NVIDIA never was the best supporter of the open-source Linux operating system, something that creator Linus Torvalds had no qualms about pointing out in the boldest way possible, but at least something good came out of it.
Normally, an f-bomb, or even a precision f-strike, has no positive effects, other than causing laughter when used humorously or ironically in works of fiction.
Linus Torvalds, the inventor of Linux, the popular open-source OS, succeeded in causing a stronger reaction though, a couple of months back
, although, fortunately, it was a positive one.
No one actually implied any sort of causality relationship between the event and the newest development, but the link is all too easy to spot.
Regardless, the point is that NVIDIA
is finally doing something for Linux: Optimus support.
Optimus is a very useful technology that keeps the discrete GPU in a laptop inactive, unless a program needs more than what the graphics processor integrated in the CPU can cope with. Much energy is saved this way, allowing for long battery lives.
A proof-of-concept driver that enabled Optimus on Linux has finally managed to work.
"So I've been experimenting with support for Dave Airlie's new RandR 1.4 provider object interface, so that Optimus-based laptops can use our driver to drive the discrete GPU and display on the integrated GPU. The good news is that I've got a proof of concept working," Torvalds stated
in an email to NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner.
This may not be enough to get NVIDIA out of the spot of “the worst company we've ever dealt with”, but it's a start.
If nothing else, notebook vendors, and regular customers, will be less reluctant to choose Linux over Microsoft's Windows OS, although Windows 8
may bring about certain benefits that its competitor has yet to touch on. Regardless, we won't know for sure until the proof of concept becomes something people can actually get and use.