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Linux Graphics, a Tale of Three Drivers



"Finally, setting aside the philosophical issues, economically it's obvious from this data that binary drivers don't make sense: Nvidia isn't in the list of top oops causers as part of some grand strategy to make itself (and Linux) look bad. It's there because the cost of doing the QA and continuous engineering to support the changing interfaces and to detect and correct these problems outweighs the revenue it can bring in from the Linux market. In essence this is because binary drivers totally negate the shared support and maintenance burden which is what makes Open Source so compelling. Additionally, there is also a drag effect these binary drivers have on the rest of the ecosystem: for instance, Fedora was under enormous pressure not to release Fedora 9 until there was a solution that allowed it to run with the Nvidia binary driver (Fedora chose to ship with a pre-release of the X windows system which Nvidia refused to support and because the driver was binary Fedora couldn't simply fix the problems and ship anyway). "


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