LAS F22 review - summary

Enrico Tagliavini enrico.tagliavini at
Fri Jun 5 08:41:34 UTC 2015

Hi Kendell,

well you might be lucky enough not to need proprietary drivers and
this add a lot of benefits both in practical terms and also in ethics
if you believe in free software. That said if you don't support
proprietary driver you basically cut out people from using Fedora. The
only and main reason I don't suggest Fedora to my friends starting
with Linux is it misses NVIDIA proprietary drivers support and
bumblebee packages [1]. Granted there is rpmfusion for the drivers....
but bumblebee is another story. The repo mentioned in the fedora wiki
is not really up to quality standard, at all. But I digress.

People do want their hardware to work well, if they bought Nvidia they
want to use it and nouveau doesn't quite cut it (no offence meant
here, but the overall experience is not up to expectation for the
average user). Speaking for myself now: I just got a Dell Alienware
15. It has an nvidia optimus system. The reason why I choose this
system is because I want to play steam games on it and I want to play
on Linux. Intel is great, I love it and I usually play with Intel when
it works (the driver is improving dramatically and a lot of stuff just
works nowadays), but for some game you need some extra push. So I got
the nvidia driver from rpmfusion applied a very minor adjustment to
make it play nice with bumblebee, got bumblebee and bbswitch SRPMs
from ELrepo (yes that's right) and recompiled for Fedora. This is easy
for me, for the average user is impossible.

If you are a free software purist I can understand this is disturbing,
I'm the first one being so happy when I can just use the Intel open
source driver. But the average computer user is not a free software
purist. Giving the user the option to use proprietary drivers, but
sticking to open one by default, doesn't mean the distro is not
supporting free software. It means you are also supporting non free
software and you give you users the choice.

That said I do agree proprietary stuff can stay in rpmfusion. It
doesn't have to be in the official repo at all to be easy and
available. A good start would be to include rpmfusion-*-release RPMs
in fedora official repo and possibly doing something along the lines
of the Ubuntu additional driver tool to switch between available

Best regards

[1] Unless I'm 100% sure they are not going to use nvidia ever and if
it is a system I know it works well out of the box.
Also note I'm not talking about fglrx here. I've been the maintainer
of fglrx gentoo package for a couple of years and I know very well how
painful it is. It would simply harm the Fedora graphic stack given how
slow AMD is adding support to new Xorg and kernel release. So I'm not
in favour of providing all proprietary drivers. If open source
packages have to fulfil quality standards, that should be true for
proprietary drivers as well.

On 4 June 2015 at 22:53, kendell clark <coffeekingms at> wrote:
> Hash: SHA512
> hi
> I've watched both, and the jist seems to be something on the order of
> "well, fedora is nice, but it needs to make proprietary bits easier
> because people need them." I don't think I quite agree with that, for
> all sorts of reasons. It's why I switched to fedora, because it sticks
> to it's open source principals.
> Thanks
> Kendell clark
> Michael Catanzaro wrote:
>> They have a follow-up review here:
>> 3062/disjunctive-normal-fedora-lup-95/
>> I haven't watched it yet.
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