AMD, Nvidia ramp up Linux driver support in wake of Valve's SteamOS announcement
The Linux-based SteamOS isn't even available yet but it's already making waves.
PC World - Well, that didn't take long. Less than a day after Valve announced SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system based around the incredibly popular Steam PC gaming service, both AMD and Nvidia stepped up their driver support for the open-source OS.
Driver support for graphics cards can be a major stumbling block for would-be Linux gamers. Since fewer people use Linux (and most games are created with Windows in mind), driver support for the operating system can be a bit, well, hit-or-miss.
AMD has actually been pretty active in the Linux community in recent memory, though its open-source Linux drivers still lag behind its Windows drivers. Just a few months back, the company released a massive set of 165 kernel patches that enabled some key features in Linux Radeon drivers, such as dynamic power management and initial support for the "Sea Islands" family of GPUs.
AMD's holding a GPU showcase in Hawaii on Wednesday. A new series of graphics cards are almost certainly going to be the stars of the show, but corporate VP Raja Koduri said there will also be news concerning Linux driver support, according to AnandTech. The AMD GPU showcase is expected to start around the same time that Valve unveils its second Steam-related announcement for the week.
Nvidia's relationship with Linux has been a bit more, shall we say, tense.
In July 2012, after a woman at a group chat session described her frustrations trying to use Nvidia's power-saving Optimus technology, Linux creator Linus Torvalds launched into an expletive-riddled tirade.
"Nvidia has been the single worst company we've dealt with," he said, before turning towards the video camera and extending his middle finger. "Nvidia... F*** you!" he hissed, uttering the words slowly and sharply.
To be fair, Nvidia does a decent job of supplying basic (or better!) Linux drivers for its latest graphics cards, and the company took issue with the remarks. Nvidia's drivers, however, are closed source, and unlike AMD, it hasn't traditionally offered open source drivers or documentation, which doesn't sit well with fanatical Linux lovers.
That changed on Monday--the same day SteamOS was announced.
That day, Nvidia's Andy Ritger messaged members of Noveau--the group that reverse-engineers Nvidia's closed-source Linux drivers to create an open-source alternative--and said Nvidia developers working on the closed-sourced Linux GPU drivers will start paying attention to the Noveau mailing group, offering assistance when possible. Additionally, Ritger said Nvidia will provide more official help:
NVIDIA is releasing public documentation on certain aspects of our GPUs, with the intent to address areas that impact the out-of-the-box usability of NVIDIA GPUs with Nouveau. We intend to provide more documentation over time, and guidance in additional areas as we are able .
- 5 eDiscovery Challenges Solved eDiscovery challenges continue to present themselves as data storage becomes more complex and grows the Big Data Era. Read this CommVault Solution Brief...
- Windows® XP Migration: Protect and Secure Critical Data With the end of the Microsoft Windows XP operating system's lifecycle on April 8, 2014, businesses are faced with the decision to migrate...
- Cybersecurity Imperatives: Reinvent your Network Security The Rise of CyberSecurity
- Cybersecurity for Dummies eBook This book provides an in-depth examination of real-world attacks and APTs, the shortcomings of legacy security solutions, the capabilities of next-generation firewalls, and...
- PST Archiving: What is it and How is it Done? Learn more about what PST data is, the risks relating to it, and how the new PST Archiving feature in the Simpana 10...
- HP DevOps KnowledgeVault This interactive resource focuses on the evolution taking place in the world of software development, specifically the Agile development framework, and the gap... All Linux and Unix White Papers | Webcasts
Computerworld has launched its annual search for outstanding IT leaders who align technology with business goals. Nominate a top IT executive for the 2015 Premier 100 IT Leaders awards now through July 18.