----- Original Message -----
From: "Kenny Speer" <kenny speer comcast net>
To: "For testers of Fedora Core development releases"
<fedora-test-list redhat com>
Sent: Monday, May 03, 2004 12:16 AM
Subject: Re: nVidia RIVA TNT - any success story?ll
You're kidding right? Did you RTFM on the drivers? Run their "binary"
with -x and guess what? You have the full source, complete and ready to
be hacked which I have done in order to get APM working when they
decided to comment all of the code out (i admit quite awhile ago). Try
it again, while they might not be GPL (i didn't bother to verify) they
do provide the source. I don't have an NVidia in this laptop but here
is your source:
Look again. A lot of the driver magic is buried in the OpenGL libraries: the
kernel modules provide just enough hooks for the libraries to access them,
and the *libraries* are distributed as closed source binaries only. That is
not open source, it's as little source as they can publish so that the
varied Linux distributions can use it, barely.
Please also review the license agreements with their source and with their
installers. It's not *nasty*, but it's a far cry from open source.
On your other pointsL
1. have fun, there it is
2. ok, you got me, but in reality if you really want optimized drivers
you always need to go to the vendor and they hardly want to let folks
redistribute due to business logic
3. if you're looking for src, why is this a big deal? With many many
features you need to mod config files by hand, this is the way of linux
For some features, true. But the XFree86 and now the Xorg and other
configuration tools get better and better at writing that stuff into the
tools. It's exactly the closed nature of the chipsets and the API's that
make creating such configuration tools so very difficult and inevitably well
behind the cutting edge of the most recent chipsets. I strongly urge you to
look at Eric Raymand's rant about the typical configuration tool from the
open source community: it's hard to make friendly, robust configuration
tools if the manufacturer's won't publish their specs.
4. ok, well the average user doesn't update libraries making point 3
moot, removing and re-installing a kernel module can be easily scripted
for anyone who cares to do so
Guess again. They update the libraries as part of the standard OS updates,
for example when RedHat 8.0 went from XFree86 4.2.0 to 4.2.1. I ran into
several different NVidia driver "enhanced" machines that had their X-Windows
blow up and needed some RPM re-insallation and NVidia re-installation to
5. don't update your kernel as often, the average user doesn't change
their kernel, in fact this is why major vendors such as RH have the
*kernel* as skipped packages as the default for updates.
??? Friend, if you run servers that other people log into, you *must* keep
your kernels up-to-date at least for security reasons. This includes
"logging in" via HTTP and FTP, since some of the "local root" exploits
really take very little access.
You could find many many ways to bash vendors, I personally would rather
like to see more act like NVidia. Where are my Broadcom drivers for
54G? Or the ATI drivers? Or my ACPI support from my laptop vendor?
NVidia is farther along than any other vendor I know of in supporting
Not compared to Siig and 3Ware: both are fabulous about Linux support
(although they make IDE/SCSI/RAID cards, not video). For video, the
selection is tougher, I admit. However, Virge actually used to be pretty
good abou Linux.