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Graphics Red Hat Software X Linux

Open Source 3D Nvidia Driver Is Ready For Fedora 13 160

An anonymous reader writes "Red Hat has already been using the Nouveau X.Org driver in Fedora for providing display and 2D support, but with their next release (Fedora 13) they will be making open-source 3D acceleration readily available to those using Nvidia graphics cards. Red Hat has packaged the Nouveau 3D driver in Fedora 13 and what makes it interesting — besides being an open source 3D driver that was written by the community by reverse engineering Nvidia's closed-source driver — is that it's one of the first drivers to use the Gallium3D driver interface. Phoronix has tested out this Gallium3D driver for Nvidia GPUs in a Fedora 13 daily build and found it to run with a variety of OpenGL games, with benchmarks being included that compare it to Nvidia's official driver. The performance is far from being on the same stage as Nvidia's official Unix driver."
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Open Source 3D Nvidia Driver Is Ready For Fedora 13

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  • Benchmarks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by revengebomber ( 1080189 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:50PM (#31177596)
    I know it's not a professional project, nor built on any real technical documentation, but I hardly think that an OS should be distributed with a driver that gets 32fps running Quake 3 on a Geforce 9. Can anyone tell me: better or worse performance than using a 3dfx card under Linux?
  • Re:Benchmarks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:53PM (#31177646) Journal

    If you have to choose between shipping an open source driver that only does 2d, and an open source driver that does 2d well and 3d poorly which would you choose? People still have the choice to install the official Nvidia driver that they've always had. So this is a good step forward. If it's enough for Compiz, and can do kernel mode setting (which Nvidia's driver won't do), then it'll please a lot of people.

  • Re:Benchmarks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mad Merlin ( 837387 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @07:07PM (#31177846) Homepage

    Would you prefer 0 fps?

  • by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @07:11PM (#31177910) Journal

    Just for fun:

    Take a look on "Configure Konqueror" option in Konqueror-the default browser for KDE. All those options and not a single NoScript or AdBlock, the shit that counts.

    Konqueror comes, out of the box, with an adblocker which is compatible with (and defaults to) AdBlockPlus' list.

    The rest of it is a matter of mostly uninformed opinion, like this:

    As most of you know KDE uses both Konqueror and Dolphin for file navigation.

    Konqueror is a web browser, it just happens to support Dolphin as a plugin. So nope, no change here. It's other browsers, like Firefox, which insist on making local file browsing look like an autogenerated Apache index.

    In Konqueror if you save password for some website, this 'wallet' password pops up and in order to save the password you have to type another password in the wallet.

    Yes, once per session. Gnome has an equivalent wallet, and you're not required to have a password for it. It's just helpful if you do -- it's this neat little feature called "encryption". Hell, even Firefox supports a Master Password.

    Not really worth going into detail about how wrong you are, since you're already pretty much a troll, but really, you can do better. There are enough things to dislike about KDE that you could effectively troll it without spreading things which are actually wrong.

  • Re:Benchmarks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @07:31PM (#31178128)

    I am one of those people and I'm very pleased with nouveau. I don't run games on linux very much (outside of teg and dosbox) but I would like KMS and a bling desktop. I get both of these on my 8800gt with a free driver which is now just a kernel option away! Nouveau FTW!

  • Re:How come? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marcansoft ( 727665 ) <{moc.tfosnacram} {ta} {rotceh}> on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @07:51PM (#31178336) Homepage

    Because they'd love to be able to work on improving the existing wheel instead, but, unfortunately, they can't.

  • Re:How come? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @07:56PM (#31178394)

    Because the existing wheel is only a temporary wheel that will be taken away the minute NVIDIA wants to sell new cards.

    I bet you already knew that though.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Paradigm_Complex ( 968558 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @08:13PM (#31178560)

    Do some people really use markedly inferior software simply because it is open source, even if a better competitor is available at no cost?

    Nvidia's driver may not necessarily be "better," depending on how you define it. Nvidia's driver is clearly better in terms of 3D acceleration, but Nouveau wins in many other areas (largely as an extension of it's F/OSS'ness). There's much less legal worry when distributing it, it doesn't have to be recompiled against the kernel updates, it supports KMS (which is more important than 3D acceleration with many, such as myself), it can be fix/changed/updated without dependence on Nvidia, it's also more likely to have continued support on older hardware - the list gets pretty long. Maybe these things don't matter to you as much as 3D acceleration, but for many they do.

    I use linux because it works perfectly well for me.

    F/OSS isn't just blind idealism - there's practical benefits which result. I expect at least part of the reason why Linux "works perfectly well" for you is a result of the fact it's F/OSS. This carries over to the video drivers, too.

  • by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @08:14PM (#31178570) Homepage Journal

    Then they are welcome to continue using whatever they want. But fuck anyone who thinks they have the right to determine if someone's work is a waste of time or not.

  • Re:How come? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by codepunk ( 167897 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @08:31PM (#31178696)

    So I don't have to waste my time going and hunting down nvidia drivers when I install a new machine....that alone is a good enough reason.

  • Re:How come? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nxtw ( 866177 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @08:50PM (#31178838)

    you have no guarantee that nvidia blob will support current cards in 2015

    Not a problem on operating system with stable driver ABIs.

  • Re:How come? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @09:23PM (#31179044)

    And what happens if tomorrow Nvidia decides it doesn't want to provide those drivers any more and removes all but the latest cards drivers? You can't distribute their binary drivers without their permission (and they don't give it btw). The problem with not using FOSS software is that if the commercial vendor decides to stop selling it there is nothing you can do about it other than offer them lots of money and hope they change their mind. Take windows XP, the day Microsoft decides to stop selling it you won't be able to purchase a new version of it (once existing stock already purchased is exhausted) and then your only option is to buy the newest version with X bad feature.

    There is nothing at all stupid and irrational about being prepared for the inevitable with commercial software. Although there are likely very few people still using 3dfx cards you can't get drivers for them anymore. Companies go out of business, change management or simply decide it's in their interest to stop providing legacy drivers all the time. The past is no predictor of the future, as the first rule of stock investing applies almost universally and is "Past performance is not an indicator of future performance".

    In fact assuming that nothing will ever change is actually the irrational, stupid and childish behavior.

  • Re:Benchmarks (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @10:07PM (#31179372)

    Microsoft doesn't ship with any drivers they created with GForce9 cards. Should they stop shipping today, or should they recall (like Toyota) all the software they made and dont' ship again till all the problems are fixed? Why do people assume that microsoft makes all the software they make (instead of getting all their software made by other people). We won't even start to talk about reverse engineering and an utter derth of technical documentation. You reverse something as technical as a whole family of accelerated graphics cards, and then we will poke at you and ask pointed 'what the hell is wrong with you' questions.

  • Re:How come? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by walshy007 ( 906710 ) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @12:42AM (#31180388)

    as a fedora user since the redhat days, I can honestly say one of the only retarded things they've done is replace pidgin with empathy, empathy is nowhere near as mature and feature complete and it was only even suggested because of the lack of webcam in pidgin which has now been resolved anyway.

  • Re:How come? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @01:01AM (#31180466)

    actually you can get copies of every MS product right back to DOS 3 via technet.

    Technet subscriptions allow for testing not use. Personal or commercial use (outside as I said testing) of MSDOS from technet is a violation of your license agreement with Microsoft. Not only that but you obviously don't have a technet subscription (I do) as you would know that MSDOS 6.22 is the only DOS available via technet, in addition windows 95 and 98 aren't available via technet. Regardless of being able to acquire it you can't legally run it unless you can purchase a retail used copy. Those sources rapidly dwindle. In fact many commercial software packages have completely disappeared and software drivers for newer versions of software like windows are frequently not available. HP and Creative are prime examples of companies that simply don't provide drivers and force you to purchase newer hardware. It's not unreasonable to assume that at some future date Nvidia may decide to do the same, in fact something as simple as a change in management could cause it.

    your whole premise is a big fail, because some FOSS project is FAR FAR more likely to stop producing updates and go offline (because they got a life/job/girlfriend) then a company like MS or nvidia which has actual funding. I'll say it again, your assumption is stupid and irrational and you've got nothing to back it up.

    Your belief and assertion that the Linux kernel (after all the entire article is about FOSS drivers for Nvidia cards for the Linux Kernel) is more likely to be abandoned than Nvidia's production of drivers for Legacy hardware is laughably stupid. Such a statement is the height of folly and irrationality and frankly makes you look like an idiot in need of professional help. The Linux Kernel is supported by far more companies with far more resources (apparently the basis of your argument) and in fact was developed even without those resources. It's use in everything from MP3 players to televisions to large mainframe computers and it's nearly 25% market share in all computers guarantees it will survive far longer than Nvidia ever will. Working to develop FOSS drivers for nVidia hardware so future Linux kernels can use such hardware is only logical.

    There is no doubt in my mind that at some point in the future nvidia will abandon production of drivers for legacy hardware. It will likely come in a few short years as then current hardware begins to differ so substantially from the legacy hardware as to make driver production excessively costly. Up until the Fermi architecture, even 10 year old hardware still functioned substantially similar to legacy hardware. That advantage will fade very rapidly as the processors nvidia produces move towards general use and likely in a few short years they will abandon legacy hardware as driver production costs escalate. To do otherwise would likely elicit a shareholder lawsuit.

    I don't expect any of this to convince you of course, in fact I expect a reply with more silly childish aggressiveness probably with some name calling. With that in mind lets deal with the only premise here is your original assertion and give you an avenue to everyone you know anything at all. You premise was that someone is irrational and stupid to believe that Nvidia could some day stop providing drivers. Rather than asking me to prove a negative why don't you simply present evidence that Nvidia drivers will always be available thereby proving your statement.

    So have at it, prove that Nvidia will always provide drivers for every product they have ever made. While your at, show me where I can get (full) 3dfx drivers for windows 7, after all Nvidia owns 3dfx and 3dfx's former products are Nvidias products now. After you prove Nvidia will always produce legacy hardware drivers for the rest of eternity I will happily admit you are right and that there is nothing at all to worry about. Don't worry, I'm not holding my breath. Cheers!

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson