NVIDIA FreeBSD kernel feature requests

M. Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Wed Jul 5 06:09:15 UTC 2006

In message: <b1fa29170607032327i1e83c3a0s267cd70ea0b9f09d at mail.gmail.com>
            "Kip Macy" <kip.macy at gmail.com> writes:
: > Producing a driver for a GPU card, especially one that possibly converts from
: > GL-foo to foo appropriate to program and feed an ASIC on a video card, is
: > quite different matter entirely.
: >
: > I'm all for open source drivers, and would also encourage NVIDIA to continue
: > to reconsider their closed source driver approach where it makes sense
: > (especially for the network interfaces). However, I think that we shouldn't
: > conflate these two cases rhetorically, as there are orders of magnitude
: > complexity (and intellectual property) differences.
: Furthermore, requesting needed changes to the kernel interfaces is
: completely orthogonal to their documentation policies.

It is well documented that NVIDIA gives you binary drivers.  Other
vendors give you source or binary as they see fit.  When you have a
choice, the type of driver may factor into what you buy.  When you
don't have a choice (because, say, it is a built-in chip), the
availability of a binary-only driver vs no driver at all may save your
laptop or computer from being a paperweight.

As interesting as such choices are, they, as Kip points out, are
orthogonal to suggestions on how FreeBSD could be better.  Even if
NVIDIA had release open source drivers for their current binary
drivers, the issues they took the trouble to document and writeup in a
clear, coherent fashion here would still be present.  It is in the
best interest of the FreeBSD project to accept this valuable input and
evaluate it on its merits, rather than on our political judgment of
the messenger.


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