NVIDIA won't release open-source Linux drivers

Posted on Wednesday, Jun 25 2008 @ 02:20 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
ZDNet writes NVIDIA is not going to offer open-source drivers for Linux, the company claims there's no need for it.
Nvidia provides binary Linux drivers and has open sourced some drivers such as the nv X driver and other utilities that work with the proprietary driver, including the installer, config and settings.The company is a leading provider of graphics cards and software for the desktop and embraces a cross platform strategy.

“NVIDIA supports Linux, as well as the Linux community and has long been praised for the quality of the NVIDIA Linux driver. NVIDIA’s fully featured Linux graphics driver is provided as binary-only because it contains intellectual property NVIDIA wishes to protect, both in hardware and in software,” the company said in a statement released today, in response to Linux kernel developers’ criticism of vendors that produce only closed source drivers.

More than 100 Linux kernel developers signed off on a letter dated June 23 maintaining that closed source drivers are “harmful” to end users because it cuts them off from additional support and upgrades they might enjoy from the community. NVidia’s closed source ways was highly publicized and criticized in an essay published by the chairman of the Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board Chair.

But in an email to this reporter, Nvidia shot back, noting that its own kernel development team supports Linux users and “NVIDIA doesn’t expect Linux kernel developers to debug issues in NVIDIA’s kernel module.”

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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