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Binary-only drivers

Binary-only drivers

Posted Dec 2, 2004 13:42 UTC (Thu) by corbet (editor, #1)
In reply to: Debian on AMD64 by harisri
Parent article: Debian on AMD64

Um...which LWN editor is using such a driver, please?

We certainly do not tell our authors what software to run on their systems, and do not believe that we should.


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Binary-only drivers

Posted Dec 3, 2004 0:30 UTC (Fri) by harisri (guest, #4662) [Link]

Oops. I apologise. I was quick to judgement. I did not realise third party editors contribute articles in lwn.net. I just scrolled down the page and saw a name of an editor from lwn.net and I assumed it was he/she who published the article. Indeed I was ignorant.

But now I understand that this is no lwn.net editor's computer.

Thank you.
Hari.

Binary-only drivers

Posted Dec 3, 2004 1:38 UTC (Fri) by ladislav (guest, #247) [Link]

Actually, the writer of this article doesn't use the binary NVIDIA driver either. If you look at the machine specs, you will notice that the graphics card is a lot older and perhaps underpowered compared to the rest of the system. Besides, I am not a gamer, so I don't have much use for 3D acceleration and other such features and the "nv" driver in XFree86 is perfectly adequate for my needs.

That said, wouldn't you find it strange if the article pretended that binary-only applications for Linux don't exist? You might not want to use them, but there are many people who do, so it seemed rather logical to mention them, especially because of platform-specific issues. Besides, these applications give an interesting indication about the state of the AMD64 computing - for example NVIDIA makes 64-bit binary drivers, but others don't (a recent post on the Opera forums by an Opera representative seemingly rejected the platform althogether as not really interesting in terms of numbers). So just because you stubbornly refuse to install any non-free application on your system, I don't think you can reasonably expect others to do the same.

While on this subject, let me pick your brain. Let's say I'd want to replace my existing graphics card with a different one that doesn't rely on binary drivers. Which card would you recommend? Thank you for your advice.

Binary-only drivers

Posted Dec 3, 2004 5:24 UTC (Fri) by dberkholz (guest, #23346) [Link]

ATI FireGL 8800, or as a cheaper alternative, the Radeon 8500.

Binary-only drivers

Posted Dec 3, 2004 10:46 UTC (Fri) by harisri (guest, #4662) [Link]

While I may agree to Binary Only on user-space, not on kernel-space. I have been reading LKML for quite many years to understand it is taboo as far Kernel developers are concerned, and I will have to agree with them.

As for a good 3D capable card with open source driver, any ATI Radeon up to 9200 is a good choice. I am using ATI 7000 myself, and I have been very happy with it, though I am considering a 9200 SE when the current one fails :).

For more information please refer to: http://dri.sf.net

Thank you and good luck!
Hari.

PS: It is such a shame that ATI have not published the specs for Radeon 9[5678]00 cards (or newer) so that open source DRI drivers could be produced. Hopefully they soon will.


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