PDA

View Full Version : Nvidia Mobile Drivers ~ No Linux Support



ViolentHamster
10-04-2012, 06:52 AM
My company just ordered a laptop with a 640 M in it. Unfortunately, the linux driver doesn't detect the card. We found this webpage: http://techies.ncsu.edu/wiki/bumblebee-nvidia

The page states that Nvidia cards with Optimus technology don't work under Linux. This is a major problem. Has Nvidia stopped supporting the Linux community?

mhagain
10-04-2012, 07:26 AM
Has Nvidia stopped supporting the Linux community?

Seems a bit of an overreaction, don't you think?

It's actually quite the opposite. See http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTE3MzY

thokra
10-04-2012, 07:34 AM
Bumblebee works quite well. However, you loose performance because you have to copy final images between seperate X servers, the one rendering with the Intel GPU's running and the one rendering with the NVIDIA GPU. This copy process eats up a lot of performance.

ViolentHamster
10-04-2012, 07:56 AM
Seems a bit of an overreaction, don't you think?

It's actually quite the opposite. See http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTE3MzY

Ummm. No, I don't think that's an overreaction. The fact is that there is no satisfactory working solution and this point in time. Linus was justified in his response to Nvidia. That article was misleading. "I can't promise that we're going to officially support this stuff." --Aaron Plattner

mhagain
10-04-2012, 08:13 AM
Well questioning if NVIDIA are stopping to support the Linux community on account of one class of hardware on one class of machine, hardware that is known to be singularly complex and that has dependencies on a second GPU as well as a second set of drivers from another manufacturer, as well as the ability of the OS to be able to switch GPUs at runtime (in other words the whole thing is incredibly non-trivial), does seem to be over-doing it a little to me.

ViolentHamster
10-04-2012, 08:34 AM
LOL. Do you have NVidia stock? It's not "one class of hardware on one class of machine". It's pretty much all laptops with recent Nvidia GPUs in them. Maybe if you researched it a little more, you would realize how big of a problem it is.

It's so hard they could only figure it out on Windows? Give me a break.

Alfonse Reinheart
10-04-2012, 11:35 AM
Do you have NVidia stock?

Right, because disagreeing with someone's opinion and taking up someone's side means that you're a corporate shill.

:doh:


It's pretty much all laptops with recent Nvidia GPUs in them.

All Optimus laptops that happen to be running Linux. What is that, maybe 2-3% of their entire customer base? It's probably only 15% at most of their Linux customer base. So it's pretty hyperbolic to say that their lack of support for Optimus on Linux means that they don't support Linux at all.

Plus, there's the fact that they are now fixing the problem. Thus making your statement more wrong. There is a difference between "not supporting" and "not our highest priority." Linux generally is not the latter. For anyone.

ViolentHamster
10-04-2012, 01:38 PM
Alfonse, don't be a troll. I took issue with "one class of hardware on one class of machine". It's not. It's basically ALL linux laptops. Can you point me to the source of your statistics? I agree that linux is no where near as popular as Windows.

Here, I'll amend my original question: Has Nvidia stopped supporting part of the Linux community?

What makes you think they are fixing the problem? Where do you get that? When the engineer says things like "experimenting with support" and "I can't promise that we're going to officially support this stuff." that doesn't mean in any way, shape, or form that "they are now fixing the problem".

JakobProgsch
10-04-2012, 03:10 PM
My laptop recently died and I was also really frustrated with this situation when I was looking for a new one. Every laptop with Nvidia gpu you can buy at the moment seems to have optimus and you don't really want to buy a new machine and pay extra for a GPU on the assumption that "it may work fairly well with this unofficial experimental workaround that comes at a severe performance cost". Sure it may only be a small percentage of current users, but its 100% of Linux users currently looking into buying a laptop... So the whole linux laptop situation looks pretty bleak at the moment afaik. You get archaic GL2.1 support on a intel HD4000, questionable support on a Nvidia optimus and if you want to play it safe you suddenly have to go with AMD? Overall this just looks like a big step back to me.

btw. Linus recation to this, how approriate it may be, made the whole information situation way worse ;). try googling the issue... all you find is news posts about how mad Linus is but barely any actual information other than "it may work with bumblebee". What would really be usefull for example would be to know on which laptops you can disable the functionality and just use the Nvidia GPU via BIOS.

mhagain
10-04-2012, 03:32 PM
With AMD you get the joys of their own switchable graphics solution, and Linux support is not so hot there either. Bottom line is that this is a current trend that both GPU vendors are playing around with so there's pain for everyone while things are shaking out. Constructively making noise about it seems a better approach IMO.

Ironically it looks as though the Intel HD series may well be the best short-term bet. The latest drivers from what I can see go up to GL 3.0 (source (http://intellinuxgraphics.org/2012.07.html)) and Valve's recent work on bringing Left 4 Dead 2 to Linux - particularly their work with Intel (source (http://www.paranormal-entertainment.com/idr/blog/posts/2012-07-19T18:54:37Z-The_zombies_cometh/)) - bodes well for the future. It's also the case that the HD parts are actually starting to look quite decent in terms of performance too.

JakobProgsch
10-04-2012, 03:41 PM
At least from what i could gather the difference is thought at at worst you are just stuck with using the GPU on amd without the switching working properly (that is the case with my new machine), while its unclear whether you are able to use the GPU at all with optimus (or with significant performance penalty). But maybe i'm misinformed about this. It would be more bearable if there was more concrete info about what works and what not. I for example would have been perfectly fine buying Nvidia if i knew that i can simply use the GPU without restriction and without switching...

ViolentHamster
10-04-2012, 07:14 PM
Nvidia should have put a big disclaimer on the linux driver download page indicating that mobile cards are unsupported. Instead they pretend they are supported and have some fine print on the "additional info" tab that says "Some designs incorporating supported GPUs may not be compatible with the NVIDIA Linux driver: in particular, notebook and all-in-one desktop designs with switchable (hybrid) or Optimus graphics will not work if means to disable the integrated graphics in hardware are not available."

Good luck figuring out if your laptop has Optimus graphics. None of the PC makers list it in the hardware specs.

kRogue
10-10-2012, 01:01 PM
Nvidia should have put a big disclaimer on the linux driver download page indicating that mobile cards are unsupported. Instead they pretend they are supported and have some fine print on the "additional info" tab that says "Some designs incorporating supported GPUs may not be compatible with the NVIDIA Linux driver: in particular, notebook and all-in-one desktop designs with switchable (hybrid) or Optimus graphics will not work if means to disable the integrated graphics in hardware are not available."

Good luck figuring out if your laptop has Optimus graphics. None of the PC makers list it in the hardware specs.


Not all (by far!) NVIDIA mobile GPU's are Optimus. But think about it: none of those laptops are advertised to work with Linux, they have freaking Windows pre-installed for crying out loud. As a side note, did you even read the article to which mhaigen provided a link?!



Aaron Plattner, one of the lead NVIDIA Linux engineers, publicly wrote "So I've been experimenting with support for Dave Airlie's new RandR 1.4 provider object interface, so that Optimus-based laptops can use our driver to drive the discrete GPU and display on the integrated GPU. The good news is that I've got a proof of concept working."


It looks like first class Optimus support is coming and while you are waiting you can read this (which admittedly is a touch out of date and vulgar): http://linuxhaters.blogspot.fi/2008/06/nitty-gritty-shit-on-open-source.html

ViolentHamster
10-11-2012, 08:41 AM
As a side note, did you even read the article to which mhaigen provided a link?!


Yeah, I read it. It's horribly inaccurate as I mentioned in my other responses in this thread. Go read Aaron's original emails. Nvidia has NOT said that Optimus will be officially supported. Intel was OFFICIALLY developing Larrabee and look what happened there. In other words, don't hold your breath for linux support. It could be a year or more, if ever.

Yeah, ok let's stick with Windows since it's preinstalled. Nevermind my company's reasons for not using Windows.

Alfonse Reinheart
10-11-2012, 11:06 AM
Go read Aaron's original emails. Nvidia has NOT said that Optimus will be officially supported.

No he doesn't. And why should he? He said that they were experimenting with implementing it, and that he had a proof-of-concept working.

People at companies generally don't get to pursue random side-projects. So this experimentation was obviously at the behest of NVIDIA, who likely wanted a feasibility study into how long it would take, what manpower and support would be needed, etc.

If support for Optimus is going to happen on Linux, then that's the first step: figuring out what it would cost NVIDIA to provide it.


It could be a year or more, if ever.

Or it could be before Christmas. Or Valve could go to them and crack the whip, as they seem to be shifting towards Linux as a real OS target.


Yeah, ok let's stick with Windows since it's preinstalled. Nevermind my company's reasons for not using Windows.

I don't know; it seems to me that your company's IT department should have investigated whether or not their laptop could support their OS and graphics hardware of choice.

thokra
10-15-2012, 10:45 AM
So this experimentation was obviously at the behest of NVIDIA, who likely wanted a feasibility study into how long it would take, what manpower and support would be needed, etc.

In addition, there is a controversy around GPL lincensed kernel code which would have be lincensed differently in order for NVIDIA to actually bring the changes. Several kernel developers, however, have not accepted a corresponding pull request by an Intel engineer. More on that matter here (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTIwNDI).

ViolentHamster
10-18-2012, 01:14 PM
People at companies generally don't get to pursue random side-projects.

I had no idea. Thanks for letting me know what "people at companies" do with their time.

ViolentHamster
10-29-2012, 07:22 AM
In addition, there is a controversy around GPL lincensed kernel code which would have be lincensed differently in order for NVIDIA to actually bring the changes. Several kernel developers, however, have not accepted a corresponding pull request by an Intel engineer. More on that matter here (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTIwNDI).

Thanks for the post. So, NVidia is encountering some headwinds...