Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Graphics Linux Business Open Source Operating Systems Linux

Reports: NVIDIA Launching a Distro of Its Own (phoronix.com) 149

An anonymous reader writes: There are unconfirmed reports that NVIDIA is working on its own Linux distribution dubbed "NLINUX." This NLINUX is supposedly a Linux platform optimized for gamers and similar to SteamOS, but NVIDIA has yet to confirm these reports and the sole evidence appears to be a circulating screenshot of an NLINUX install screen. Would you be interested in a Linux distribution created by an IHV? Somewhat similar is Intel's own Linux distribution, Clear Linux, that offers high performance Linux on Intel x86_64 hardware.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Reports: NVIDIA Launching a Distro of Its Own

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's an edited web page.
  • No, id quite like a steambox though

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @09:49PM (#51712599)

    If they'll contribute upstream and make whatever they're doing available to people like SteamOS, Debian, and RedHat, I'm absolutely in favor of this!

    Hardware vendors should contribute code liberally to the linux kernel source. If all they're doing is a custom debian variant that they can control package versions on to make their drivers look better than they are, then I'll pass.

    • I'm not sure why anyone would mark your post insightful. This statement: " they can control package versions on to make their drivers look better" makes it clear that you have no idea how drivers and the kernel relate to user space.
  • by Master Moose ( 1243274 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @09:50PM (#51712603) Homepage

    If something is coded to be optimised for specific hardware - good on them.

    So long as all code, components, drivers etc remain fully open - and are available to the wider linux community I say go for it.

    • You do understand, don't you, that nVidia has never provided OSS drivers for Linux? Their Linux drivers are nothing more than binary blobs that you can only install by booting into a CLI, then rebooting after the installation is complete. And, you have to do the exact same thing each and every time your kernel is updated. Yes, Fedora uses a simpler system, akmod-nvidia, but that's just a repackaging of the binary blob for those of us who don't want to reboot twice every time there's a new kernel.
      • If your system uses DKMS, then all of that is handled transparently during the upgrade process, and doesn't introduce any extra reboots.

        That said, I stopped buying NVidia products once the open source AMD driver became usable for desktop workloads. Now I buy only AMD video cards.

        • by kuzb ( 724081 )

          This is a clear case of cutting your nose off to spite your face. Not only do you now have underperforming video hardware, you have underperforming drivers to go with it.

        • Where as I am the opposite. I simply don't care if the source is closed or not. I care if it works. And currently I would never buy an AMD card to run on Linux until their drivers improve dramatically. Linux is why I don't use AMD.

          • What's your definition of better? The AMD open source drivers are much more stable than the nVidia closed source drivers. They're slower and have fewer features, but they're more stable, in my experience.

            • I haven't had any stability issues on any of my machines running nVidia cards and I am running a variety of hardware from an optimus laptop to an SLI rig and haven't had a single crash in years.

        • I stopped buying NVidia products once the open source AMD driver became usable for desktop workloads.

          You must be from the future. Tell us more about the coming decades.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        1) The driver can be upgraded with X11 running.
        2) You can reload the driver without rebooting.

      • by DrJimbo ( 594231 ) on Thursday March 17, 2016 @12:22AM (#51713157)

        You do understand, don't you, that nVidia has never provided OSS drivers for Linux? Their Linux drivers are nothing more than binary blobs that you can only install by booting into a CLI, then rebooting after the installation is complete.

        About 10 or 12 years ago I had a Dell laptop that had Nvidia graphics. I was running Gentoo Linux. I reported some bug with the Nvidia driver. Within hours late Saturday, early Sunday I got a reply from Nvidia with a patch to the MM kernel that fixed the problem. The bug was not in the Nvidia driver but was caused by recent change in the MM kernel. I was very impressed. In this case they were acting like an FOSS shop not a proprietary software shop.

        I grant you the closed portions of the Nvidia drivers can be a royal pain in the neck, especially when combined with the closed Flash player. There were times when it was maddening but that was partly driven by an obsession by some Gentoo devs to be overly zealous with purging versions of the Nvidia driver from the portage system. Things have been mostly stable for a good number of years now.

        I appreciate the Linux support Nvidia does provide. For example, I've been using VDPAU which does video decoding on the graphics card which let me play blu-rays on a machine with a not so powerful CPU. Also, I've never had to reboot in order to update the Nvidia driver. I do have to rmmod the old driver after I stop X but that's no biggie. YMMVG

        I am interested in seeing the Nvidia distro if they release one but I'm not holding my breath.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bloodhawk ( 813939 )
          That is amusing I had a similar issue about 10 years ago with the Linux driver and one of their new cards. I reported the details of the bug, how to recreate it etc. What I got back was basically an insult of bad luck we don't really offer any support, "either take what is to offer or go with one of the competitors (HaHa)", The HaHa part was actually part of the response as at the time no one came close to matching Nvidia performance so there was no real option.

          A few months later AMD came out with some com
          • by KGIII ( 973947 ) <uninvolved@outlook.com> on Thursday March 17, 2016 @07:24AM (#51714065) Journal

            You've been responsible for 100,000 desktop system purchases? Note: That is not doubt, I've seen you post before and have absolutely no reason to doubt you, but it is me trying to make sure I understand completely.

            I thought that I might hold some sort of record in that area. I do not. If I had to guess, I'd say that I'm in the 2 to 3k region. However, it was either my company or a purchase that was gifted. For example, I keep a local elementary school's system stocked - I adopted them when I retired to the area. I refresh every couple of years and let them keep the old ones. (They've only got 56 students, a small staff, and a single IT staff.)

            100,000? I am duly impressed. I've bought servers, routers, load balancing equipment, HVAC gear, switches and hubs and even hardware firewalls. I've filled racks, I've filled entire server rooms, and even purchased giant disk arrays. Hell, I've even helped run fiber but mostly did the chasing. I've done a couple of splices but that's really not something I'm going to say I know how to do - I was aided in doing so.

            Oddly, I don't really use any Apple products but I guess I can probably still say that I have *personally* purchased more iDevices than anyone here, with the caveat that it was with my own money. (The school's rather fond of Apple gear and I understand why and agree with their choices. If you're unfamiliar with it, Apple actually gives a pretty good discount for school purchases.)

            But, back to the point... So that I'm sure I understand correctly, you mean 100,000 desktops have been purchased at your discretion? Remind me to *not* invest in a company that has pissed you off. Ripple effects on that kind of purchase power are immense. People like you need to fill out some good, thorough, surveys so that someone can crunch that data. InfoWorld and eWeek used to have some survey results and they used to make sure I got their whitepapers. I haven't seen anything like that in years. Years and years.

            Which leads to my real question... So... (This is me buttering you up.) Umm... You being all-powerful, master and commander, and knowing of all things - both good and evil... I don't suppose you know what happened to those whitepapers that said what the industry leaders where buying and why? Specifically for end-user gear would be my desire. It's time to prepare to refresh the school soon. I'll do it over this coming summer and I've not been paying enough attention. I've been leaning towards whatever iDevice gets recommended to me by the IT guy but I'm open to suggestions and able to greatly influence what he's interested in. He's not chained to Apple but Apple's the district's standard - sort of. They hook kids up with laptops in middle school. This is the elementary school. We do what we want. (And the district doesn't mind, they love that I help the kids out.)

            So, got any good links where I can find the latest opinions on enterprise grade from actual people in the trenches and a history of making purchases? I have, indeed, searched Google a bunch of times. I've not really found anything good and trustworthy. Half the papers are vendor "sponsored" crap and the other half are flawed by asking stupid questions to stupid people. At least those are what I've found.

            Hmm... How else can I appeal to your good, kind, soul? Oh! Ha! It's for the children. It really is, think of the children. Better, think of the poor single IT staffer (just one - and he's not always able to be on-site) and the work he'll have to go through. I've considered an AskSlashdot but, I gotta be honest here, I've *seen* the results to those. If it matters, I still have a CDW account and they were still pretty unbiased/good the last time I went through them. If it's not Apple, I'll almost certainly go through them again but I've actually considered NewEgg.

            Sorry for the novella but I figured I'd ask - seeing as you do appear to be a preeminent expert on the subject. (Not sarcasm. You don't get to those kind of numbers without knowing your shit.) Hell, that last part isn't even meant to butter you up. ;-) If you've got any direction - I'd love to know. I'd go so far as to tell the kids that they can "thank Mr. Bloodhawk" but I think that the moniker might not go over well.

            • 100k desktops is really not a lot, especially over more than 10 years. That is 3 hardware refresh cycles for one org or 25k seats and 2 for an 11k seat org (I work across a couple of organisations). You can add close to 10k servers to that too.
              • And FYI, we don't tend to rely on reviews of other people. Vendors generally provide various builds and submit samples of those builds together with costings to us. We then put them through our test lab with our builds for developers, designers and general workstation usage testing compatibility with all our software and hardware devices. generally at the end of that we have a hand full of suitable machines that meet cost, spec and performance requirements and then it is a matter of getting in a room with t
                • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                  Now that I think about it, that kind of makes sense seeing as you're dealing with that large a number. I'm just gonna get 'em the latest iDevice. They've got Chromebooks now. But, the iDevices have good support for schools and they're what the district uses. They've also held up *very* well in the past - kids can find creative ways to abuse them. So, I guess I'm just gonna do that *unless* IT has a specific recommendation.

                  100k is quite a few by my count. Then again, I've seen people who have more "seats" th

                • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                  I edited my post and ended up forgetting to put my expression of gratitude back in. It made me think of a slightly different route which I may try. I might have him pick a few models of things that he likes (give him permission to make some orders with my name at CDW) and let him pick. I am able to trust him. So, I'll probably do that - actually. I'm sure he'll thank you. That's about the closest I can get to what you're suggesting and what does make the most sense. We used to buy a few, test them, and then

      • You do understand, don't you, that nVidia has never provided OSS drivers for Linux? Their Linux drivers are nothing more than binary blobs that you can only install by booting into a CLI, then rebooting after the installation is complete. And, you have to do the exact same thing each and every time your kernel is updated. Yes, Fedora uses a simpler system, akmod-nvidia, but that's just a repackaging of the binary blob for those of us who don't want to reboot twice every time there's a new kernel.

        All I ever have needed to do is log into a console, kill the xserver, run the installer and restart the xserver. If you need to reboot to install modules for a running kernel you may be doing it wrong. I've been running debian with nvidia drivers for hardware acceleration because I like my compiz eye-candy .

        I have done the same with a laptop gentoo install.

      • I don't know what distribution you are using, but that is all handled transparently and effortlessly for every distribution I have used in the last five or more years. (See also DKMS [wikipedia.org].) It sounds like you haven't tried a decent Linux distribution in quite some time.
        • I've been using Fedora ever since Fedora Core 6. Does that count as "decent?" And, as I mentioned, the repackaged binary blobs, aka akmod-nvidia, are in the third-party rpmfusion repo, but only because they don't (and can't) fit Fedora's rather strict licensing requirements. The only way you can tell that they're working is that the first time you boot it takes somewhat longer because it takes time to assemble the appropriate kmod for it. No user intervention, no booting into a CLI, no extra reboot. Ev
          • Ah yes. Excellent! I accept your admission that you were lying then. (I also use Fedora, and you and I both know your bullshit story about all this effort on the part of the admin being involved is exactly that; bullshit.)
            • I take it, then, that you've never tried to install the nVidia drivers using the .run file downloaded from the OEM's website. I did, once, and quickly learned my lesson. Never again. I don't use nVidia to get the best results on games, because I'm not a gamer; I use them because they work well and, with akmod-nvidia working I can get the eyecandy I like with a minimum of fuss and/or bother. The only time I've ever needed to remove and reinstall all of the nVidia stuph is when I've upgraded the card, bec
              • "I take it, then, that you've never tried to install the nVidia drivers using the .run file downloaded from the OEM's website.

                Many, many years ago when that was the appropriate course of action I did that. It worked fine for me, but then I actually knew what I was doing. Again, it has been more than five years since it was normal to have to do that.

                • I've been using the .run installers for a couple years. Works great for me. Takes about 2 minutes, which is plenty fast enough for something I might need to do every other month or so.

      • Who told you that installing nvidia drivers on Linux requires a reboot? Some random Windows user? Or did you make that up yourself just now?

        • Who told me that installing the .run file from nVidia required a reboot? The instructions on their website, every time I've looked. Granted, that's not been for several years, but I've seen comments from other users on support sites that confirm that it's still true.
  • Custom distro (Score:5, Insightful)

    by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @09:50PM (#51712605)

    So we have a custom Intel distro to have better Intel support and a custom Nvidia distro to have a better Nvidia support.

    What about if I have a system with Intel CPU and Nvidia GPU and I want to get better support for both?

    • Then you use Windows :-)

      LordWabbit Ducks and runs for cover
    • Nice Red Herring. All kernels are already optimized for Intel CPUs (assuming correct .config options at build time). If you are mixing Intel GPUs and NVIDIA ones, then I guess the question is? "Why the Fsck are you doing that?
  • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @09:53PM (#51712619) Homepage

    With just that screenshot to go on, my first guess is a GUI-based driver installer, not a full blown distribution.

    • Hoax (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tenebrousedge ( 1226584 ) <tenebrousedge@g m a i l .com> on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @11:27PM (#51713009)

      It's a hoax. I modded it down in Firehose and am pissed it made the front page. That screenshot is from some page on NVIDIA's site, with an edited header. This is a non-story, and it should be blatantly obvious by now they have no interest in Linux interop.

      • Microsoft's UWP's got everybody spooked. I could see nVidia firing a shoot or two here. Microsoft makes hardware after all. Sure, they'd probably just let Intel do it, or maybe buy somebody like Power VR, but hey, it'd be childs play to kill nVidia. They're pretty much completely dependent on Widows right now outside of a few high end workstations for engineers/mathematicians.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This could be a boon for them if they are actually willing to open source the driver code for the platform in addition to whatever GPL'd code they are required to post. I'm guessing this OS will be free to use but costly to license if you want a peek at the driver source code. Count me as pleasantly surprised if this distro is fully open.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    No, this is probably for CUDA work.

  • by BlueCoder ( 223005 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @10:43PM (#51712849)

    I tend to think it's just made up. But even if it isn't then it is more than likely their own in house beta testing version.

    Just be grateful it's not FreeBSD which they they could totally embrace and not have to release any code for.

    But everyone needs to get it through their heads that the true future of gaming is not OS bound. The need to instead concentrate on visualized GPU infrastructure. Games will run in VM's in a client game OS. More than likely nVidia wants it's own so it's not dependent on Steam as well as allowing them to have their own store and builtin DRM. They are just playing with their own platform.

    Microkernel VM, Multiple windows version, SteamOS. nVidia OS, and multiple Linux systems and entire visualized applets.

    On an aside I am actually more surprised that VMWare hasn't tried to team up with AMD. AMD could create specialized CPU extensions that speed up Virtualization and before you know it VMWare could supplant Microsoft as the default software loaded on all systems by default. Microsoft might not be happy with $10-30 per computer but I think VMWare would jump at the billion dollar increase in revenue and increased name recognition.

    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      Steam as well as allowing them to have their own store and builtin DRM. They are just playing with their own platform.

      The companies are idiots if they think I want my games on tens of platforms.

      (I'm ok with the occasional Origin/Uplay bundle but I totally wouldn't get the game there if I could have it for the same price on Steam.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by BitZtream ( 692029 )

      Just be grateful it's not FreeBSD which they they could totally embrace and not have to release any code for.

      Why would I be grateful?

      If they did this for FreeBSD and kept all the code private and too themselves, how am I any worse off than I am right now? What did I lose?

      Whats that? I didn't lose anything because I never had that new code they wrote for FreeBSD?

      What else? You're just an ignorant GPL fanboy lying about code being 'closed' and spreading FUD? Yea, I saw that already.

      Games will run in VM's in a client game OS.

      You want some drivers for your VMs so you can have drivers for your OS and the VM it runs in?

      More virtualization IS NOT THE SOLUTION

      • "If they did this for FreeBSD and kept all the code private and too themselves, how am I any worse off than I am right now? What did I lose?" - Emphasis Added

        Well, to start with, there is a temporary suspension on your use of the words to, two, and too :-)

      • "In linux, writing to the system directories for any random binary or config ... thats totally normal and expected ... and pretty stupid. Maybe Linux should steal this from FreeBSD? 'man heir' on a FBSD box and learn a few things about why no one wants to write commercial software for your fanboy OS"

        For system wide stuff it is normal, and for user specific over-rides they go in the user directory, which is sound security, makes perfect sense, and oh yeah ... you sound like an idiot claiming there is somethi

  • by Anonymous Coward

    lets further splinter a platform with far too many forks and distros and reinvented wheels and fads of the week and abandoned projects and etc etc etc

    no wonder the year of linux on the desktop keeps getting postponed.

  • Nvidia struggle to make a stable driver, who the fuck thinks they can handle maintaining an entire OS. Steambox looks to be a relative disaster and I have far more faith in them being able to do it then Nvidia.
    • by kuzb ( 724081 )

      There's no struggle - the drivers work fine. Far better then the opensource alternative too.

      • by nnull ( 1148259 )
        As I write this, 4k support is still broken. Displayport audio doesn't even work for my system (Works great in Windows). And as of now, I have to downgrade my drivers to 352.63 because the recent Nvidia drivers completely break anything connected to a 4k screen for me. Hell, 4k support has been broken since 2012 with both Nvidia and Xorg. Xorg still hasn't even found a solution for MST displayport without doing some hackish thing to get it to look right while Nvidia even acknowledging the issue way back yea
  • Why do I have the strange feeling that if NVIDIA were launching their own distro, the NVIDIA graphics driver wouldn't work on it? ;)
    • Yeah... maybe Nvidia should learn to release stable drivers on Windows before going on a Linux adventure.

      "Nvidia display driver has stopped responding---" *crash*

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      Even though I keep seeing posts from people claiming the nVidia's linux driver is unstable etc etc, I've always personally found it to be rock solid, and thats been always true across many different hardware platforms/distros.
      The only thing I've ever had problems with is nouveau. And those problems are large and frequent.
      Annoyingly, all distros now seem to install nouveau just because its open, yet nouveau is still very unstable and far less functional than nVidias driver. Many distros also stupidly make i

  • Instead of Android, Linux? Just a guess.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's fake, find the differences:
    http://i.imgur.com/59VWO7a.jpg
    https://contests.nvidia.com/share-every-win-need-for-speed

    • by chepati ( 220147 )

      Someone please mod this up.

      When I saw this story on phoronix yesterday, my first thought was "Well, this is phoronix, the rumor mill of linux/foss news; it's to be expected". Michael has been known for posting any unsubstantiated rumor du jour that is circulating the internet at the moment in a blatant click grab.

      So I concur -- this is fake until Nvidia provides download URLs for ISOs and source.

  • Thanks for the great post.........
  • People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.
    Somehow I thought this quote was from Jobs during his first time at Apple Computer inc.? wow. I haven't had a Mac since 2005 and the distortion field is still strong... (source [brainyquote.com])

    More on point, it seems that not only it is true that hardware+OS+applications are a good way to make money, the control over more of these 3 is a good insurance policy against the other vendors closing down app stores or their hardware on you.
    I certainly don

  • I'd be more interested in a distro maintianed by AMD that would assure me their infinitely more frustrating drivers work without a hitch.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy

Working...