Opinion: NVIDIA drivers are a BAD Thing [tm]

Guy Fraser guy at incentre.net
Tue May 18 20:53:16 UTC 2004

Luc Bouchard wrote:

>Sean Estabrooks said:
>>So, to the question of how to promote more open source adoption.
>>It seems to be well accepted that the market place _rules_ and every dollar
>>spent is a vote.   Being simplistic then, the more "votes" that companies
>>get because they support open source (intel seems to be a pretty good actor
>>these days for example)  the better.    The fewer "votes" that companies
>>who don't support open source get (NVIDIA in this case) the better.
>You are forgetting one thing here Sean, economies of scale.  Let's assume that NVIDIA
>makes 1 million cards per year.  Let's be generous and say that 5% of those cards end up
>in Linux boxes (and I'm being VERY generous with that number).  Then let's say that 50%
>of those machines are run by people that are principled in thought and would only use
>Open Source drivers.  This means that NVIDIA engineers need to make a business case to
>management and share holders to satisfy 25,000 clients  out of 1 million.  Most
>management would say tough luck.  They do provide Linux drivers and for them that is
>enough, whether this is principled or not is irrelevant.  Most business will not cater
>to the common good, but only to the corporate wallet.

If I remember correctly the reason the drivers are not open source was 
that some part of the graphics engine was designed by another company 
that has licensed the technology to nvidia and they will not allow 
nvidia to open source the drivers. I thought the same issue applied to 
ATI, so I was surprised to see 3D support for my Radeon 8500.

I thought there was talk about platform independent binary driver 
support for video cards a few years ago, and was part of SDL.

More information about the fedora-list mailing list