Oh No He Didn't! Nvidia Responds to Linus Torvalds' F-Bomb-Laden Rant

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Shadow Death

Does anyone else find it funny how he praises AMD, Who has HORRIBLE Linux driver support for their graphics cards, but he bashes nVidia who's drivers ALWAYS seem to work in Linux?

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csiegle56

Yes I think most people would agree that both drivers are horrible. Although since linux isnt generally used for gaming people see driver performance with a hit or miss distinction, either it works or it does not. I can certaintly tell you from personal experience that nvidia drivers are complete crap. For one thing it might as well be a generic windows driver because it utilizes virtually none of the features nvidia cards have. I have a dual boot system and when I use linux with a gtx 580 SLI setup it can barely handle moving a window quickly without screen tearing or other numerous artifacts. I am still unable to remote connect to my linux server using windows on my dual boot machine. When I tried ubuntu's unity it didnt work until they went through 5 different versions of the distro. Do not buy into Nvidia's Lie's they do not give a shit and will not give a shit until they see a profit.

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Shadow Death

I feel like I've been using Linux since the beginning of time... or back when Red Hat was Red Hat and not RHEL. That was back when you had to mess with x.org physically. Now days you just run the installer as if it were in windows. nVidia, for me, has worked in Fedora, CentOS, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc. AMD's drivers for my laptop has worked in.... Ubuntu and Linux Mint... barely.. I've actually noticed the Linux generic driver works fine. I suspect your problems come from SLI which windows doesn't even like. :P

From a professional aspect, I'm studying in the line of HPC. I deal with servers and super computers all the time. All of which run Linux, Including the Cray we have, which is running Tesla cards. Ugh... my grammar = fail in the morning.

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Scatter

I would have loved if if NVIDIA just simply responded "because we just don't fucking want to support Linux, suck it up"

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aarcane

What we have here, on nVidia's behalf, is a failure to comprehend what their users want and need, to some small extent.

Of course providing drivers to Linux users same day is important, and despite what others may say, much appreciated by many. However, there is ABSOLUTELY NO reason they can't continue to do this AND open source their drivers.

The possible results of this open-sourcing endeavor? In no particular order:
* Improved customer satisfaction across the board
* User contributed code to fix obscure bugs nVidia may not care about for free or cheap.
* User contributed code for optimizations and advancements above and beyond what nVidia may find possible
* Ports of nVidia drivers (Hopefully through simple source-based translation layers like are used on Linux now) to new platforms that may not presently support nVidia, for want of nVidia not wanting to invest in it.
* AMD may see a bit of the code, and steal it, However, this is a negligible risk, as there are likely few if any hardware parallels that AMD could exploit to their advantage.
* NVidia may experience a small maintenance overhead resultant from providing public source repositories, however, this could be mitigated by using an existing company to provide SCM like github, or similar.
* Users may choose to use FORK'd drivers, and experience issues. This is another minor issue. If the user has CHOSEN to use third party drivers (As some already do, I might add), they KNOW they're using third party drivers. If any third party driver becomes popular enough, nVidia can exploit the fact that their drivers have been released under an appropriate Open Source license, and import the relevant enhancements back into their own upstream drivers

When you compare the pro's and con's list, it becomes apparent that not only nvidia, but MOST hardware companies, are in fact only hurting themselves by not providing properly open sourced hardware drivers, as it lowers cost, increases quality and availability, and enhances customer satisfaction in a number of ways.

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zaznet

I think they understand what the Open Source community (not the same as their entire user base mind you) wants and nVidia is saying this is not what they need (despite the insistence otherwise). I'm not saying they are right in that assessment but it seems that is what they have done so far and are sticking with it.

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pastorbob

Oh well. Really doesn't matter to me one way or the other.

I have tried several flavors of Linux including several versions of Red Hat and every version of Ubuntu since 4.04. It is fun to play with and poke around on. I enjoy using it on old obselete systems and watching them run like a new machine. But there is one thing that stops me from making it my main O.S. It won't run most of the software that I use on the job and at home. Yes, I know, there are equivalents (e.g. - Libre Office in place of MS Office, Picassa or GIMP for Photo Shop Elements, etc). But here's the problem:

a. They are not 100% compatible with my current collections of files.
b. I don't have the time or the inclination to throw away several thousand dollars for the software I use 99% of the time and spend weeks trying to get the Linux programs working properly with all of my docs, videos, music, and powerpoint presentations.
c. The two main apps I use have no equivalent in Linux. Period.

I've tried WINE and other Windows shells to run my software in Linux but it does not work with them without hours of twiddling and tweaking.

SO (takes a breath) - Linux will always stay in the "something to play with with I have nothing else to do." realm of my life.

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THE_REAL_MAVERICK

Ya, I don't think Nvidia gives Linux enough support, but really who cares. If Linux is your main OS then thats your fault. Linux is great, but go where the games and support are. Windows gets all the attention and if your going to complain about it and throw the F-bomb don't expect any help from Nvidia soon. Not a very good businessman.

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thetechchild

Linus is not a businessman. After all, he created Linux, icon of the open source world, not exactly a profiteering venture.

Regardless of what he said, nVidia would not have gone out of their way to make radical changes to how they operate their business. They're not moving to dramatically increase open source support any time soon, so I don't think Linus's little "statement" really hurts the likelihood of increased Linux support.

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wrldqueeek

My problem with Nvidia on Linux is that I generally use Ubuntu to try to breath some life into older systems, but the nvidia drivers available in Ubuntu seem to have limited support for legacy hardware.

Anyone know a way around this?

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Belboz99

I'm going to call shenanigans on Nvidia's reasoning for maintaining a stance of using proprietary code because:

""...providing a consistent *** experience across multiple platforms for all of our customers continues to be one of our key goals."

Is the hallmark of an Open Source development.

Also hallmarks of Open Source development, rapid release, frequent updates, etc.

Nvidia's argument is baseless.

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crazybigdan

"f-bombs" He actually only dropped a single f-bomb, and it could hardly be called a rant.

I personally use linux on my laptop exclusively, and it has an nVidia gpu, and I use their binary blob. Besides the fact that it is not open for community enhancement, and as such does not sit well with the whole general linux/gnu philosophy, I have the complaint that is lacks certain features, namely resize and rotate. So from an end-user standpoint, that is my only complaint. Performance-wise, it does the job (and well), and I game on it at my leisure.

Linus' comment actually did not have to do with their gpus, but rather their chipsets, which I don't have experience with myself. But the lady asking the question said that nVidia flat out said "no linux support" for whatever chipset they were dealing with. That is not exactly arguable: nvidia was (or is) being a pain in butt, in that regard.

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Bullwinkle J Moose

Dear Maximum Propaganda

NO you did NOT post all of Linus's rant

Several of the responses below indicate that the readers did not see the entire talk but instead got only the short edited clip you provided

Watch the entire rant before discussing the topic based on such limited terms

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/linus-torvalds-f-bombs-nvidia-over-lack-of-linux-support/20842

Start the video at 1:00:30 to get his explanation as to why he gave the F-Bomb then go back and watch the whole rant

Linus got the response he was after!

Did you?

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Ghost XFX

I been curious about Linux as an OS, but if this is the guy behind it...

I really don't have a dog in this fight, so from casually observing from the stands, with my cheetos in hand, it appears to me that Linus jumped the gun in his response and it would do him well to formally apologize to Nvidia.

Why?

How easy it would it to be for Nvidia to say, "you know what? Lets pull the plug on support for Linux altogether, and see what he does next..."

Of course, Nvidia could simply put this fire out by sending Linux a list of the GPUs and drivers that work with Linux, showing Mr. Linus the error of his ways, as well as maintaining support for their cards with Linux users.

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dgrmouse

You start your comment by saying that you're clueless, and then you go on to assert that Linus is to blame and owes NVidia a formal apology. Winning!

For the record, NVidia needs Linux a lot more than Linux needs NVidia. Linus has bent over backwards trying to assist them in bringing their products to the Linux community (the closed source kernel modules are of questionable legality), and I think that it is reasonable for him to publicly chastise NVidia.

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PsychNerd

Well while Linux consumer market share may be just over 1%, consider how many consumer computer there are out there total. It wasn't until Ubuntu 11.04 and Mint 12 that I recommended any Linux distro to the average user. I myself have only been a Linux user since 9.04.

While I do feel more comfortable with command line now, at first it scared me. Back in the day I tried to use FreeBSD but it was so complicated to install and the command line was frustrating. Though to be fair to myself I was in junior high at the time.

I have grown to like the gnome and unity interfaces. I am a product of the GUI, and command line is just not intuitive to me. The nice thing has been to pull up a shell any time I want and get comfortable at little at a time, then switch back and go GUI. Over the years I have noticed that ATI/AMD drivers have had much better graphic support than nVidia. As a result I've been buying ATI/AMD cards, which have a better performance to price ratio.

I never go with the newest video cards anyway. And I can't say I honestly know of any other Linux user that does. Most Linux users I know want mid range systems. And the older drivers that I have used, or anyone else that I know of, have not had problems.

I have no doubts that behind the scenes nVidia has completely blown off Linux. It shows in their driver support. Well they did loose my business. Which is not a big thing now. But as gnome and unity are further developed and more and more people catch on I do believe especially Debian distros will skyrocket in popularity. Not only because they are free, but because they run faster on older machines making the lifespan of a computer longer.

Before anyone will really need or want a high end graphics card for Linux, first we need to start with Silverlight compatibility, and a better emulator than wine for Linux. You have a next to impossible time getting most game to run well in Linux. The problem with Silverlight is that Netflix is totally dependent on it. The other key issue with Linux is that the iGadget managers for it suck as well. Apple needs to make iTunes available for Linux as well. Especially for the newer devices.

Linux has its shining moments and its moment of utter defeat. I have been and always will be a dual booter. I like the best of both worlds, windows and Linux. I wouldn't live without either one any more. Both have their place. Plus if ones goes down, as long as your boot loader is good, then you have a backup OS and if there is something critical you need to do, you can still get it done.

The irony here in all reality are all the responses here. How emotional people are getting over an inanimate object that processes in pure logic.

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crazybigdan

"Back in the day I tried to use FreeBSD but it was so complicated to install and the command line was frustrating."

God bless you. My progression was Ubuntu -> Debian -> Gentoo. FreeBSD is on the "try someday" list. It certainly is not for the faint of heart, and I would never recommend anything more complicated than Debian to a first time user, so I feel your pain.

On the other hand, FreeBSD does have fantastic documentation.

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hermanwarren

neighbor's step-aunt brought in $19301 the previous month. she is making income on the internet and got a $549400 house. All she did was get blessed and put into action the advice revealed on this web site clockurl.com/qY

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Neufeldt2002

I have never had any problems running a nVidia card under Linux. Maybe I am just lucky on that, but there always seems to be a driver from them that works. (For me anyway) Also, I don't have a problem running proprietary drivers though. I must be missing something here. Heck there is even a driver for my GTX 670.

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Baer

OMG, the Fanbois are out in style.
I use the one that I think provides the best performance for what I want to do at the time I build. Right now I love my pair of GTX 580's.If I were building today, I might (or might not) make a different brand choice. I have also never had an issue with AMD GPU hardware although I have sometimes found their drivers lacking.
As I am no longer playing with linux I really dont give a crap if they support it or not however if I was still messing with it I would just make a different choice.

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Papaspud

Really can't fault nvidia for not wasting time and resources on the %1-2% of the market that linux owns. And to top it off, most people that run linux expect everything for free, hard to make a living when you can't sell them anything. I also doubt many linux users are buying high end cards to game with..... I know I will be slammed by all of the linux users for my OPINION, but oh well so be it.

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Danthrax66

It's only 1-2% market share because companies don't develop for it. I'm glad Valve is making a Linux client due to Gabe hating windows 8. The market share should go up if that happens.

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Baer

Papaspud.
Well Said!!

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John Pombrio

It's amazing. Linus is acting like a person reviewing a product in Amazon, giving the product a one star as it didn't work with his particular setup. I need a hell'a'lot more info to decide that, indeed, NVidia does not support Linux well. Is there some, y'know, PROOF that NVidia has gone out of its way to avoid supporting Linux?
I never trust "authority" views of particular things. Hell, Ben Bernanke said that there was no problem with the banks weeks before the great crash of Lehman Brothers in 2008. So much for "authority" views.
Anyone point to a link of Linux issues with NVidia? Here is the link to NVidia forums for op sys. I don't see a huge amount of Linux posts here:
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showforum=226&prune_day=100&sort_by=Z-A&sort_key=last_post&topicfilter=all&st=0

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Danthrax66

It's not that they go out of their way to avoid it. The issue is that they aren't being cooperative. Not that they have to be but like Linus said they are the worst company to work with.

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tekknyne

Ooh! Nice analogy with Lehman Brothers! And Jamie Diamond just lost three billion in an investment-friendly market.

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samwin

NVIDIA is a scum company. I have refused to buy anything from NVIDIA for years now solely because of its lack of support for Linux. Yes, that means I have purposely refused to buy computers if they had NVIDIA cards EVEN WHEN BUYING WINDOWS. I mostly use Windows, but I use a ton of open source apps on Windows. And I have great respect for open source stuff. It is really superior to proprietary.

The situation is much better now that I can buy Sandy/Ivy bridge with integrated graphics. If I want performance above this, I always go AMD. I have permanently blacklisted NVIDIA (as have many of my friends). Personally, I hope the company goes out of business.

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SilverSurferNHS

thats like saying you wont buy a ford because they dont support sync, AND siri AND the nissanconnect

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vgrig

Ehh - more like not buying a car without an audio jack that can support any music player.

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vgrig

One more - from phoronix on Nouveau opensource driver for Nvidia cards:

"If you appreciate such large graphics card comparisons under Linux going forward, please subscribe to Phoronix Premium or make a PayPal tip since due to limited support from NVIDIA these graphics cards must often be purchased retail."

Nvidia really should shut up on the subject.

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bensen408

He may be pissed at Nvidia (and honestly, who HASN'T been at one point or another) but F-bombs and flipping the bird? Very mature, dude. Are you 8?

Change your diapers and get a grip.

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Lorddeth

Lack of support(or what is considered adequate support) for Linux users only affects the small percentage of gamers (ie the folks buying high-end graphics cards) as most gamers AREN'T running linux.

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vgrig

Sure, Nvidia has it's reasons - but don't get offended if you're called on it.

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vgrig

Last century support when it comes to Linux - just working 3D driver was good result in 1998, not now.
And they have balls to bring up ARM kernel! No Nvidia hooks int AMR kernel means no adnroid, no phones, no tablets - not f%$ing Tegra! They better work on it - unless they're suicidal.

AMD rolled past Nvidia as far as linux goes. And if Intel comes up with mid-range graphics, Nvidia becomes a no-go for Linux user.

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yu119995

"What do you think? Does Nvidia support Linux enough,..."

In three words, no fucking way.

"While this may not please everyone, it does allow us to provide the most consistent GPU experience to our customers, regardless of platform or operating system."

Really? Why don't you tell that to my GT520 FC 15 HTPC build that laughed when I tried to get both audio and video with proper resolution to work over HDMI. What a joke. It's next day replacement - my 6670 - basically said, "No problem. Let me pick up that asshole's slack for you" and worked right out of the box.

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