Nvidia responds to Torvalds' diatribe, digit

In the wake of anti-Nvidia histrionics by the father of Linux last week, the graphics chip supplier offered a rebuttal.

Torvalds wasn't smiling last week when asked about Nvidia.
Torvalds wasn't smiling last week when asked about Nvidia.

After an F-bomb-laced rant last week from Linus Torvalds, the recipient of that ire has responded.

Torvalds, the main force behind the Linux kernel, was speaking at a forum hosted by Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship in Otaniemi, Finland, on June 14, when he was asked a question about Nvidia's alleged lack of support for its Optimus graphics products.

"Nvidia has been one of the worst trouble spots we've had with hardware manufacturers," Torvalds said. About a minute into the rant, which starts at 49:59 mark (see video at bottom), he dropped the F-bomb and gestured with his middle finger. All directed at Nvidia.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company is one of the largest graphics chip suppliers in the world.

Nvidia provided a link to CNET here with its response, included below.

Supporting Linux is important to Nvidia, and we understand that there are people who are as passionate about Linux as an open source platform as we are passionate about delivering an awesome GPU experience.

Recently, there have been some questions raised about our lack of support for our Optimus notebook technology. When we launched our 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 http://bumblebee-project.org/. And as a result, we've recently made Installer and readme changes in our R295 drivers that were designed to make interaction 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. While this may not please everyone, it does allow us to provide the most consistent GPU experience to our customers, regardless of platform or operating system.

As a result:

1) Linux end 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.

2) We support a wide variety of GPUs on Linux, including our latest GeForce, Quadro, and Tesla-class GPUs, for both desktop and notebook platforms. Our drivers for these platforms are updated regularly, with seven updates released so far this year for Linux alone. The latest Linux drivers can be downloaded from www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html.

3) We are a very active participant in the ARM Linux kernel. For the latest 3.4 ARM kernel - the next-gen kernel to be used on future Linux, Android, and Chrome distributions - Nvidia ranks second in terms of total lines changed and fourth in terms of number of changesets for all employers or organizations.

At the end of the day, providing a consistent GPU experience across multiple platforms for all of our customers continues to be one of our key goals.

It's worth noting that Torvalds prides himself on being direct and confrontational. And he has a long history of speaking his mind .

It's not hard to find quotable quotes about a variety of topics, including some very choice words about the security software crowd.


About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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