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Thread: Nvidia Mobile Drivers ~ No Linux Support

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    Nvidia Mobile Drivers ~ No Linux Support

    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ViolentHamster View Post
    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?pag...tem&px=MTE3MzY

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhagain View Post
    Seems a bit of an overreaction, don't you think?

    It's actually quite the opposite. See http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.



    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.

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    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".

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    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.

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    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) and Valve's recent work on bringing Left 4 Dead 2 to Linux - particularly their work with Intel (source) - 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.

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