations. Runs on the most possible hardware-archictures (NetBSD is not the top dog in this field anymore). Has the most build-in drivers of any OS. Thus runs on really small and really large. Is used for embedded from wallplugs to netbooks all the way up to smaller mainframes. Manufacturers of TV's, networking-devices like switches use it for the control-plane. It also has the broadest range of filesystem support, etc. most of the websites you visit are running on Linux, so it's heavily used in that field as wel. I think Linux is used by the innovators, because you can change it. Some people say Google does innovation, they use Linux for pretty much everything.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday January 18, 2010 @09:31AM (#30807134) Homepage

    Actually, I hope the kernel will contain less. Let's take USB for example, do we really need all sorts of various connectors? Or would we rather just use USB, teach the kernel to do low level read/write to USB devices and then do keyboards and mice and printers and scanners and digicams and webcams and external hdds and whatnot over USB in userspace? In fact, much the same applies to drivers in general, there's no reason why so many printers are paperweights under Linux. Can't there at least be one universal idiot mode where we feed it uncompressed raster data and it prints? Seriously.

    Kernels are best at being mediators, be it of CPU time, GPU time, IO bandwidth, network bandwidth, whatever. Something offers resources, something consumes resources and the OS is that gray glue in the middle. Whatever killer feature you want, you probably don't want it in the kernel. You want to write a desktop environment or an application or something, and the kernel will make sure it runs gracefully together with everything else. There's a quite a few more bits to the kernel, but they're just adoptees brought into the kernel for performance reasons.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Monday January 18, 2010 @10:28AM (#30807600) Homepage

    nv drivers broken for a lot of cards? Which ones would these be? They would not happen to be perchance cards that any Windows users would consider laughingly out of date?

    I think you will find legions of users that think you are full of sh*t and especially full of sh*t for adding Ubuntu to your rant.

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler