[conspire] Buggy ATI Driver (and others) Leaves Vista Open to Attack

David Fox dfox94085 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 29 19:00:46 PDT 2007

> ...which leaves you stuck with whatever vendor you
> got the Nvidia hardware from, just as if you were
> running proprietary Unix.  For example, IIRC HP

I'll have to research the kernel issues later as that part is
a bit new to me (having had good working support from Matrox, for
some years).

> has an Nvidia NDA and support contract, and the HP
> product and service offering seems to make a nice
> "Unix workstation".  Customers won't be able to change
> the kernel or system software and keep their support,
> but they don't want to--they just want to run their
> big 3D apps fast.

I'd sure like to run (mostly) google earth and stellarium so that they are not
slow as mud, as they are on my slow system with the "nv" driver. I'm not a
gamer, and never was, really. On that subject, when the "Digital
Tipping Point" person was
at CABAL, I wanted to show off stellarium as being one of my personal
favorite apps/toys for linux, but of course, the test system didn't
have any 3d drivers installed :(.

I don't think that the mere change of driver forces one into the same
situation as
having a "proprietary Unix workstation" as you characterize it. It is
unfortunate that nvidia
has seen fit to release binary-only drivers for their video cards, but
such is life, I suppose. But I am free to decline to install said
software (and currently I have it uninstalled, as it just doesn't
currently work with Lenny) and I can go with a different kernel,
although there are caveats about this (i.e., the driver has to be
compiled with the current kernel headers).

> Most people using the Nvidia proprietary kernel
> modules on Linux seems to be dual-boot hobbyists,
> who can always reboot the machine in their other OS.

I've never been a dual-booter. Like I said, I'm mostly interested in
the 3d acceleration for just a couple of apps where it is really
needed, and of course, some of that fancy desktop stuff (such as beryl
and/or compiz fusion) which I've been able to get working on this
hardware - although for really good performance, I'll want/need a
faster system, eventually.

OTOH, I can reboot into Sabayon or Mepis - those both seem to have the
drivers available for this card. I suspect that eventually I'll be
able to get that to work within Lenny, which still is my preferred
environment. After all, it was working in etch/stable.

After reading the enclosed link I understand a little more about the
issues involved - from a purely technical standpoint, if it makes
kernel oopses a harder thing to diagnose, then that's a drawback. So
it "taints" the kernel from that perspective, not by the Mark Twain
one as it "taint" the kernel.

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