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DRM_free
June 24th, 2008, 03:43 AM
135 Linux Kernel developers and the Linux Foundation have signed a statement condemning closed-source, binary-only drivers like the one from NVIDIA.

Developers blame Nvidia for hindering Linux desktop adoption (http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=2587)

System76 sells both of their 15.4" laptops (Serval Performance and Pangolin Performance) with NVIDIA as the only option, and offers only NVIDIA discrete cards for desktops. I urge you to join the boycott of NVIDIA and sell AMD/ATI graphics cards instead.

AMD Makes An Evolutionary Leap In Linux Support (http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=12495)

James Bottomley, the Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board Chair and SCSI Maintainer, had this to say about NVIDIA's binary blobs (https://www.linuxfoundation.org/en/Linux_Graphics_Essay):

Since most experienced Linux users know either to pick Intel or to carefully research their choice of graphics card, most of the reported oopses are coming from less experienced or even novice Linux users. The problem here is that these people quickly get frustrated with the problems which they will ascribe to Linux in general, not the problem binary driver in particular. Even worse, they may report the problem to a Linux forum only to be told that it's a binary driver issue and can't be fixed, thus leaving the reporter with few options to try a working Linux system beyond an expensive graphics hardware replacement. These users aren't likely to continue their experiment with Linux; nor will they recommend it to their friends. In fact, they're probably turned off Linux for a considerable period (if not for life). This last is an illustration of the active harm binary modules do to the Linux ecosystem: Linux gets classified as unusable because of a problem in a binary module which no open source developer can fix.

By using NVIDIA only, you are making Linux look bad and doing your customers (especially those who don't know better than to buy NVIDIA) a great disservice. I'm the happy owner of a Pangolin Value with Intel graphics running 100% FOSS drivers, but as System76 is currently offering only NVIDIA on your 15" laptop models, I would not recommend buying from you.

BTW: If System76 is shipping Linux bundled with NVIDIA's binary-only drivers, they are violating the GPL and copyright law.

|{urse
June 24th, 2008, 03:51 AM
Cept Ati usually bites on linux. Ever think that perhaps it's the only option for *nix resellers because umm it's the only option?

asmiller-ke6seh
June 25th, 2008, 03:42 AM
Oops. Too late. I already have a computer with nVidia hardware.

So, should I use the proprietary drivers (which work great) or the open source driver? Does anyone have any direct experience with the new nVidia driver for Ununtu? Especially on the Serp2?

thinman1189
June 25th, 2008, 03:47 AM
I agree but keep in mind that Intel is also being sued by AMD and investigated for breaking monopoly laws, so System76 would also have to get AMD processors. I currently have an AMD 64 which is a huge pain to get to work with a lot of stuff in Linux.

steveneddy
June 25th, 2008, 03:58 AM
If it works, I'm gonna use it.

I hate ATI and AMD.

I run an Intel Core 2 Duo and Nvidia and it works great!

Why should I use the free driver if the one that works well with my system is proprietary?

So what?

My laptop is a business office, recording studio, entertainment device, constant companion and communications center while I am away from home. If it works, I use it.

When I watch a movie on my laptop, I want it to look good. That's why I bought Nvidia, and I'll buy Nvidia again.

Free is OK if you want to make a statement, but the average user will have a mix or FOSS and close software so they can get some work done.

asmiller-ke6seh
June 25th, 2008, 03:59 AM
Yeah. And Vonage was sued for patent violations for the basis of their VoIP technology. People where saying that they were going to be sued out of existence ... and instead, they paid the settlement ordered by the court, and now they are bigger and healthier than ever.

Somehow, these things sort themselves out --- with, or without legal intervention. Usually, market forces dominate.

And remember the same kind of patent violation lawsuit involving RiM and the Blackberry. If RiM goes out of business, it will probably be due to market pressure from devices like the iPhone.

RSingh
June 25th, 2008, 09:27 AM
I use Intel GMA

Not that the drivers are perfect, but hey, CF runs by default on a live CD!! :lolflag:

starcannon
June 27th, 2008, 03:41 AM
Nvidia is the best for Linux imo, open source is great for software, not so great for device drivers; when open source drivers work, they don't work as well as closed drivers.

I not only won't be boycotting Nvidia, but encourage them to continue their excellent support of the Linux community. Richard Stallman is a cool cat, but he's an idealist and this world is not yet ready for his utopia.

starcannon
June 27th, 2008, 03:46 AM
BTW: If System76 is shipping Linux bundled with NVIDIA's binary-only drivers, they are violating the GPL and copyright law.

I'm no lawyer, but that just doesn't even sound right, even Dell ships the 1420n with the Nvidia Binary drivers pre-installed.

Further, I'm not sure what your intention is, but so far it sounds like you want the one company with decent drivers to go away... why would one want that? I don't usually like being rude, but to be honest you are almost coming off anti-linux by advising people to use the worst supported hardware, and then start talking legalese against those that would make an oem installed linux computer work to the expectation of the consumer.

I think a closed mind in the open source community is a very bad thing indeed.

intrepidx
June 27th, 2008, 06:45 AM
Hello,

I'm a System76 customer. I follow this forum, but don't post often; however, this post caught my eye and I wanted to throw in my two cents.


Nvidia is the best for Linux imo, open source is great for software, not so great for device drivers; when open source drivers work, they don't work as well as closed drivers.

I not only won't be boycotting Nvidia, but encourage them to continue their excellent support of the Linux community. Richard Stallman is a cool cat, but he's an idealist and this world is not yet ready for his utopia.

Let's not forget too quickly what the idealists have given us. :) Your argument works okay in the short term, but as long as Linux relies on closed source drivers for important functionality it will only be able to function as well as an external corporation deems desirable. I wonder where we would be if the early Linux desktop people had said, "Why should I spend my resources working on Gnome/KDE/OpenOffice/...? Microsoft already has excellent support for the desktop experience!"

The point is: Truly free alternatives might start out inferior, but because anyone can contribute, they can eventually surpass their proprietary rivals. We need to get this going in the world of drivers, and I believe this is what DRM_free is advocating.

I would argue that what is needed is OPEN DOCUMENTATION for these devices. Open Source drivers are great, but nothing beats a complete description of how a device works. Then we can write our own software! Open Source device drivers now (the ones you don't like, Starcannon) are often the product of reverse engineering or poor documentation...

I have written to various hardware manufacturers explaining my preference for hardware that is Open Source friendly. You should too - it's easy, and it can make a big difference in the long run.

Dave.

perce
June 27th, 2008, 08:02 AM
open source is great for software, not so great for device drivers;


I strongly disagree with your opinion. Go to the general Ubuntu forum and
compare the ratio of problems people are having with nvidia or broadcom, compared to intel. If you want things to work out of the box, free drivers is the only way to go. And proprietary drivers, even when they work well (and the only case I'm aware of is nvidia) are more likely to break your system.

It is also an issue about freedom, if you care about it: whith close source drivers it's not you, but a big corporation who decide what you can or you can't do with your computer. They may, for example, impose DRM on the drivers, or ship substandard drivers to force customers to upgrade the hardware (this happened with some older soundblaster cards, whose Vista drivers give less functionality than XP drivers did (search the community cafe for this, I found the story there).



Richard Stallman is a cool cat, but he's an idealist and this world is not yet ready for his utopia.

The worlds is never ready for the new.
The world was not ready for ending slavery in 1861 (well, a few countries weren't...) but we don't blame Lincoln for trying, even if it came at a very high cost.

savantelite
June 28th, 2008, 05:19 PM
Long term support is key. Open source drivers are always getting better or at least have the potential to get better. There are countless devices that are no longer supported by companies. Will you be happy with a crappy proprietary driver when that products life cycle ends? I need more assurance.

Not sure how I feel about system76 only selling nvidia.

doorknob60
June 29th, 2008, 12:47 AM
Boycott Nvidia for having excellent Linux support? Doesn't sound like the best idea to me, although I see your point. ATI's drivers are pretty good (I'm using my first ATI card today, it works perfect, and Flash hardware acceleration even works, it doesn't with Nvidia, but it might be Adobe's fault). If it were up to me, I really don't know, Nvidia is probably the best choice still, but that may change in the near future. EDIT: Like now! After reading the linked page, I realize AMD/ATI did a lot more than I thought, so I'll probably be buying an ATI card on my next upgrade (happily using ATI integrated now). Nvidia is still good though :)

starcannon
June 30th, 2008, 08:24 AM
I came off a bit high strung on my first post, but to be clear I am not anti open source, far from it, I just happen to think theres plenty of room in this boat for everyone, closed and open source alike.

Equating open source software to the abolishment of slavery is a bit of a stretch, but I get the gist of it; and as far as I can see, until such time as the world puts down the concept of money, then closed source is going to be here. Treating symptoms does not cure diseases.

Canis familiaris
June 30th, 2008, 12:48 PM
@OP: YOur opinion seems as radical as those folks of Boycott Novell.

ATI gave me far too problems to set up and configure and get compiz running. Still I cannot run Celestia while running Compiz. So ATI is still not as good as nVidia in supporting Linux.
ATi are getting better and better, and I'm sure in next year or so would beat nVidia drivers because they have open sourced their drivers and as a result their performance would increase both in Linux and Windows and people in general would then buy ATi and nVidia would then surely have to open source their drivers.

I think the better thread would be:
Do not buy a graphics card now, because you would have to buy nVidia, wait for a year and buy an ATi graphics card as their drivers would have improved by then.

Ryzzen
July 3rd, 2008, 12:56 AM
Boycott Nvidia for having excellent Linux support?

Well, they do... and don't. The majority of Suspend/Hibernate problems with Ubuntu have been due to NVidia's proprietary drivers.


Those of you who think ATI "bites" on Linux haven't been keeping up with the times.

Yes, they used to be horrible. But now they've completely opened up their specifications to the open-source community. Their latest set of graphics cards are now shipping with Linux drivers (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_evolution&num=1) on the included CD. That's pretty impressive, and is a rarity in the hardware industry. Modern ATI cards now run pretty flawlessly on Linux. They're worth looking into.

Aside from the whole ATI argument, it might be good for System76 to use AMD processors as well. They're typically cheaper, and would be an excellent alternative to the current "Pentium Dual-Core" option they currently offer, which is just a repackaged Pentium D, a ridiculously hot and power-hungry processor. And I won't even get into Intel's dirty, monopolistic practices...

Look, in the end, we all vote with our dollar. NVidia blatantly stated (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NjU0NQ) that they are not opening up their drivers or specifications. By buying their products, we're only encouraging this. And we have no guarantee that they will continue to support their older cards in the future. What then?

ATI may have had a rocky past with Linux, but they've changed (or at least AMD has changed them), and have taken a major step in the right direction. Also, the fact that they've opened up their drivers means my hardware will be supported years down the road, even if they were to go bankrupt. And driver support will only be getting better. I will be supporting them with my next purchase, and I encourage you guys to do the same. Plus, you'll save a few bucks in the process.

I think it is in System76's best interest to look into AMD as a viable (and cheaper) option. I'm not saying they should discontinue carrying NVidia or Intel, but it would be nice to have an alternative.

TheBuzzSaw
July 3rd, 2008, 04:49 AM
I'm not a fan of closed-source software... but drivers are one area I really don't care about. I have NVidia, and it works wonderfully.

intrepidx
July 3rd, 2008, 07:25 AM
@Ryzzen: I think your comments are right-on-the-money. Let's show ATI some love for their reasonable stance towards Open Source software. If we could just buy hardware (sand, plastic, metal) with documentation on exactly what it's doing, we could make sure it keeps working well into the future, regardless of what the company does. In my book, that is not asking for too much.

As for the people who "don't care" about drivers - you're completely within your rights to feel that way. Just remember your stance the next time a particular piece of hardware isn't functioning as well as you would like.

Dave.

walkeraj
July 4th, 2008, 04:44 PM
Of course, I think we're all missing the main point:

This is a trolling thread that the original poster has not responded to, and most of the threads started by this poster are the same. Let this be the last post so that it can die the death it deserves.

DRM_free
July 4th, 2008, 08:11 PM
Of course, I think we're all missing the main point:

This is a trolling thread that the original poster has not responded to, and most of the threads started by this poster are the same. Let this be the last post so that it can die the death it deserves.

Thanks for the ad-hominem attack. If you don't agree with someone, just call him a troll, why don't you. Here is a list of the forum threads I contributed to (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=com.ubuntu:en-US:official&hs=QzV&q=+site:ubuntuforums.org+system76+drm_free), and yes, I do follow up.

Back in February (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=4278374) I urged system76 to drop NVIDIA in favor of AMD/ATI, but they ignored it and are happily continuing to reward NVIDIA's blatant anti-Free/Open Source Software attitude.

Vadi
July 6th, 2008, 05:48 PM
Start your own company and do this.

MorphWVUtuba
July 6th, 2008, 09:21 PM
I may not be in all the way for a boycott, but I love the idea of putting pressure on the NVIDIA's & Broadcom's of the world. I think the fact that so many eyeballs have been applied to the source code is a big part of why Linux and other FOSS is technically superior to proprietary endeavors.

My laptop is an Intel 945, which is okay but not spectacular, but my desktop is an NVIDIA card. I have had trouble with this since upgrading to Hardy. I can't use the most recent kernel, 2.6.24-19, with this and still get Compiz-Fusion to work. Granted, I haven't worked on it very much, but until that version of the kernel came out it was always the most holy "just worked" scenario. Now I admittedly don't snoop at the kernel level of my computers, I don't "kernel hack", and I don't follow the bug reports or developer mailing lists. Having said that, if someone won't let me see the source code for their specific module, how do I know it's not causing the problem? And if I wanted to just "trust" a certain vendor by default without questioning them, I could always go back to micro$oft.

ATI is going to get better & better because of their decision, and I hope they're available on System76 machines soon. More & better choice is a good thing, and the opinions expressed by our wallets rings louder & clearer than anything else to the people that sell stuff.

crane
July 6th, 2008, 11:35 PM
I bought the card...I use the drivers. They work, simple as that. If I build someone a computer, it will have nvidia and will use the proprietary drives. Will I be breaking the law.... no.... again, I bought the card, I use the drivers.
I will not boycott something that works for something that may work. I will not boycott something because if what someone else thinks.

I paid for my drivers... they work.
I didn't pay for Firefox or Flash and together they seem to crash ALL THE TIME.

nanog
July 7th, 2008, 01:21 AM
I administer dozens of boxes and the intel and ATI ones work flawlessly. Nvidia has increasingly become a PITA.

I agree with the OP.

walkeraj
July 7th, 2008, 08:02 PM
Thanks for the ad-hominem attack. If you don't agree with someone, just call him a troll, why don't you. Here is a list of the forum threads I contributed to (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=com.ubuntu:en-US:official&hs=QzV&q=+site:ubuntuforums.org+system76+drm_free), and yes, I do follow up.

Fine, fine. It's just that, with a username like "drm_free" it seems as if you have created an account for the expressed purpose of spreading your message around rather than participating as a productive forum member. And you're using "ad-hominem" incorrectly. I didn't attack you in order to undermine your message. Rather, I pointed out that the nature of this thread is entirely unproductive and its nature is inappropriate for its location in a support forum. I'm not attacking the messenger, but the nature of the message. No logical fallacies here.


Back in February I urged system76 to drop NVIDIA in favor of AMD/ATI, but they ignored it and are happily continuing to reward NVIDIA's blatant anti-Free/Open Source Software attitude.

As is their (and anyone's) prerogative. What's more important is why you are pursuing this the way you are. You've said what you wanted to say. Let it go, Indiana. Ubuntu is Ubuntu and it supports what it supports from a usability-first perspective. If you want total GNU, there's Gobuntu or Debian. There is no reason to "force" open source whatsoever. I agree that it is a great way to do things, maybe the best, but when you ignore a (user/company/project)'s freedom to pursue their own path within the bounds of the law, then you stop becoming an open-source advocate and become an uncompromising zealot instead. That's not the way to get things done.

Vadi
July 8th, 2008, 01:09 AM
This isn't the first case this user has started such a hubbub, either - and even the title of the thread reflects the tone as such. His claims on 'attacks' on him are outright shadowed by his own attacks on companies of people :)

VitaLiNux
July 8th, 2008, 02:14 AM
This isn't the first case this user has started such a hubbub, either - and even the title of the thread reflects the tone as such. His claims on 'attacks' on him are outright shadowed by his own attacks on companies of people :)

Regardless of how ugly this thread looks the OP has got a point. I like Nvidia cards, in fact, I have bought many Nvidia cards before. Say I got one and need to upgrade my OS, what if the drivers it came with are just useless after upgrading? Don't get me wrong: I do know Nvidia cards(@ the moment of writing this post)have got far better performance than the AMD/ATI ones. What the OP means is that if you buy an Nvidia one, you'd have made a good choice for a SHORT TERM SUPPORT, but if you buy an AMD/ATI card you'll get a LONG TERM SUPPORT, thus your card won't be USELESS[(at least you could use it, but not with an up-to-date system) (think about Linux/ other free and open source os from years to come!..)].

Vadi
July 8th, 2008, 03:48 AM
Yeah, that's nice, some day in the future those cards will be able to do 3d acceleration.

Long term here means doesn't work now and will a couple of years down the road, keep that in mind. So choosing ATI exclusively now is not a good idea.

Ryzzen
July 8th, 2008, 04:16 AM
I bought the card...I use the drivers. They work, simple as that. If I build someone a computer, it will have nvidia and will use the proprietary drives. Will I be breaking the law.... no.... again, I bought the card, I use the drivers.
I will not boycott something that works for something that may work. I will not boycott something because if what someone else thinks.

I paid for my drivers... they work.
I didn't pay for Firefox or Flash and together they seem to crash ALL THE TIME.
You wouldn't boycotting something that works for something that may work, you would be boycotting it for something that DOES work already. Something that will work better and better as time goes on.

You did not pay for your drivers, you paid for your hardware. The drivers are free. And they work... to an extent. Good luck with your 2D performance (http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11044) and getting your computer to hibernate (http://www.google.com/search?q=nvidia+hibernate), though.

It is Flash that crashes Firefox (http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/96509133/m/556009441931), largely because it is still closed-source, much like NVidia's drivers. Try using Firefox with Gnash (http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/) instead, and I doubt it will crash once.

You obviously shouldn't boycott something solely based on what one person things. I would suggest you research the subject and make an informed decision.


Yeah, that's nice, some day in the future those cards will be able to do 3d acceleration.

Long term here means doesn't work now and will a couple of years down the road, keep that in mind. So choosing ATI exclusively now is not a good idea.
The cards do 3D acceleration now. I don't know when the last time you used an ATI card was, but it obviously wasn't in the past year. A lot has changed. Take a look at the performance of their Radeon HD 4850 (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=ati_radeonhd_4850&num=1) and 4870 (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=ati_radeonhd_4870&num=1) under Linux. They surpass NVidia's 9800 GTX in a lot of cases.

I do disagree that they should use ATI exclusively, but it should indeed be an option. After all, Linux is all about choice, isn't it?

Victormd
July 8th, 2008, 04:43 AM
I think this thread is in the wrong place...
Should be in the Community discussion...

TheBuzzSaw
July 9th, 2008, 03:10 PM
Of course, It would be nice if NVIDIA opened itself up. There really is not much to gain by making the drivers closed source. I'm all for pressuring those points, but outright boycotting it doesn't make much sense at this point. The NVIDIA driver works very well, and I don't use suspend/hibernate/etc. ever, so I could care less that Linux lacks those features.

Offering ATI would be nice too.

lunarcloud
July 9th, 2008, 04:56 PM
The reason behind half of your kde4 desktop effects and compiz bugs stem from bad junk in the nvidia driver that the developers couldve fixed ages ago if not for propriety.

DRM_free
July 19th, 2008, 07:01 PM
Dell has started selling only AMD/ATI discrete graphics cards (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NjYwMQ) for their Dell Inspiron 530N (http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=ddcwdal&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&kc=segtopic~linux_3x) desktop computers, which come pre-loaded with Ubuntu. I hope System76 will follow Dell's lead in rewarding companies that are supportive of Free and Open Source Software.

RFScheer
July 20th, 2008, 09:46 AM
I'd like to buy a Serval Performance but will look around for something else. The OP's point is a good one and thanks for putting here in the System 76 support section.

Vadi
July 20th, 2008, 01:17 PM
Heh, except you still can't use Compiz + Opengl together, and dell is offering binary-only drivers - since the oss drivers are in no way complete. In fact, not even all of the documentation is released yet for the cards they're offering.

So I'd hold back, unless you want confused people asking why can't they have desktop effects enabled and not get weird flickering all over.

savantelite
July 29th, 2008, 03:48 AM
I like 100% open but we have to deal (for now) with some non-free things. I don't want to hurt system 76 just because they use nvidia cards. There isn't a good alternative for them right now so they will have to do the best with what they have.

DRM_free
July 29th, 2008, 05:44 PM
I don't want to hurt system 76 just because they use nvidia cards. There isn't a good alternative for them right now

Sure there is: AMD/ATI out-performs (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=ecs_geforce_8800gt&num=1) NVIDIA on all of the 2D benchmarks and half of the 3D benchmarks right now!

SunnyRabbiera
July 29th, 2008, 05:47 PM
The thing is that ATI has horriffic support, at least Nvidia tries...
sure they may ship just binaries but most of the time they work, cant say the same about ATI.

Vadi
July 29th, 2008, 05:49 PM
If you bother to understand the article more throughly, you'll realize that nVidia is still trumping ATI on Linux on many, many, many cards and many angles of user experience. Such as excellent Compiz support, v-sync for the whole desktop, and opengl inside compiz.

Krupski
July 29th, 2008, 06:15 PM
135 Linux Kernel developers and the Linux Foundation have signed a statement condemning closed-source, binary-only drivers like the one from NVIDIA.

Developers blame Nvidia for hindering Linux desktop adoption (http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=2587)

I understand where you're coming from... but frankly nothing beats the PERFORMANCE of a decent NVidia card (certainly not the Intel mobo built-in graphics!).

You know... NVidia's drivers (I'm sure) are filled with a lot of game specific and maybe Windows specific code.

If they released just the CORE driver source to the Linux community, they would make a lot of people happy and not infringe on their own "Forceware" product.

For what it's worth... :confused:

DRM_free
July 30th, 2008, 02:36 AM
If you bother to understand the article more throughly, you'll realize that nVidia is still trumping ATI on Linux on many, many, many cards and many angles of user experience. Such as excellent Compiz support, v-sync for the whole desktop, and opengl inside compiz.

If you'd bother to quote some examples from the article to support your assertions, perhaps they would be more that hot gas, but you can't because you're just making stuff up. To prove the point, the word "v-sync" is never even mentioned in the article. AMD/ATI has excelleng OpenGL support in its binary drivers and soon in their FOSS drivers as well, support that is on-par and many times better than NVIDIA's. And yes, you can run opengl apps under compiz with any r300+ card.

NVIDIA's idea of an open source driver is an obsfuscated piece of **** that only does 2D. AMD/ATI blows that out of the water with the Radeon and RadeonHD FOSS drivers that they're sponsoring.

tuxxy
July 30th, 2008, 02:39 AM
I use both only because I was forced to use nVidia really, maybe if ATI drivers worked then there wouldnt be a problem with a boycott.

Vadi
July 30th, 2008, 01:17 PM
Just ask about on Phoronix.com. You cannot easily enable v-sync for the whole desktop. You also, from what I know, cannot play OpenGL games with Compiz running without flickering issues.

darkknight045
July 30th, 2008, 02:06 PM
For my part I am using Nvidia and I can run WoW via Wine with full desktop effects enabled without a hitch.

Even if they are proprietary drivers, they work.

DRM_free
July 31st, 2008, 04:40 AM
The thing is that ATI has horriffic support at least Nvidia tries...
sure they may ship just binaries but most of the time they work, cant say the same about ATI.

What kind of support are you looking for from AMD/ATI? If you ask on the Phoronix forum, you'll surely get an answer from bridgman (http://www.phoronix.com/forums/search.php?searchid=417013), agd5f (http://www.phoronix.com/forums/search.php?searchid=417015) or mtippet (http://www.phoronix.com/forums/search.php?searchid=417017), all of whom are AMD employees.

You can also email the ATI (http://lists.x.org/mailman/listinfo/xorg-driver-ati) and RadeonHD (http://lists.opensuse.org/radeonhd/) mailing lists.

Or try the #radeon, #radeonhd and #ati (http://www.radeonhd.org/) IRC channels on Freenode, where they and other community members are also active.

I think the myth that the binary fglrx driver doesn't work is a throwback to the time when ATI wasn't owned by AMD. Give it another try, I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised.

grigio
July 31st, 2008, 05:52 PM
I'm an Nvidia user, its driver works wonderfully (MX4000) on Linux, but this time I booked an amd/ati 4850 graphic card, why?

- I think the radeon OSS driver quality will improve quickly
- performance/price is higher on radeon cards
- Nvidia 9xxx drivers aren't yes not so good..

jeamer
July 31st, 2008, 08:55 PM
I'm sorry, I've been following this thread for a while (mostly for amusement) and I just have to add my two cents.


Dell has started selling only AMD/ATI discrete graphics cards for their Dell Inspiron 530N desktop computers, which come pre-loaded with Ubuntu. I hope System76 will follow Dell's lead in rewarding companies that are supportive of Free and Open Source Software.

I'm sorry? Dell's EVERY page in the computer section of the online store states at the top:

Dell recommends Windows Vista® Home Premium.

Dell's lead. Sure. Beat on the small company out of Colorado trying to make inroads into an incredibly difficult market (let's face it, everyone has a freakin thinkpad) with Windows-FREE computers and support the Vista-recommending giant. I'm not saying that what Dell is doing isn't fantastic, it's nice to see a big player doing what it is doing, but a kind suggestion for Sys76 to consider offering different cards is the way to go about it. Judging by the tone of your posts, you are calling just as much for a boycott of Sys76 as you are of Nvidia (and they have already lost one customer just through this thread... way to go).


Start your own company and do this.

Exactly.

ms277017
August 25th, 2008, 12:17 AM
The worlds is never ready for the new.
The world was not ready for ending slavery in 1861 (well, a few countries weren't...) but we don't blame Lincoln for trying, even if it came at a very high cost.


Well that date and Lincoln only apply to the US, brits abolished slavery in their empire before us :)

I went all s76 on the new pan performance, however, all intel. I was unaware about Nvidia's closed sourced ways. Sux to hear this, maybe one day they will come around to open source. AMD and ATI are not really my fave companies it seems every few years they out perform intel/nvidia for a bit then its right back to nvidia and intel. I dont need eye poping fx in my laptop though thats why I have a beastly desk top.

Hippocritically, my desk top is AMD powered. I cannot beat the price of the AMD 6000+, however, nvidia 8800 ultra sli all the way though for fx. and I am looking to go back to intel soon. maybe adding linux to a dual boot setup.

Look, we need to remember that the vast majority of us live in a capitalist driven society. Realistically, we cannot expect for the entire western corprate soft/hardware world to support FREE stuff... they all want that bottom dollar and software unfortunatly is a large part of thier ceo's seeing green.

My feeling is that if they want linux consumer bizz they will give in eventually, but more than likely it will be when they get around to it. Seeing that these companies in question take in billions per year and the avg. hard core linux supporter contributes $0 torward their bottom line... it is going to take time. Open source is the future imo and I think one day things will be differnt for all of us open source users.

My laptop is soley dedicated as a CAS (computer algebra system) I use 3 of them to meet my needs MAXIMA (open source), Maple (linux prop), and mathematica 6 (dislike this one yet free through school). this is why I went 2.80 c2d and intel integrated 4500. No need for super fx on CAS's.

P.S.

This goes without saying, however, I feel I do need to mention system76 pwns :) and people bashing them need to get real... especially when it comes to A: what I get with system76 hardware and support wise VS. B: what I get for a MUCH higher price with (insert monoply name here)'s company. Not to mention no preinstalled advertizing software etc.

sandalle
September 15th, 2008, 10:15 PM
@DRM_free

You are wrong that recent ATI cards work well with F/OSS drivers. Case-in-point, I have a ATI Technologies Inc RV370 secondary [Sapphire X550 Silent] (purchased the beginning of 2008) using the latest DRM from Freedesktop.org, latest stable kernel, and the latest r300 driver, yet I still cannot play 3D games (missing OpenGL methods), 2D is sometimes slow, and Composite has lots of issues (slow/hang/crash). Whereas my nVidia cards, old or new, work just fine as they are. As for Intel, I have an Intel GMA 965, where Compisite is dog slow and my 3D games complain of missing OpenGL methods when I try to load them. There's also the nouveau F/OSS driver in development for nVidia cards, though it's even worse than the ATI cards (it's also had less time/developers).

Until AMD/ATI has functional F/OSS drivers, I'll stick with the company that provides working proprietary drivers (nVidia).

I'm glad AMD/ATI is working more with F/OSS, along with Intel (iwlwifi is great), but to me it seems more a PR campaign, otherwise the F/OSS drivers would be just as good as the proprietary drivers after over a year of working on them. I mean, these guys are paid to work on the drivers, right?

benjo316
September 15th, 2008, 11:19 PM
Until AMD/ATI has functional F/OSS drivers, I'll stick with the company that provides working proprietary drivers (nVidia).

I'm glad AMD/ATI is working more with F/OSS, along with Intel (iwlwifi is great), but to me it seems more a PR campaign, otherwise the F/OSS drivers would be just as good as the proprietary drivers after over a year of working on them. I mean, these guys are paid to work on the drivers, right?As far as I am aware, nVidia's open source drivers(which, iirc, were developed almost solely by the community, with little or no help from nVidia) have no 3D acceleration(unless you're talking about the nouveau drivers, which are coming along, but aren't ready for everyday use and the 3D part hasn't even really begun yet). Whereas, the ATI/AMD open source drivers have some 3D support and may have more as time goes by. Add to that the fact that AMD is working to get both proprietary and open source drivers better support and I'd say they are a pretty good choice.

Now, I'll admit, I do have an nVidia card in my computer. However, I bought this computer and video card without much researching about Linux support beforehand and before AMD acquired(/merged/whatever with) ATI, so I can't say it's entirely my fault. I can say nVidia's proprietary drivers do have their faults(I can't say how well the ATI drivers are, as I've not run a computer with an ATI card with Linux yet).

My next purchase(probably a laptop) will definitely have an ATI video card/chip-set in it. That may be a while(given my current situation), but I'm hoping I won't be disappointed. If I have my way, I'm hoping to get a laptop with a VIA Nano processor in it also, but that's for another thread. ^.^

sandalle
September 16th, 2008, 02:39 AM
As far as I am aware, nVidia's open source drivers(which, iirc, were developed almost solely by the community, with little or no help from nVidia) have no 3D acceleration(unless you're talking about the nouveau drivers, which are coming along, but aren't ready for everyday use and the 3D part hasn't even really begun yet). Whereas, the ATI/AMD open source drivers have some 3D support and may have more as time goes by. Add to that the fact that AMD is working to get both proprietary and open source drivers better support and I'd say they are a pretty good choice.

Now, I'll admit, I do have an nVidia card in my computer. However, I bought this computer and video card without much researching about Linux support beforehand and before AMD acquired(/merged/whatever with) ATI, so I can't say it's entirely my fault. I can say nVidia's proprietary drivers do have their faults(I can't say how well the ATI drivers are, as I've not run a computer with an ATI card with Linux yet).

My next purchase(probably a laptop) will definitely have an ATI video card/chip-set in it. That may be a while(given my current situation), but I'm hoping I won't be disappointed. If I have my way, I'm hoping to get a laptop with a VIA Nano processor in it also, but that's for another thread. ^.^

Keep in mind I'm responding solely to DRM_free's argument. I appreciate what AMD/ATI is doing and dislike how closed nVidia is. Yes, the F/OSS AMD/ATI drivers are further along, but are still not on-par with the proprietary drivers from either company. So, IMO, lambasting a company for providing only nVidia cards, when the ATI cards also require proprietary drivers for similar functionality, is ludicrous. Yes, AMD/ATI is doing better than just ATI did, yes I disagree with nVidia's policy, yes it'd be nice if we could choose Intel/ATI/nVidia for our graphics cards, but until the others offer even close to the functionality in Linux that nVidia does (and I have tried ATI's proprietary driver as recently as a few months ago; I can tell you it is not as good as nVidia's), then I think providing nVidia is a good choice. Especially if it is prohibitively expensive (I don't know if it is) to offer both. If System76 has to choose between exclusively having only one choice, I choose nVidia.

In short, I want my machine to work now, not years down the road when it'll be outdated.

benjo316
September 16th, 2008, 03:10 AM
Keep in mind I'm responding solely to DRM_free's argument. I appreciate what AMD/ATI is doing and dislike how closed nVidia is. Yes, the F/OSS AMD/ATI drivers are further along, but are still not on-par with the proprietary drivers from either company. So, IMO, lambasting a company for providing only nVidia cards, when the ATI cards also require proprietary drivers for similar functionality, is ludicrous. Yes, AMD/ATI is doing better than just ATI did, yes I disagree with nVidia's policy, yes it'd be nice if we could choose Intel/ATI/nVidia for our graphics cards, but until the others offer even close to the functionality in Linux that nVidia does (and I have tried ATI's proprietary driver as recently as a few months ago; I can tell you it is not as good as nVidia's), then I think providing nVidia is a good choice. Especially if it is prohibitively expensive (I don't know if it is) to offer both. If System76 has to choose between exclusively having only one choice, I choose nVidia.

In short, I want my machine to work now, not years down the road when it'll be outdated.I understand completely. I just wanted to add my two cents.

I agree with you that his reasoning is not entirely concrete, and that including nVidia solely on their laptops in no way gives "Linux" a bad name, but I would still argue that supporting ATI would be a good idea, at least in the future(I won't argue the stability of the current driver, as I have no experience with it). I would say providing only nVidia is probably a good idea if you had to choose just one between the two, but I think an option would be nice(for those of us who know what to expect from the ATI side or those who wouldn't mind a rough start). Even if that means putting up a disclaimer stating that the drivers for ATI cards may not be as developed, an option would still be appreciated.

Also, for those who only do minor gaming and mostly work on their laptops, where 3D acceleration is unimportant for the most part, and people who don't think(and don't want to think) about proprietary drivers, an ATI card with the open source drivers would be enough to allow stuff such as Compiz(That's what I've heard; on some cards, anyway), which isn't possible with the open source nVidia drivers(again, unless you're talking about Nouveau, which is still under heavy development), and some light games. Of course, I understand the Intel IGPs are gaining ground on 3D stuff, but I haven't researched much about that in Linux.

But again, I don't mind them only having nVidia graphics, or having both ATI and nVidia, or whatever. If all else fails, you can always get a laptop somewhere else or build your own. I just feel that they both have their better sides, and neither should be shrugged off without serious consideration.

modmadmike
September 16th, 2008, 03:21 AM
I thought ATI didn't mix with Linux and NVIDIA had the best support although back in the day during my SUSE install I never got them to compile, I never have this problem anymore. And as for intell their linux drivers never work as good as their windows. It doesn't have to be open source as for drivers, just free.

benjo316
September 16th, 2008, 04:08 AM
Some food for thought:
Compiz is now working on R500 graphics cards using the open-source xf86-video-ati and the latest Mesa git. In addition, the Unreal Tournament 2004 demo is even running! There is now parity between the open-source R500 3D support and the level of Mesa support for the older R200/300/400 generations!Would I assume "parity" would mean comparable, meaning the older generations supported it already? The article also shares other details outside of the scope of this discussion.

Considering this article was written in May, about four months ago, I would guess support has only gotten better(though I would have to see for myself before I make a definitive decision on that).

Edit: A more recent article: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_catalyst_evolution&num=1

ktechman
September 16th, 2008, 05:51 AM
Bought a shiny new laptop with ATI graphics and cannot get the same performance I can achieve with NVidia but it is almost there. I'm not going to toss my laptop over the hill because of it though just waiting for ATI to finish work on their driver. It is frustrating though when showing someone the benefits of running Linux over the other second rate options and the graphics are poor at times. The biggest complaint I have with ATI is there is no manual for fglrx.

ktechman
September 16th, 2008, 06:05 AM
removed

sandalle
September 16th, 2008, 08:53 AM
I understand completely. I just wanted to add my two cents.

I agree with you that his reasoning is not entirely concrete, and that including nVidia solely on their laptops in no way gives "Linux" a bad name, but I would still argue that supporting ATI would be a good idea, at least in the future(I won't argue the stability of the current driver, as I have no experience with it). I would say providing only nVidia is probably a good idea if you had to choose just one between the two, but I think an option would be nice(for those of us who know what to expect from the ATI side or those who wouldn't mind a rough start). Even if that means putting up a disclaimer stating that the drivers for ATI cards may not be as developed, an option would still be appreciated.

Also, for those who only do minor gaming and mostly work on their laptops, where 3D acceleration is unimportant for the most part, and people who don't think(and don't want to think) about proprietary drivers, an ATI card with the open source drivers would be enough to allow stuff such as Compiz(That's what I've heard; on some cards, anyway), which isn't possible with the open source nVidia drivers(again, unless you're talking about Nouveau, which is still under heavy development), and some light games. Of course, I understand the Intel IGPs are gaining ground on 3D stuff, but I haven't researched much about that in Linux.

But again, I don't mind them only having nVidia graphics, or having both ATI and nVidia, or whatever. If all else fails, you can always get a laptop somewhere else or build your own. I just feel that they both have their better sides, and neither should be shrugged off without serious consideration.

Yep, I completely agree benjo316. :)

Crafty Kisses
September 16th, 2008, 09:27 AM
From the business stand-point I respect NVIDIA's decision. They should offer a open-source alternative driver though.

glacialfury
September 16th, 2008, 10:55 AM
Keep in mind two several things:

1) System76 is a for-profit company. While they can and do enhance the spread of Linux and opensource, they are under no obligation to do so; their obligation is to provide an excellent product and to support that product, not to make a political stand. They can choose to, but it doesn't have to be an overwhelming part of their mission.

2) Although I agree that opensource is preferable, that does not mean proprietary is evil. Companies also have a right to choose what to do with their work; hopefully they will open it to the community, but that is not a choice, and distributing it to the community free (though not sharing its source) is still a boon to the community. Ever imagine a world where you paid for drivers that worked?

BryanMarley
September 16th, 2008, 11:02 AM
I dont really know why you make such a problem of the fact that other people have other wants and needs? why should we boycott nVidia? i always bought nvidia gfx cards and intel proccesors because of the fact that they work 100% without burning out.

So far, my only and last ATI gfx card has never worked well, the demo disc that came with it didnt even run because it was misssing a gfx card, how stupid is that.
And on the other hand, all the AMD processors i had werent functioning 100%, and if they did, they burned out in aprox. 6 months!

I will never boycott any hardware company, but i strongly suggest to stop this nonsense, cus it wont lead to nVidia opening their sources.

MorphWVUtuba
September 17th, 2008, 03:05 AM
I dont really know why you make such a problem of the fact that other people have other wants and needs? why should we boycott nVidia? i always bought nvidia gfx cards and intel proccesors because of the fact that they work 100% without burning out.

I'm interested to hear about this bubbling controversy about how nvidia supposedly shipped gobs of defective product. Seems to be a few companies in this country whose management just tries to float on their cash-cow success without investing enough back into their product's R&D and QC or, heaven forbid, CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!

This could all be moot in a few years if the PC hardware industry migrates away from discrete graphics processors as I've been reading about on Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/index.ars). Interesting stuff.

Modax42
September 17th, 2008, 05:39 AM
I installed Ubuntu a few weeks ago on my 2 year old AMD/ATI laptop. The default graphics drivers would not allow me to run the Nintendo 64 emulator, or indeed anything involving 3D acceleration. I then installed the proprietary drivers for my Express 200M, but this hasn't improved the situation at all. Still no 3D.

I am now thinking of getting a new laptop. I would like to run the Compiz-Fusion desktop effects, and play 3D accelerated games. I'd want one 13.3" or smaller so I'll either buy a Dell XPS M1330 with Nvidia 8400M GS, or System 76 Darter Ultra with Intel x4500HD. Right now I'm leaning towards the Dell. (no nvidia offered on the darter!)

For me, it doesn't matter much that Nvidia doesn't offer open source drivers. I'm probably never going to want to transfer my graphics card to another computer or OS, and since I tend to buy a new system every 2-3 years, long-term support isn't an issue. I just want things to work, preferably out of box!

sensimilla
September 17th, 2008, 06:36 PM
Newer nvidia cards suck.

From 8xxx cards onwards nvidia don't and seemingly have no plans to provide any video decoding acceleration in their drivers. So I cant watch any 720p videos without jerkiness and shuddering as my CPU alone is not quite fast enough (Athlon X2 3800). I now regret buying a 8800GT for my PC last year as I now have to boot into windows to watch 720p video on my TV. :(

That for me is enough reason to avoid Nvidia

The performance with compiz also has left a lot to be desired and only now after over a year of useless driver updates are these cards beginning to perform more like they should be capable of.

My next card will be an AMD one, at least they are moving in the right direction when it comes to supporting Linux properly.

Modax42
September 18th, 2008, 03:11 AM
Do AMD/ATI even make discrete graphics for laptops? I know AMD's 4800 series of cards for the desktop are awesome, but I'm not buying a desktop. I'm very reluctant to buy a laptop with AMD integrated graphics, because I'm using one right now and the drivers stink.

benjo316
September 18th, 2008, 01:35 PM
Do AMD/ATI even make discrete graphics for laptops?Laptop with dedicated card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220349)
Laptop with IGP (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834114457)

These are, of course, just examples(rather expensive examples, I might add).