Last week, Linux’s Chief Developer Linus Torvalds made headlines when he spoke about NVIDIA in an unflattering way and in the process said “f**k you” to them. Linus was speaking at the Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship and was being asked questions on a number of things regarding Linux, the operating system he helped develop. One of the questions asked by a woman in the audience was about a problem with a notebook that had two graphics solutions, one from Intel and the other from NVIDIA. She said that she was disappointed to see no support from NVIDIA and partial support only came roughly six months ago. NVIDIA has responded to this statement made by Linus Torvalds by stating that Linux was important to NVIDIA.
NVIDIA responds to Linus Torvalds
NVIDIA stated that supporting Linux is important to them, and they understand that there are people who are as passionate about Linux as an open source platform as they are passionate about delivering an awesome GPU experience.
They go on to state that recently, there have been some questions raised about their lack of support for Optimus notebook technology. They add that when they launched their Optimus notebook technology, it was with support for Windows 7 only. The open source community rallied to work around this with support from the Bumblebee Open Source Project http://bumblebee-project.org/. And as a result, they've recently made Installer and readme changes in their R295 drivers that were designed to make interaction with Bumblebee easier.
They state that while they understand that some people would prefer them to provide detailed documentation on all of their GPU internals, or be more active in Linux kernel community development discussions, NVIDIA have made a decision to support Linux on their GPUs by leveraging NVIDIA common code, rather than the Linux common infrastructure. While this may not please everyone, it does allow them to provide the most consistent GPU experience to their customers, regardless of platform or operating system.
They list out a number of points which include:
- Linux end users benefit from same-day support for new GPUs , OpenGL version and extension parity between NVIDIA Windows and NVIDIA Linux support, and OpenGL performance parity between NVIDIA Windows and NVIDIA Linux.
- NVIDIA support a wide variety of GPUs on Linux, including their latest GeForce, Quadro, and Tesla-class GPUs, for both desktop and notebook platforms. Their drivers for these platforms are updated regularly, with seven updates released so far this year for Linux alone. The latest Linux drivers can be downloaded from www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html.
- NVIDIA are a very active participant in the ARM Linux kernel. For the latest 3.4 ARM kernel – the next-gen kernel to be used on future Linux, Android, and Chrome distributions – NVIDIA ranks second in terms of total lines changed and fourth in terms of number of changesets for all employers or organizations.
At the end of the day, providing a consistent GPU experience across multiple platforms for all of their customers continues to be one of their key goals.
Let us know your thoughts on the NVIDIA statement in the comments section below.
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