NVIDIA joins the Linux Foundation

NVIDIA joins the Linux Foundation

Summary: Fluendo, Lineo Solutions, Mocana have just joined the Linux Foundation but the big news is that major graphics chip maker NVIDIA is now officially supporting Linux.

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NVIDIA seems to finally be throwing its weight behind the Linux desktop.

NVIDIA seems to finally be throwing its weight behind the Linux desktop.

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Linux has announced that four companies are joining the organization: Fluendo, Lineo Solutions, Mocana, and NVIDIA. The big news here is that NVIDIA, the major graphic chip original equipment manufacturer (OEM), is finally officially supporting Linux.

Now that NVIDIA is a member of the Linux Foundation, all three of the major graphic chip designers--AMD Graphics Technologies (formerly ATI) and Intel--are backing Linux. NVIDIA, best known for its GeForce chipsets, has long had an uncomfortable relationship with Linux.

While NVIDIA has long shipped Linux graphic drivers and has kept its Linux drivers up-to-date, the drivers for their graphic processors have always used proprietary binary blobs. This meant free-software users couldn't use the drivers and open-source developers couldn't work on them to improve them.

Even now though, it's still not clear that NVIDIA will be open-sourcing its drivers. Still Scott Pritchett, NVIDIA's VP of Linux Platform Software, said in a statement that the company "is strongly committed to enabling world-class experiences and innovation with our GPU and mobile products. Membership in The Linux Foundation will accelerate our collaboration with the organizations and individuals instrumental in shaping the future of Linux, enabling a great experience for users and developers of Linux," sounds promising.

On the other hand, there's not a word about NVIDIA joining the Linux Foundation on NVIDA's Web site. There have also been no peeps of news from Nouveau, the open-source effort to fully support NVIDIA's graphic processors. Still, it's hard to see why NVIDIA would make this move if the company hadn't decided to fully embrace Linux.

As for the other companies, Fluendo has long been a leading Linux multimedia software development company. Fluendo employs several of the central developers of Gstreamer, the popular open source media framework and it has also developed legal proprietary video format playback plug-ins and a Linux software DVD Player. Lineo is a Japanese-based embedded Linux company. Mocana is a device-agnostic security platform that protects mobile devices, apps and their networked services

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Topics: Software, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems

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13 comments
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  • Does this mean that Linux distros would be no.1 choice for gaming rigs?

    If Nvidia has full support of linux might this create an incentive for game makers to create more Linux friendly games? For the love of the game? Maybe I'm being a little naive, but the reason I've stuck with Windows so long is the PC Gaming. Pray thee, what does this news of nvidia joining the force foretell for PC or should I say desktop gamers?
    TOA-Gannzter
    • another nail in M$ coffin!

      with NVIDIA dumping M$ in favour of FOSS, the end is one step closer!
      The Linux Geek
      • How is this a nail in a coffin?

        And where does it say that NVIDIA is "dumping Microsoft"? Joining The Linux Foundation does not mean that NVIDIA is not going to keep on working with Microsoft - or the OEMs that build Windows based PCs.

        Are you seriously this clueless?
        athynz
    • I doubt it means anything for gaming

      The game manufacturer determines the OS, not Nvidia. Because Nvidia has always offered Linux drivers, this announcement probably doesn't mean anything for gaming.
      Cynical99
  • NVIDIA joins the Linux Foundation

    Kudos to NVIDIA.
    daikon
  • Target?

    I would bet this has more to do with embedded Linux that desktop GPUs.
    Teran
  • Great

    Now where's the linux driver for my GeForce GT525M?
    txscott
    • In the standard Nvidia Linux driver package.

      Available from the same Nvidia webpage that has Windows drivers.
      Where have you been looking for it?
      anothercanuck
  • Nothing on Nvidia's web site

    I suspect the Linux support is more geared to the video rendering world. Large studios tend to use Linux to render, and Nvidia equipment lives there.

    The Linux foundation announcement has no details, just some generic statements about cooperation.

    There is nothing specific about the Linux foundation on their web site.
    Cynical99
  • I see it as mere formality

    Nvidia has had solid Linux support for years, and it cooperates with the open source nouveau (Nvidia) driver project. Even Nvidia's proprietary drivers are available for one step installation from repos for all main stream distros.

    So Nvidia joining Linux Foundation is not big sursprise.
    anothercanuck
  • are u sure ?

    but tanx
    i used : http://www.it4iran.com/it/?p=798
    our product : http://www.game4iran.com/game/?p=364
    video 2 : http://www.game4iran.com/game/?page_id=236
    farshad_xix
  • NVIDIA joins the Linux Foundation

    Kudos to NVIDIA.

    "Still, its hard to see why NVIDIA would make this move if the company hadnt decided to fully embrace Linux."

    What does that mean "fully embrace Linux"? It's not enough to make drivers for all of your products for the OS, and join the Foundation with other vendors who do so. Does "fully embracing Linux" mean forsaking all others? This kind of rhetoric sounds religious.
    bmonsterman
  • About time for NVidia

    I stupidly bought a Dell XPS 17" notebook with an NVidia 555 GPU on it *assuming* that it would work with the NVidia Linux drivers... WRONG! After dumping big $$ on an otherwise great notebook, I learned my lesson. I DO NOT BUY NVIDIA powered notebooks - period.

    Now that they've joined the Linux foundation, I will revisit my NVidia No-Buy rule. Maybe, just maybe, I'll change my mind - but they will have to *prove* to me that they are worth my trust.
    lkarnis@...