[linux-audio-user] Re: which graphics card?

Lee Revell rlrevell at joe-job.com
Wed Jun 21 21:18:32 EDT 2006

On Thu, 2006-06-22 at 02:47 +0200, Thomas Ilnseher wrote:
> Lee Revell wrote:
> > On Wed, 2006-06-21 at 12:44 -0500, Gian Paolo Mureddu wrote:
> >   
> >> However for the video drivers, as was said in another post to this
> >> thread by Rob, nVidia and ATi are not releasing specs for their
> >> hardware for Open Source drivers due to incarnate battle over
> >> features, price and performance... I would have to assume that an Open
> >> Source driver initiative on at least the kernel end would be
> >> tremendously helpful to prevent lockups and ease debugging, not to
> >> mention that installing their binary X drivers would be much easier,
> >> after all the kernel module pretty much is only a bridge between the X
> >> driver and the hardware, the magic is done in the X driver, not the
> >> kernel gateway (or am I terribly wrong here?) 
> >>     
> >
> > Unfortunately you are wrong.  The nvidia kernel module contains a full
> > OpenGL implementation :-P
> >   
> at least the file sizes imply that you are right.
> i can guess why they have put it in there ...
> but this does change the light in which the driver shines ...

They put it in there because on Windows, vendors are free to put any
damn thing in a kernel driver (I've seen Windows drivers that contain a
full AC3 decoder that uses floating point math), and their legal
strategy to get around the GPL is to make the Linux nvidia driver a GPL
wrapper around the same binary blob the Windows driver uses.  This way
it can't be considered a derivative work of the kernel and thus the GPL
does not require them to make the source available.  (Disclaimer: IANAL,
this is all hearsay and certainly has not been tested in court)

If you run strings on nvidia.o you can see HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE in
there :-P


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