Thursday, December 28, 2006

I pledged $10 for an Open Source Nvidia driver

Nvdia makes great drivers, awesome drivers for Linux. Those drivers are so great that no one has been motivated enough to write a good Open source driver for it.

OK, I'm kidding, there is a good Open Source driver for Nvidia cards already but they only support 2D functions. So if you want 3D hardware acceleration, you have to settle for the official driver. So whats wrong with that? you might ask.

Well if you are a Linux user, you might have come across the inconveniences involved with of upgrading the Nivida driver or the Linux kernel. But thats really a minor price to pay, compared to the freedom lost as a result.

An year or so ago, Nvidia dropped support for some of their old graphic cards such as the Riva TNT2. The result - you either had to upgrade your graphic card or use the last driver they put out. Chances are that last driver doesn't support any of the recent kernels. So your also stuck using an old kernel. Your freedom to keep up is lost.

One of my friends had an Apple PPC notebook (a really expensive Powerbook) which had an Nvidia card. He decided to install GNU/Linux and all of a sudden, there is no (3D) driver for his graphics card. Nvidia doesn't think its worth the trouble to put out a PPC compatible binary driver for Linux as most Apple users' run MacOS.

There are just some of the reasons why its healthy to have an Open Source Nvidia driver which supports 3D acceleration, thats good enough to run a 3D desktop such as XGL/AIGLX. Thats why I made the following pledge:

"I will pledge at least $10 USD towards the development of the
open source nouveau driver for the nvidia card series but only
if 1,000 other people will too."

If you believe in the cause, you too can pledge (no you don't need to enter your credit card just yet). If anything, it motivates the developers who are working hard with no official support from NVidia.


Just Mal said...

damn geeks. use windows!!!

Jolly Lucifer said...

Might join you on this one though I am partial to ATI these days.

Also if you have a little time to spare mail me at Got something you might be interested in.

Imashi Jayasekara said...

Linux is nice but i like the gadgets than linux. Anyway i got you in ma favorites list
Imashi J

zeroKnots said...

We have the same gripe, but I don't think youre cynical enough.

All the hardware companies use the same excuse to keep us all barefoot and preggers, 'patent disputes make black-boxing a necessary evil'. (yeah, right)

I suspect that when a company gets as giant as nVidia, their reputation for competative support becomes irrelivant, and it becomes in their best interest to make hardware obsolete.
Only thing that sustains M$ tyranny is hardware if you think about it. Theyre a collective monopoly between M$ and nVidia and a few others.

If some driver guru would make a program that canibalized old/new nVidia drivers so a PC could boot to them regardless of OS, M$ would panic.
Or like strip down XP or Linux to a standardized hardware driver platform, THEN build kernels on top of that.

Buuuut noooo. We LIKE being underlings to big companies (& governments, for that matter, it's not that different.)