>> 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
>> 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
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'
>> 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.
> 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.