Nvidia to have a word with Torvalds

After the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, used a four letter word to describe his relationship with Nvidia (see below), the graphics company wants to have a few words of its own with him.

Apparenty Nvidia wants to arrange a friendly chat with Torvalds after the comments. That means the minimum number of sharp weapons involved and the first person to say “uncle” will be deemed the loser. 

Torvalds was speaking at a forum hosted by the Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship in Otaniemi, Finland, on 14 June, when he said that Nvidia has been one of the worst trouble spots he has had with hardware manufacturers. He then said something starting with the letter F and gestured with his middle finger at Nvidia.

Now Nvidia has fought back, saying that it was important to support Linux.

In a statement, the company said that there are people who are as passionate about Linux as an open source platform.

But it noted that there have been some questions raised about its lack of support for its Optimus notebook technology.

It said that when it launched its Optimus notebook technology, it was with support for Windows 7 only.

The open source community rallied to work around this with support from the Bumblebee Open Source Project. And, as a result, it had made installer and readme changes in Nvidia’s R295 drivers that were designed to make interactions with Bumblebee easier.

“While we understand that some people would prefer us to provide detailed documentation on all of our GPU internals, or be more active in Linux kernel community development discussions, we have made a decision to support Linux on our GPUs by leveraging Nvidia common code, rather than the Linux common infrastructure,” the company said.

While Nvidia admits that this this may not please everyone, it does allow the company to provide customers with a “consistent GPU experience” without having to worry about the platform or operating system.

Linux users benefit from same-day support for new GPUs, OpenGL version and extension parity between Nvidia Windows and Nvidia Linux support, and OpenGL performance parity between Nvidia Windows and Nvidia Linux, the statement said.

Nvidia can support a wide variety of GPUs on Linux, including its latest GeForce, Quadro, and Tesla-class GPUs, for both desktop and notebook platforms, the company said.

Meanwhile, Nvidia drivers for these platforms are updated regularly, with seven updates released this year so far for Linux.

The company did say that it was an active participant in the ARM Linux kernel. It points out that for the latest 3.4 ARM kernel, Nvidia ranks second in terms of total lines changed and fourth in terms of number of changesets for all employers or organisations.