Nvidia responds to Linus Torvalds' bashing over Linux support

By Lee Kaelin on June 20, 2012, 10:30 AM

Immediately following Linus Torvalds' slamming of Nvidia, the GPU maker refused to comment. Now the company has released a brief statement in a bid to clarify several points raised by the outspoken father of Linux following his very graphical outburst.

It all started at the beginning of the week after a video recording of a seminar question and answer session at Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship in Finland showed Torvalds stating, among many other things, that Nvidia was the "single worst company we've ever dealt with." He gave them the middle finger and swore at them whilst facing the camera.

In a PR response to Phoronix, the company said "supporting Linux is important to Nvidia, and we understand that there are people who are as passionate about Linux as an open source platform as we are passionate about delivering an awesome GPU experience."

They accepted that recently questions had been raised about the lack of support for the Optimus notebook GPU solutions, which itself was the main cause of Torvalds' outburst in the first place. The GPU maker also defended its decision to use only proprietary drivers for Linux.

"While we understand that some people would prefer us to provide detailed documentation on all of our GPU internals, or be more active in Linux kernel community development discussions, we have made a decision to support Linux on our GPUs by leveraging NVIDIA common code, rather than the Linux common infrastructure. While this may not please everyone, it does allow us to provide the most consistent GPU experience to our customers, regardless of platform or operating system."

Nvidia believes that doing so benefits end-users more, and offers them same day support for new GPUs whilst providing a more consistent driver eco-system between different operating systems.

The company also pointed out that it was a major participant in the development of the Linux-based ARM Kernel, saying they ranked second terms of the number of lines changed during its development of the next generation 3.4 ARM Kernel set for use on future Linux, Android and Chrome distributions, and fourth for the number of "changesets" for all organizations.




User Comments: 23

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mevans336 mevans336 said:

I believe I'm going to have to side with nVidia on this one. Aside from Optimus support, they provide the best driver experience on Linux and have stated numerous times they can't open source their driver because it will reveal proprietary technology about their GPU.

I like Linus too however and the childishness of this act aside, hopefully this will motivate nVidia to fix the Optimus problem.

1 person liked this | TJGeezer said:

It's quite a graceful response to a provocative (and entertaining) Torvalds performance. And they do acknowledge a problem with the Optimus, so maybe Linus gave their internal bureaucracy the kickstart they needed to get it off the back burner. Seems a pretty good outcome all 'round to me.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It's quite a graceful response to a provocative (and entertaining) Torvalds performance.
Why wouldn't it be graceful, when nVidia has more a stake than Linus? A good sales merchant knows better than deliberately producing bad public relations.

Guest said:

Open and closed development please, Nvidia just avoided the issue and talked facts typical PR BS

Guest said:

so why is this a problem? maybe you got a cork leg!!

Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

LOL typical Nvidia BS, Linux is open source, hence; if your going to support open source then do it properly, or just stop and leave it to the everyone else who has decided to be mature, and not take his Gi joe's and go home..

Guest said:

I did not buy my dream ASUS laptop last year, because the Nvidia graphics chip did not support Linux. Let's face it though--most people that play games need to have all of that graphics power and the games only run on Windoze OS. I do not really need a top of the line graphics card and I will not use Windoze so I'm happy with ATI and Intel graphics cards working on Linux.

Guest said:

Giving the middle finger was as mature as calling Windows "Windoze". Grow up people. NVidia will support whatever business decisions they see fit, simple as that.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

I still don't quite understand...

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

LOL typical Nvidia BS, Linux is open source, hence; if your going to support open source then do it properly, or just stop and leave it to the everyone else who has decided to be mature...

[link]

Meanwhile in the (presumeably) always sunny- and mature- AMD+Linux camp...

AMD Catalyst comparison with open source Linux

I'd note that there is a pretty large deficit in performance and features regardless of whether the driver is proprietry, or written in an atmosphere of fraternal partnership. I'd also note that the GTX 670/680 (launched three months ago) had linux support from the start...whereas the HD 7000 series (6 months old) has yet to have Linux support. Seems like an odd disparity no?

Guest said:

Nvidia can spin as much as they like, but it does not change the past, not does it excuse their appalling track record. Still 100% with Linus on this one, and Nvidia will continue to be a company to avoid along with Sony and Apple.

Guest said:

Nvidia Linux drivers have always been proprietary. That's not the issue. The issue is that Nvidia has refused to support Optimus at all on Linux. They made this decision a couple of years ago. Quite a disappointment to anyone using Linux who has invested in an Nvidia Optimus GPU.

Guest said:

Linus should just "shut up". It is not like most people care what comes out of his mouth anyways.

Linux (on the desktop) is like an unstable banana republic it has moments of greatness but then some coup (new kernel release) breaks everything and all hope is dashed for the future.

You get what you pay for in the end and Linux has sucked for the last three decades and it will continue to suck for the foreseeable future.

Doom 3 plays nice on it though ha ha ha

Guest said:

^^ You're don't know what you talking about

Guest said:

Linus is GOD! **** Nvidia

Guest said:

So... the worst company ever has made it's statement.

Because of Nvidia we have black screens after an upgrade or a fresh install in 2012. Goodbye Nvidia, I don't miss you. You managed to deliver a great gpu but with your nazi attitude your products will not be an option any more to me.

Open source Nouveau has serious troubles with Nvidia gpus and before it is even possible to choose Nvidia's own driver the screen could freeze. Thanks Nvidia, this is YOUR FAULT!!!

P.S.

Finger surprise!

Guest said:

Nvidia > Ati if you want a smooth experience.

Ati > Nvidia if you want to spend your time on troubleshooting forums.

Guest said:

"The GPU maker also defended its decision to use only proprietary drivers for Linux."

This would be fine with me, if they actually provided proper drivers, but since I'm also running Optimus, I get no support from them. I have got support from the IronHide project (I did also try BumbleBee, but IronHide runs a bit faster), but it doesn't run as fast as it should.

When I was looking for a new laptop (the one I'm using right now), I was looking specifically for one with an nVidia GPU. Had I known that I would have so many issues with nVidia Optimus (and that this laptop had Optimus technology), I would have started looking at ATi. I've always preferred nVidia over ATi, but if nVidia isn't going to give proper support anymore, then I agree with Linus Torvalds on this one.

Until nVidia straightens out their attitude, then I'm going go with ATi instead.

Guest said:

The thing is, that nVidia is trying to sell their stuff to the Linux market, but at the same time, deny support.

"Please buy nVidia, even though we don't want to support your OS, or community in anyway!"

"Yes, we know Android is Linux, but just shoving our hardware into the tablets, and collecting the money is a lot easier than supporting your shit OS. Oh, buy our new video cards too!"

If nVidia wants sales from the Linux/Android community, then they need to actually support the community.

Guest said:

"Aside from Optimus support, they provide the best driver experience on Linux"

Except, I don't know if they produce anything without Optimus Technology anymore. My dream laptop (the one I'm using now, the one I saved up money for 6 months to buy) has Optimus Technology, but didn't state that fact on the website. So now, I'm stuck with a laptop that can't live up to it's full potential. It can run games well with IronHide drivers, but it could run even faster with nVidia support.

"...they can't open source their driver because it will reveal proprietary technology about their GPU."

And? So what if someone learns how the GPU works? You realize that by the time any rival company figures out how the processor works, nVidia will have moved on to new things? It will be old tech, and irrelevant to the company trying to learn the "trade secrets."

nVidia should worry more about producing good hardware, rather than hiding their code. That way, more people will be encouraged to buy their product.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

nVidia should worry more about producing good hardware, rather than hiding their code. That way, more people will be encouraged to buy their product.
I'm going to assume you meant to say something different. If nVidia didn't produce good hardware, they wouldn't be in business today especially as competitive as they are with AMD. Seeing how AMD and nVidia are both very competitive, there is no way you can blame their fault on hardware. Especially when these faults can be fixed by driver updates which suggest a software fault instead.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

"I'm going to assume you meant to say something different. If nVidia didn't produce good hardware, they wouldn't be in business today especially as competitive as they are with AMD. Seeing how AMD and nVidia are both very competitive, there is no way you can blame their fault on hardware. Especially when these faults can be fixed by driver updates which suggest a software fault instead."

I didn't say they produce crap hardware, I'm saying that producing good hardware should be their primary concern, not worrying about someone copying their code.

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