Nvidia says no to open source drivers

By   |  June 24, 2008

Following yesterday’s petition by Linux kernel developers to hardware companies to release open source drivers and modules, Nvidia has again said it will not. In an email to ZDNet writer, Paula Rooney, the company said that its own kernel development team supported Linux users and “Nvidia doesn’t expect Linux kernel developers to debug issues in Nvidia’s kernel module.”

“Nvidia supports Linux, as well as the Linux community and has long been praised for the quality of the Nvidia Linux driver. Nvidia’s fully featured Linux graphics driver is provided as binary-only because it contains intellectual property Nvidia wishes to protect, both in hardware and in software,” the company said.

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4 Responses to “Nvidia says no to open source drivers”

  1. John Sullivan
    July 1st, 2008 @ 11:51 pm

    It’s not really surprising that nVidia doesn’t get it, but it is surprising
    that they are not even trying — because their competition is. ATI, who for
    years fed us the same line about “intellectual property”, is now actively
    contributing to and working with the free software community. They did it not
    by releasing the code for their existing proprietary driver but by releasing
    specifications and contributing to code development for a brand new free
    driver. nVidia could do the same thing, and if they don’t, they’ll be left
    behind by manufacturers that are working with rather than against their
    customers.

    nVidia’s appeal to “intellectual property” is telling — it shows that they are
    intentionally distorting the issue by tossing copyrights, patents, and
    trademarks into one pot. These are all separate issues, and they could all be
    solved separately in any transition to free software. Plenty of other companies
    have figured this out.

    nVidia doesn’t “support” the community in any meaningful sense. They actively
    work against the community to keep its members divided and helpless, and
    dependent on nVidia. If they actually supported the community, they would
    support the freedom that made the existence of all this software possible. The
    only reason they have a kernel that they can shoehorn their driver into is
    because that kernel is freely available. They should appreciate and reciprocate
    the opportunities free software has provided for them, and take advantage of
    the expertise that arises when people are allowed to freely share work and
    knowledge amongst themselves.

    In the meantime, they can choose to keep their driver proprietary, and we can
    choose to buy Intel and ATI instead.

  2. exn
    July 7th, 2008 @ 6:51 pm

    John Sullivan thank you.
    ATI have (many bugs, low fps). I do not know how develop graphic drivers, and not communicate with anyone graphic drivers developer. Today my choose nvidia cards for games (proprietary too, such as (etqw, penumbra, sacred,quake*…) and other. Proprietary drivers bad for linux kernel developers ????? hmm, nvidia not says about problems with linux kernel :)
    BUT. I not know what inside proprietary nvidia driver. yep

  3. Predator106
    July 16th, 2008 @ 2:33 am

    Wow, at least learn English if you are going to attempt to disagree with someone, and especially at least know what you are actually talking about, and the subject of the matter. Open-source is the future, and if Nvidia doesn’t want to support this, they will be left behind. If they don’t support this, I will do what I have done with Creative sound cards; migrating to a linux-out-of-the-box supported card.

  4. ChrisB
    October 7th, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

    [quote]
    Wow, at least learn English if you are going to attempt to disagree with someone
    [/quote]

    Wow, what an intolerant attitude. Because the guy didn’t have the privilege of being born in the United States of Your Country his opinion doesn’t count? How many languages can you express yourself in?

    I thought the “Open Source” argument was based on co-operation, not flaming. But many members of the Linux / OSS and related communities are self-appointed thought police with little or no understanding of or tolerance for the rest of the world (by definition, nerds) – please try to recognise that not everyone understands the nuances of difference between “copyrights, patents, … trademarks” and intellectual property the same as you do – to them it’s all just too confusing. Reading the GNU licence, “copyleft”, OSS and myriad other legalese documents just confuses the issue further. Realise that most people are not interested in writing their own device drivers, don’t care what a register is, and just want their computers to [i]work[/i].

    I suggest [b]you[/b] Predator106 are the one who “doesn’t get it”.

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