GeForce Ti4200 and Linux

GeForce Ti4200 and Linux

Post by Vladimir Florinsk » Sat, 17 Aug 2002 17:15:36




> Sorry to break the news to you on this, but I checked it out, it looks
> to me to be a Red Hat issue (probably their configuration).

> Running XFree-4.2, SuSE 7.3, I can play Tux Racer fine (and it is
> mentioned in that Bug report).

> Thanks for reminding me why I switched away from Red Hat.  I suspect the
> option hw_cursor off, which SuSE put in might have something to do with
> it.

It seems to me now you don't understand the GLX/DRI issues very well. The
HWCursor options has nothing to do with it. Silly as it seems I even tried
running X with this option (with the expected results, to be sure). I also
suggest you stop spreading your silly religious zealotry and try posting
something useful.

The issue is not specific to Red Hat. Indeed, about a year ago I was in
communication with a Slackware user who had an identical problem with a
G400. Next time, try to gather some facts rather than making baseless
conclusions. In fact, you may be the only person who has not seen the bug,
even so you are running the G550 which may not even be susceptible.

Incidentally, I was looking for some older posts of mine in this group and
came across some Quake 3 benchmarks I did back in 1999 on that same old
G200. I even gave this board some praise. Although back then there was no
DRI and we had to build Utah-glx and their custom GART module, then do a
lot of fiddling with the config file. Those were the days... now of course
Linux newbies find it too difficult to even build a kernel driver, much
less configure X.

But it's been mostly downhill for my old G200 since the DRI era.
Performance became worse and GLX became unusable since XFree 4.1. Still, I
have nothing against Matrox. Their Parhelia product is supposedly good,
can anyone post Q3 benchmarks? Come on people, this should be easy!

--

Vladimir

 
 
 

GeForce Ti4200 and Linux

Post by Robert Davie » Sat, 17 Aug 2002 19:05:15




>   [...]
>>Nvidia 3D driver's are A PITA, because you have to download RPM's from
>>their site, and they get in way of kernel upgrades, as well as XFree
>>upgrade.

> I don't see how it's much of a pain.  Rather than retrieving their
> binary RPMs, you can just fetch the source tarball (or rpmball)
> and compile it when you upgrade a kernel.  That's what I do.
> Assuming you build kernels from source, the NVidia driver build
> process is really painless.

> It does prevent me from switching to the 2.5.x (non-stable)
> kernel series, but that seems a small price to pay.

You're sailing with fair weather friends.  Fact is you are relying on the
compatability of their kernel interface with the current kernel, as 2.4 is
stable now, that's not been a problem yet.

Actually you don't need to build the Linux kernel from source, and it's a
bad idea to do so, for most users, and admins who run a lot of different
machines.  You can simply install the kernel source, and rebuild the Nvidia
kernel rpm, against that.

The binary drivers add an extra layer of complexity, for compatiability,
with open source XFree, you just need to worry what XFree-4 version you
use, an upgrade is painless, and you can also upgrade your kernel without
worries.

With the NVidia binary drivers, you have an unsupported Linux kernel, that
is 'tainted' by binary driver.  The Athlon AGP problem took so long to
discover, partly because the ppl reporting it tended to have Nvidia cards,
and the binary driver, and folk like Alan Cox, assumed it was something bad
in their driver.

When you upgrade you need :

Linux kernel, compatible with Nvidia driver
XFree version, compatible with Nvidia driver

You may need to go and download some rather large, prebuilt rpm's from
Nvidia's site, and as a lot of ppl are discovering, the binary rpm's do not
work so well.

The very fact that your "it's not such a pain solution" involves using
source is rather pointing the way don't you think?

Rob

 
 
 

GeForce Ti4200 and Linux

Post by Robert Davie » Sat, 17 Aug 2002 19:10:47




>> Sorry to break the news to you on this, but I checked it out, it looks
>> to me to be a Red Hat issue (probably their configuration).

>> Running XFree-4.2, SuSE 7.3, I can play Tux Racer fine (and it is
>> mentioned in that Bug report).

>> Thanks for reminding me why I switched away from Red Hat.  I suspect the
>> option hw_cursor off, which SuSE put in might have something to do with
>> it.

> It seems to me now you don't understand the GLX/DRI issues very well. The
> HWCursor options has nothing to do with it. Silly as it seems I even tried
> running X with this option (with the expected results, to be sure). I also
> suggest you stop spreading your silly religious zealotry and try posting
> something useful.

Hey, I'm just checking on the bug report, and finding it does not affect
me, on SuSE with XFree-4 and a G550.  I notice they have that option on,
usually when they stick in options like that, it's to work round bugs, so
I'm including that as information.

How is that 'zealoutry' and not useful info?  Fact is far too many ppl are
putting up with Nvidia binary drivers, and are running with 'tainted'
kernels as a result.  Also very many users have not been satisified with
those drivers, perhaps they have improved of late, but I am much happier
and had better results using Open Source drivers.

You are using a Free OS, why compromise on the video?  If you do, you'll
_never_ have the full benefits, but be beholden to commercial decisions of
Nvidia corp.

Rob

 
 
 

GeForce Ti4200 and Linux

Post by Robert Davie » Sat, 17 Aug 2002 18:56:46




>> Using DRI/GLX, etc., was easy enough.  By the time XF4.2.0
> >arrived I just found it increasingly difficult to keep X stable.
> For some reason, with Mandrake, the card was /very/ stable -
> despite identical configuration on Red Hat & Suse.  When you
> gotta work, you can only chug along for so long, I guess - and
> settling down with Mandrake wasn't an option (personal choice;
> no condescension intended). :)

Odd, as I've found SuSE support pretty good and info fairly easy to come by
on getting workrounds and also there's access to updated X servers with bug
fixes.  They've a number of developers who've worked on this stuff for
quite a while, and normally it's good.

So you use Mandrake as well as Gentoo, I'm planning to look at Gentoo when
I get back from holiday, though I'll wait for the GCC 3 release before
installing.

Quote:>> Very many ppl have had problems with the Nvidia 'nvidia'
>> binary only driver, I think because you use Gentoo you will be
>> less inconvenieced.  As Gentoo is source based, you compile
>> kernel anyway, so the nvidia kernel interface module will be
>> rebuilt from source as part of that.  You need not worry about
>> memory model and SMP options which binary distro uses face.

> Well, yes, indeed.  But I have to say, I've seen an *incredible
> number of Suse users with NVidia complaints.  I'm half tempted
> to install it again (I never used Suse with an NVidia card) just
> to see what it's all about.  I would expect to see a similar
> number - if not more - Red Hat users with the same problems, if
> this is binary distribution specific.  But I don't.

NVidia want to distribute their own drivers, and SuSE say they're not
allowed to put them on their CD-ROMs, which is odd as Mandrake do deliver a
set.

Part of it may be that the NVidia drivers were not stable, certainly when I
tried there were regular updates.  Later on I installed a driver,
successfully but was simply not happy with it's 2D performance, artifacts
at high screen resolution, also memory leaks etc.  In my experience, the
'nv' driver was much better, for day to day use, I kept a 'nvidia'
XF86Config file, and the drivers installed so I could switch if I played
games.  It's been a big relief, when I 'rpm -e' them yesterday, and great
to not have a kernel tainted by a binary driver.  Now if I find kernel
issues I can actually report them, and not have the 'go complain to Nvidia'
 brush off.

Quote:>> The sad thing is, the more ppl willing to go your route, and
>> accept binary the less willing hardware manufacturers will be
>> to open source drivers.  Generally those included in the
>> kernel distribution are far safer bets than downloads from
>> manufacturers sites, which is exactly what you don't want, or
>> one day, you'll find you need to run several different kernels
>> to access hardware, because of out of date drivers.

> Well, I take your point.  However, I'm not satisfied that
> XFree86 is even the way forward as far as Linux desktop video is
> concerned.  The NVidia drivers perform so well (yes, once
> installed; nightmare for Suse users I know ;)), because they
> work around XFree86.

The problems are a combination of things :

1) new users get confused by YOU, and fail to update their systems.
2) lots of conflicting and sometimes out of date advice
3) failing to 'init 3' and backing up their X configs before they start
4) Confusion with SaX2, I think that's why YaST2 has taken over simple
configuration, it's not optimal, but gets a reasonable display up.
5) Via/Athlon chipset and other problems, folk need 'noapic noapm' etc
6) Not understanding the virtual consoles, when setting up X they can get
left on wrong one

But the biggest one of all, was failing to RTFM!!  They would try it, get
in a mess through doing something stoooopid, and then come bleating onto
USEnet about it.

Quote:>  But hardly a good solution for competitive
> video performance because it's not generic free software.
> Until an organisation is created that enters into NDAs with the
> NVidia's of this world, allowing a select group of software
> developers access to driver source for improvement purposes, the
> situation is neither going to change nor improve.

> Of course open source would be nice, but you get fed up of
> slamming your head against a brick wall after so long.  Nobody
> is going to change the minds of many commercial organisations
> and to me, a NDA with a specially formed organisation is the
> only way many will be dragged (including companies developing
> graphics/video related software) kicking and screaming into
> realising the market potential of Linux - and into enhancing
> their technology for it.

But so many commercial organistions have changed.  Just look at IBM, what
they are doing now, was unthinkable in 1992!

As for your comments about video drivers and NDA's I cannot disagree
strongly enough!  The fact is DRI was new, in XFree-4, Nvidia's recent
domination of the market place, has distorted things, and the driver
development was cut back.

If we want a Free Operating System, that we can modify and bug fix, then we
need to put our money where our mouths are, and support the companies that
have aided 3D accelerated drivers, and who provide information.

That means Matrox and to some extent ATI, and definitely not the likes of
Kyro and Nvidia, who won't show us the code.

Rob

 
 
 

GeForce Ti4200 and Linux

Post by Vladimir Florinsk » Sun, 18 Aug 2002 03:03:20



> How is that 'zealoutry' and not useful info?  Fact is far too many ppl
> are putting up with Nvidia binary drivers, and are running with
> 'tainted' kernels as a result.  Also very many users have not been
> satisified with those drivers, perhaps they have improved of late, but I
> am much happier and had better results using Open Source drivers.

> You are using a Free OS, why compromise on the video?  If you do, you'll
> _never_ have the full benefits, but be beholden to commercial decisions
> of Nvidia corp.

Let me explain. I consider it a bad style when someone starts to promote
some hardware he owns or the drivers he uses at the same time knocking the
rest. This is what I call "religious zealotry". Constructive advice is
always welcome in this group, but destructive (and often baseless)
criticism relly belong in the .advocacy group (which I don't read,
incidentally).

One can easily spot such a post by looking at the style. The author is
likely to make sweeping generalizations, for example he would say "many
users have problems with this or that" without providing references. You
can really only speak for yourself. Surely, lots of newbies had problems
making some drivers work properly, it's much easier to have your
distribution do it for you. But it doesn't mean more advanced users have
these problems.

As far as Nvidia is concerned, I am not a huge fan of close-source
drivers. However, I must admit that they are very good. While early
attempts (before 1.0 at least) were flakey, such things happens with any
beta software. Lately, most bugs that affected X were in the kernel itself
(I already mentioned well knows AGP issues with the Athlon CPUs and
certain AMD chipsets as well as bugs in the SB Live sound driver which
caused X instability). Now most of them have been fixed and X is very
solid again, at least on my GeForce 2.

Basically, my advice to you is to change your attitude. Keep your
constructive advice here, but if you really need to vent some anger over
the software/hardware you don't like, post to the .advocacy group instead.

--
Vladimir

 
 
 

GeForce Ti4200 and Linux

Post by Robert Davie » Sun, 18 Aug 2002 08:30:35




> Let me explain. I consider it a bad style when someone starts to promote
> some hardware he owns or the drivers he uses at the same time knocking the
> rest. This is what I call "religious zealotry". Constructive advice is

You have a real problem, go an read what the OP said, he was 'considering
buying a card' and looked at TI 4200.  All I did was discuss some
alternatives, which you jumped on about a bug, which I do not have.

This seems to have annoyed you, so I become a zealot. All I did was post
some info, and check out your bug, and answer your questions.

Obviously this was a big waste of my time as it offends you.

Rob