Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Graphics Linux

NVIDIA Releases Optimus Linux Driver With New Features 123

An anonymous reader writes "Nearly one year after Linux creator Linux Torvalds publicly bashed NVIDIA and several years after their multi-GPU mobile technology premiered, the graphics vendor has finally delivered an Optimus-supported Linux driver. NVIDIA released the 319.12 Beta Linux driver that brings support for 'RandR 1.4 GPU provider objects' that basically allows for Optimus-like functionality when using the latest X Server, Linux kernel, and XRandR. The 319.12 beta also has many other features including better UEFI support, installer improvements, new pages on their settings panel, and new GPU support."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NVIDIA Releases Optimus Linux Driver With New Features

Comments Filter:
  • by JGsmiles ( 2881775 ) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @07:44PM (#43407549)
    It's cool to see Linux gaming getting more attention.
    • by Marcion ( 876801 )

      My old laptop had an Optimus card. Horrible things for Linux users. It never switched to low power mode so the battery did not last very long and it ran worryingly hot.

      I am so much happier with my Intel based machine (I do admit I am not a gamer).

    • Yes, and with Unity game engine doing well and likewise the amount of new titles from well known developers, especially those on Kickstarter who are making games for Linux things are looking better than ever. But, to be honest the biggest issue generally I have with Linux has the been the audio, for example when installing the Nvidia proprietary driver it "activates" the modules needed for HDMI and is a bit of a pain to work-around through blacklisting/kernel recompile if you're using the card through DVI
      • Depending on the distro you use, you do not have to blacklist the HDMI audio module. Simply choose the appropriate audio output. Works well on kubuntu.
    • Ah, finally Nvidia fixed the son of a gun. :) I already have classical music playing in the background, and I will bring on the wine and cheese when fast hardware accelerated HTML5 video or Flash is reality in Linux world.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I can't get it [] working with the 3.8 kernel in the new ubuntu beta... wonder if this will make that project unnecessary..?

    • As far as I can tell, this only adds support for using the nvidia card for everything (rendering the whole desktop) while sending its final framebuffer to the Intel for scanout. This is a strictly different use case from what bumblebee enables (rendering *specific apps* on the nvidia card while using the Intel for everything else).

      Personally, since I only need the performance of the nvidia card one in a blue moon, the bumblebee approach is much more useful to me. Otherwise, I'd have to deal with tearing on everything (the current version of the nvidia RandR output provider does not support vsync) and increased power consumption.

      I think what nvidia calls "render offload" in their README (which is currently not supported) is what would in fact replace bumblebee, if/when implemented. I'm curious as to how it would interact with power management, though. One of the very nice things about Bumblebee is that it doesn't even power up the nvidia card (via ACPI) until required, and that's easy because it starts up a background X server on demand to do the rendering. It's probably trickier to puil this off if you have to load the nvidia driver into your primary X server to take advantage of the direct integration.

    • by 3vi1 ( 544505 )

      You can't get it working because of a bug in the latest xserver-xorg-core package. You can work around it by either backleveling that package or adding the BusID line to the nvidia xorg.conf in your BumbleBee directory.

  • This is good news. I bought a new Intel/nvidia rig a few days ago and am now looking even more forward to using Linux on it! :)
  • Parity? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @08:19PM (#43407783)

    So does this release bring the Linux drivers into parity with the Windows drivers? I'm sure this is a large step in the right direction, but if the Windows driver is still more capable or efficient, then Linux will still suffer on the gaming front.

    • Very few people care about Linux on the gaming front. Linux is for computer professionals who use their high performance graphics cards to do real useful things with their computers such as scientific applications and CAD/CAE/CAM. It will always be true that if you want to play games, investing in toys is a better approach than trying to shoe-horn a professional OS into the mix.
  • by Mister Liberty ( 769145 ) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @08:24PM (#43407801)

    for as long as I can remember, and that is long
    (Linuxer since 1991).

    Never bought anything else for a display card though.
    Explain that.

    • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @08:37PM (#43407899)

      Because, unlike ATI/AMD, their driver works by and large? If you only play AAA titles released around the time of the driver version you're using, amd cards work alright...usually. Try doing anything else with the card (autodesk/adobe/video playback accel/demoscene/older games/newer games) and prepare yourself for the glitch gremlin.

      I'm not saying that nvidia drivers are perfect. They're not, but they're a lot better than AMD.

      • by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @09:01PM (#43408057)

        Quite Agree.

        Lets also not forget that the linux kernel (and other projects) have done their share of jerking NVidia around also, in the name of forcing them to work in the way the OSS people want, rather than in the way NVidia is willing to (they make/sell the cards after all).

        It pretty much looks to me that NVidia have been waiting for X Server support for the features, and can now support it since that has arrived.

        • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

          Well, the kernel devs have good reasons for wanting (and setting things up to encourage) open driver code. It's nearly impossible to debug kernel dumps riddled with binary only drivers, and it retards the freedoms of open source on platforms containing nvidia chips. So I agree with linus, but I also want my computer to work, so I use nouveau on older chips and the nvidia driver on newer chips and whenever I need the best 3d possible.

          • by smash ( 1351 )
            If you can isolate the code to the binary blob, then that is enough. It's no longer your (kernel developer) problem. If an end user wants to run a binary blob driver for massively improved performance, they should be able to.
            • by smash ( 1351 )
              Furthermore - a GPU driver crash should not take down the OS. It doesn't on Windows, it shouldn't on Linux.
              • Furthermore - a GPU driver crash should not take down the OS. It doesn't on Windows, it shouldn't on Linux.

                Virtually all of my Windows crashes have occurred in the GPU driver, even while running nVidia. I have a hard time believing this never happens in Windows any more. It's not like they threw it away and rewrote it.

            • If an end user wants to run a binary blob driver for massively improved performance, they should be able to.

              They can and no one stops them. They just shouldn't expect help from the kernel devs if they do.

        • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @01:37AM (#43409365)

          nVidia has reasons for doing things the way they do. Yes, one of them is probably "because we don't want AMD grabbing our work," However there is some validity to that in that it is expensive to have a team of highly qualified people to do your development.

          However that aside, there are licensing issues that keep their drivers closed, and there may be good reasons to want to use that code rather than try to re-implement it. Likewise there may be reasons to do their own thing and bypass some of the standard way of interfacing.

          nVidia produces Linux drivers that work. They support the latest OpenGL features the hardware can handle, they are fast, and they are stable. That's pretty damn useful. So they are doing something right in their development. People should consider that, rather than just assuming that nVidia could easily deliver everything the same, but just in a format that makes OSS heads happy.

          Also consider that maybe working with someone is an easier way to get at least some of what you want than fighting with them.

          • by Electricity Likes Me ( 1098643 ) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @02:53AM (#43409707)

            They're a hardware company. I have no problem with them running custom firmwares or whatever *on the hardware* but a closed-source software driver stack is just absurd. I'd much rather we move to a model where the drivers were always OSS, even if it meant we needed more firmware running on the GPU itself since it'd be a return to having standard interfaces and it would mean everyone would get the benefits of improvements in the driver stack, rather then just the favored operating system.

            • They're a hardware company. I have no problem with them running custom firmwares or whatever *on the hardware* but a closed-source software driver stack is just absurd.

              It is no more absurd than the law which governs it. nVidia drank the Microsoft kool-aid long ago and now their lips will be forever stained by it. Not until Microsoft is destroyed do we have any chance of an Open nVidia driver.

      • That USED to be the case until optimus. I've been a pretty avid nvidia on linux until optimus and that even after having one of the dell geforce mobiles that delaminated (hardware issue). Now I get to live with crashing to login every few days (a common occurence for us optimus users even before we load the bumblebee stack) but hey, who doesn't want their linux machine reduced to win98 reliabiity levels. Needless to say nvidia gives ZERO support. From here on out it's only Intel or other open-source dri
  • by Flammon ( 4726 ) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @08:51PM (#43407983) Homepage Journal

    I love this picture of our fearless leader. Doing what we've all wanted to do to companies that fuck with us. []

  • by Freshly Exhumed ( 105597 ) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @09:23PM (#43408177) Homepage

    I'll be glad when this is actually able to run on Lenovo's notebooks, which require an ugly ACPI hack to enable the Nvidia GPU: []

    • What's ugly about the ACPI hacks? Isn't this---powering up and down optional hardware in a standard way---exactly what ACPI is meant to do?

      Honest question. I don't have an Optimus laptop.

    • When you fix a broken ACPI table because Lenovo ships thier laptops with a broken ACPI table it isn't an "ugly ACPI hack", it is a beautiful testament to the power of Linux, which actually allows you to do such things.
  • Please NVIDIA do something about reliability, compatibility, provide debug symbols, meaningful error messages, and a way to easily provide feedback and response and the understanding of how the collected data is used rather than the impression it goes to /dev/null.

    You have subtly reassigned your user base to serve as your beta test annoyance discovery team, selling hardware with drivers that provide the air of functionality but each with its own nuances of failure and glitches.

    I try not to be nasty, but Lin

  • In the summary. Seemed funny to me.
  • don't care: no sell (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    haven't purchased anything (for myself or clients) with an nvidia chip in it for at least the last year. nvidia had time to design their way out of old third party impediments to open sourcing the driver code and they haven't even started. i don't care what their reasons are. I'm not installing their closed source (security and stability issues) code into a perfectly good linux machine and i don't appreciate their cavalier attitude towards me and mine as a market. The open source radeon driver (http://www.

    • by smash ( 1351 )
      Will all become irrelevant soon anyhow. Intel is open source and they are getting better fast.
  • Who? (Score:5, Informative)

    by minus9 ( 106327 ) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @03:03AM (#43409765) Homepage
    Who's this Linux Torvalds guy?

    Somebody get Soulxkill his coffee.
  • but its too late for me, nvidia already lost me as a customer, i wont buy their products anymore and when shopping for a new laptop or desktop i always look for ATI video now, (i dont like having my PC half_broken because some snooty hardware MFG wont build decent Linux drivers
    • when shopping for a new laptop or desktop i always look for ATI video now, (i dont like having my PC half_broken because some snooty hardware MFG wont build decent Linux drivers

      So uh, why are you still running AMD? Only intel is making a serious effort to deliver decent Linux drivers. fglrx is crap and AMD trickles out the information too slowly for ati to be worth a crap either.

  • Just wonder if they are leaning toward mobile market as well. It makes sense if they want to target the tablet market, as there are more mobile and social games around these days. And thinking about the developing countries, there are huge market on the mobile/tablet market.

  • Read this *before* you experiment the drivers. [] New nVidia beta drivers, 319.12, have been released yesterday. Unfortunately, several web sites have been quick to put articles with titles suggesting Optimus support finally coming to Linux, and I'm saying "unfortunately" because I believe this is a case where inaccurate reporting hurts everyone: to non-technical users, the articles may have an effect of giving a false impression that the wa
  • For a long time, I have decided to boycott Nvidia (which I have nicknamed as “Hang-vidia” due to the fact their drivers frequently caused my machine to hang) due to their positive hostility for Linux, and open source, and what not (lack of support for open source efforts, no specifications released, legal threats against open source efforts, dropping support for old cards, etc.), and the low quality of their binary-only offerings (frequent hangs and crashes), and their general incompetence. I w

Civilization, as we know it, will end sometime this evening. See SYSNOTE tomorrow for more information.