57d ago
It seems that the only benefit of moving the proprietary driver into firmware in the near term is to reduce friction for distros. Canonical or RedHat may be able to provide better out of the best experience to their customers. Doesn't change things too much otherwise. Will be a while before anything is mainlined.

Increasingly, open source for hardware just means shoving things into firmware. Holds true for CPUs, GPUs, and wifi cards.

I really wish nouveau were in a better state. I have a positively ancient laptop with a 8600M nvidia chipset that just will not reliably operate with the nouveau driver.

Instead, I have to use to patch and install the proprietary drivers.

Some more discussion and clarifications about this at
>> GPU may allow creating a cross-platform compute stack

That was the intention of OpenCL.

Reading this only reinforces my conviction to go with an AMD gpu for my next PC build (my last build was ~ 20y ago with an ATI 9700). Nvidia doesn't seem to be a good citizen in the linux ecosystem.
firmware = simple, but not simpler than required to do a good enough job, hardware programming interface on complex chips.

You need software jingle room to fix things on complex chips, which is very true for SOC and GPU and now CPU, hence one of the main reasons for firwmare to be. But going beyond that sole purpose of presenting a hardware programming interface is a slippy slop, for instance the CPU user digital jails.

Many simpler chips can expose a hardware programming interface which does not require a firmware though.

I have not read on what is the nvidia hardware programming interface is since now we have open source code, but rumors say it is orders of magnitude simpler than for AMD GPUs (which is still kind of a mess).

Probably in the minority here but I've recently had a better experience with nouveau than the proprietary nvidia driver on a laptop with the external video outputs wired to the nvidia gpu. The proprietary driver doesn't work well with sway, and recently nouveau got support for powering down the discrete gpu when not used, meaning I still get good battery life instead of it draining my battery ~4x as fast as with it disabled.
I have a Kepler laptop gpu using nouveau and the 2d experience is great. Even after reclocking it’s only just as performant as my haswell i7 iGPU with worse OpenGL support. That being said all I play is Minecraft and Stardew so it doesn’t bother me much.

I will be happier in the future getting better support. Either that or getting a newer laptop!

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