Linux Graphics, a Tale of Three Drivers

Rahul Sundaram sundaram at
Tue Jun 24 01:46:30 UTC 2008


"Finally, setting aside the philosophical issues, economically it's 
obvious from this data that binary drivers don't make sense: Nvidia 
isn't in the list of top oops causers as part of some grand strategy to 
make itself (and Linux) look bad. It's there because the cost of doing 
the QA and continuous engineering to support the changing interfaces and 
to detect and correct these problems outweighs the revenue it can bring 
in from the Linux market. In essence this is because binary drivers 
totally negate the shared support and maintenance burden which is what 
makes Open Source so compelling. Additionally, there is also a drag 
effect these binary drivers have on the rest of the ecosystem: for 
instance, Fedora was under enormous pressure not to release Fedora 9 
until there was a solution that allowed it to run with the Nvidia binary 
driver (Fedora chose to ship with a pre-release of the X windows system 
which Nvidia refused to support and because the driver was binary Fedora 
couldn't simply fix the problems and ship anyway). "


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