Source code of NVidia Drivers?!?

Will ever NVidia release register specs
of geforce & riva???

If not, why???

Till when we’ll have a non-functional
framebuffer device and fbdev libraries
(like DirectFB, see
will not be able to use hw-acceleration??

The release of specs (like matrox and ati
already did) would be welcome by all the opensource comunity!!!

Hi all :slight_smile:

Opensource drivers suck. And nobody who makes money really cares about non-mainstream stuff. Why should one? I see no reason.

I hope NVIDIA will never release the source code, so that they can innovate the technology. And BTW NVIDIA’s drivers are faster and higher-quality than those ATI and Matrox drivers together. NVIDIA have proved that they can write drivers, so why make them OS? For people that want to use FreeBSD for 3D graphics? Better thing to do is to ass why ATI released their specs? Because they do not want to invest into Linux & stuff, or do you really think that ATI cares so much for the OS community? Open your eyes.

Happy new year!

lev, what r u talking about? you don’t think open source is no good for further development and quality, do you?

do you know why ati has revealed their sources? because even their winXX drivers were not as good as they should. so, ati won’t stop developing drivers, but benefit from ideas and code by lots of volunteer open source programmers.

one word 'bout nvidia: they really can write drivers, and in my opinion it is very sad, they won’t reveal their code, because their linux drivers are still buggy. i believe, they were be far better, if they’d be os.

anyway, we shouldn’t be nvious, right?
one could ask, why nvidia didn’t release their specs only (whithout any source at all). i think, nvidia doesn’t trust the open source community. bad/buggy drivers could be released and cause a quality loss for their products…

lev, really, be serious and don’t believe everything that papa microsoft says, ok?
the open source community isn’t a virus that inhibits any innovative development. think about it!

ya don’t care about my bad english, do you? anyways… :wink:

l8ers, Tolga.

Opensource is good for some software, but not for all kind of software. Linux, apache are examples where OS works very well, Mozilla is an example where OS failed (Mozilla is useable now, but it should have been useable 1 year ago)

Well, to ATI’s drivers: why are ATI’s drivers (even windows drivers) not-so-good? I don’t think the reason for this is that ATI’s driver developers are stupid people that cannot write drivers, but maybe the driver developers team is just too small? I have nothing against ATI releasing the specs, but IMO it would be better to hire more driver developers.

to NVIDIA’s drivers:
I believe that OS drivers would be slower: current NVIDIA drivers use 3dnow, MMX, and SSE instructions to improve performance AFAIK, this will not be the case with OS drivers, or at least not in the short run. The problem is that optimizing is dirty work and nobody likes to do it (would you like to rewrite working parts of the driver to make it faster, I guess no, it is more fun to implement new features).

I think we look at the problem from 2 different sides: you are asking why NVIDIA does not publish the specs, and I’m asking for reasons to do so. Look, just because opensource is “in” today it does not mean NVIDIA must do it too. Why should they? Just for the sake of it? The facts are: NVIDIA produces good drivers (linux drivers are not perfect, but they are OK), they actively support Linux (which other IHV does that?), so where are the reasons to publish the specs??

lev, really, be serious and don’t believe everything that papa microsoft says, ok?
the open source community isn’t a virus that inhibits any innovative development.

Why are you talking about MS? It’s not about good or bad company, OS or not OS, its all about high-quality software. Linux is high-quality software, but so are some MS products. Drivers must be stable, fast and reliable. If they are written by the opensource community or a single company: I don’t care. Software must work. Everybody who thinks different is not going to make money with it, and for a company its all about money. NVIDIA has made a long-term investment and develops the drivers in-the-house. ATI has saved some money by shifting some parts of driver development out of the company. It will be interesting to see which decision is wiser. We’ll see in a few years.

And a few words on your innovation comment: OS can innovate, but so can closed source, it depends on a kind of software, and with GFX-card drivers you have almost no possibilities to innovate, because you are limited to existing hardware and to the driver specs. This is IMO why Linux itself is very innovating, just like KDE or GNOME, because they have no specs what an operating system or a desktop should look like. And this is also the reason why projects like Mozilla are not-that-innovative: they have the w3c specs that they must follow, almost no room for innovation.


ok lev, i will answer your 5 queries about my posting…

  1. mozilla: do you really think mozilla is failed just because of open source? no, i tell you, there’s just another reason: who would be interested in developing a browser? of course people, who want to earn money. is it possible to earn money with browsers only? no!
    just see the facts: the internet explorer is the only usable browser (you didn’t know? ie6 is fully w3c conform, including proper java/java-script support). the bad thing is, that it is only available on winXX and macos. it is free aswell (so the developers don’t get any money for it at all), but not opensource…
    so, mozilla didn’t fail because of opensource, but the lack of money, for developing as quickly as paid ms software-engineers.
    my conclusion: only someone who sells operating systems would be (financially) interested in spending money to browser development. but, bill gates and steve jobs are already supported with the ie6, and there are no (important) os’es left. that’s the sad facts about mozilla and browsers… oh btw, i use opera.
    really, commercial software should be free, but it is not always necessary (opera, nvidia-drivers,…)

  2. ati: they didn’t reduce their number of driver-developers, but increased it. they really have to write proper drivers, else they are lost. for example: ati’s radeon 8500 has far higher polygon fillrates and bandwidth than geforce3. but ati drivers are far worse than nvidia drivers. why, would you ask. i don’t know either, but i’d guess they are really more competent or do have more experience, though nvidia founders have been at sgi before (as far as i know).

  3. optimized drivers: so you don’t know how this should work? look at the kernel source. there’s asm-code for x86, mips, alpha… all optimized code for each processor class. and a compiler does some processor relevant optimizations aswell (afaik, the gcc 3.0x optimizes for pentium, version 3.1 will do p4 and athlonxp).

  4. opensource: you think opensource is some kind of fashion that changes like the wheather? i don’t agree with you. i believe commercial people will have to be a step ahead the opensource community, if they want to tell something. but their ideas will be either imitated or released later (quake 2 is an example). nowadays you can only earn proper money with support or hardware, but not with software itself, and it’ll get “worse”, i believe.

  5. microsoft: why did i mention ms? it was steve ballmer, who called opensource a virus that makes software loose quality. oh wait, wasn’t that exactly your words either?

lev, you see, you can’t impress me with your arguments (without aiming to be arrogant ;-)). opensource frees us from any monopoly or dependance of the market. keep that in mind! let us now stop this discussion, though it’s not the right place to do so.
we all want to learn (and help of course) anything about opengl-programming, don’t we?


Dunno the correct english expression for that: Wir reden aneinander vorbei.

I agree this is the wrong place to discuss non-opengl issues. Besides, I have already stated my point of view, any other discussion would be simply repeating and explaining my arguments.


  • reality strikes back, sooner or later.

I think that NVidia has released the information that you need. Is not fbdev the stuff with the penguin in console mode? Does work for me.
Direct access to the hardware in DGA mode is perhaps not stable but works. Do you know for sure that this is because of non released specs?

If you are a developer on the DirecttFB project should you first visit the XFree86 page for information.

> Mozilla is an example where OS failed
So Mozilla is an OS =) ? Come on man, try some real navigator under linux, not that ****. Try galeon 'n you won’t come back to you IE.

> Opensource drivers suck.
Sure! Everyone knows for exemple that creative labs were very thanksfull to Alan Cox for having found tens of bugs in their code.

> I hope NVIDIA will never release the source code
At least they should include their NVdriver module inside the kernel so that it stucks to the evolution of the kernel. It is at least 5 versions late now, don’t compile if you optimize your kernel (in register function’s parameters for exemple) and so on.

> I believe that OS drivers would be slower… (3dnow, MMX, and SSE)
Or they could take advantage of some optimisation that are used by all the other. And for exemple raid drivers do take advantage of 3dnow, mmx and sse.

> just because opensource is “in” today
It has been “in” for 40 years in some people 's mind.

Originally posted by tfpsly:
> Mozilla is an example where OS failed
So Mozilla is an OS =) ? Come on man, try some real navigator under linux, not that ****. Try galeon 'n you won’t come back to you IE.

LOL. Mozilla was a classic case of politics taking over the development process more than anything. Apache and Linux started by a wide group with the same sorts of problems as Netscape/Mozilla and Star Office both face in that the teams that started them both face problems with others code that may be better than theirs, and both are horrible gigantic messes to get into. Oh, and Galeon needs Mozilla to work properly, because the rendering engine for Galeon is Gecko, a component of Mozilla…

> the rendering engine for Galeon is Gecko, a component of Mozilla

Of course. The fact is just that galeon does not use the same interface (mozilla’s can often be quite buggy) and has some more interresting features (cookies/picture filters, tabs in a single window…).

Staroffice/openoffice just became some Big Ugly Fat stuff, unusable. I stick to tools like Lyx for those kind of job.

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