[CS-FSLUG] Graphic Card Preferences

Micah Yoder yoderm at gmail.com
Mon Nov 6 19:43:24 CST 2006

Thanks for the welcome!

> Let me re-phrase.  On many Linux lists NVIDIA is described as
> one of the more Linux-friendly video card vendors.  I am guessing
> they refer to the release of info. necessary to the writing of
> Linux drivers?

No, actually NVidia steadfastly continues to *refuse* to release info.
 NVidia and ATI both write drivers in-house, while trying to "protect"
their intellectual property.

> Hmmm.  Does your definition of Linux-friendly require
> NVIDIA to write and support Linux-specific drivers
> tied only to the several current versions of the Linux
> kernel or some other standard, please?

No, they shouldn't need to do that.  They should simply release open
source drivers, or the specs so that others can write them, and get
them integrated into the mainline kernel and the x.org release.
*That* is Linux-friendly!  Then it will work with any distribution, on
any architecture (not just x86).  Also the drivers will automatically
be kept up to date with the changes in kernel and x.org code.

> When you say "integrated" you mean fixed to an Intel motherboard?

Yes.  I know it's a problem for some.  I plan to get a new PC next
year some time and would otherwise prefer AMD, but may have to get an
Intel for this reason alone.  (Granted, the Core 2 Duo chip is pretty
tempting anyway.)

> ATI has traditionally been considered uncooperative, have they
> now begin the release of good Linux drivers?

Not really, although their binary blob drivers aren't *too* bad.  I
use them on my Fedora Core workstation in the office.  (I didn't have
a choice in the graphics card when they gave me the box ...)

What has happened is that the community has managed to
reverse-engineer the Xnnn cards to the extent that they supposedly
work fairly well.  There is a similar project trying to
reverse-engineer NVidia cards, but they don't have anything working

I may try the open source R300 drivers on my workstation if I can find
other reports of people running them on FC6.  So far I haven't.

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