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No Closed Video Drivers For Next Ubuntu Release 448

Posted by kdawson
from the defaulting-to-freedom dept.
lisah writes "Ubuntu's next release, Feisty Fawn, is due out in April and, according to company CTO Matt Zimmerman, proprietary video drivers failed to make the cut for the default install. Zimmerman told Linux.com that although the software required for Composite support is not ready for prime-time and therefore will not be included in Feisty, Ubuntu hasn't given up entirely on including video drivers in future releases. '[T]he winds aren't right yet. We will continue to track development and will revisit the decision if things change significantly.' Ambiguous or not, the decision to exclude proprietary drivers for now should satisfy at least some members of the Ubuntu Community. In other Feisty Fawn news, the Board also decided to downgrade support for Power PC due to a lack of funding." Linux.com and Slashdot are both part of OSTG.
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No Closed Video Drivers For Next Ubuntu Release

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @06:35AM (#18009634)
    This is in no way an "ideological" decision but a pragmatic one.

    The propietary 3d drivers would have been included because the original plan was to support a 3d desktop (like compiz and beryl) out of the box.
    As it has now become obvious that these desktops are not yet stable enough to be the default, there isn't any need to include the propietary drivers.
    • by Aeron65432 (805385) <agiamba@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @06:53AM (#18009708) Homepage
      Or maybe we complain just because we like our Tuxracer, UT, Doom3, and desktops to be ready to go when started.

      Or, it could be because installing ATI drivers (for those of you out there who've done it know this) is an absolute pain in the ass on Ubuntu. When I installed NVidia drivers on my friends laptop, I groaned because it was so convenient.

      People would complain if OpenOffice, Firefox, and some kind of movie/music didn't come packaged with Feisty Fawn, and for good reason! They are essentials to the system! I think it's really too bad they probably won't be included.

      • by dinivin (444905) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:01AM (#18009750)
        Or, it could be because installing ATI drivers (for those of you out there who've done it know this) is an absolute pain in the ass on Ubuntu.

        What's so difficult about:

        % sh ./ati-driver-installer-8.33.6-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/6.10
        % dpkg -i *deb

        • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:09AM (#18009780)
          "What's so difficult about:

          % sh ./ati-driver-installer-8.33.6-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/6.10
          % dpkg -i *deb"

          How about:

          # sh ./ati-driver-installer-8.33.6-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/6.10
          # dpkg -i *deb
          • by robinvanleeuwen (1009809) <robinvanleeuwen@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @08:46AM (#18010252) Homepage Journal
            "How about:
            # sh ./ati-driver-installer-8.33.6-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/6.10
            # dpkg -i *deb"

            On my laptop a compaq r4000 with a bcm43xx pcmcia network controller and ubuntu
            6.10, xorg 7.1, beryl, and a ati 200M XPRESS controller it was a nightmare to get
            it all working together. Either my nic would fail, graphics would fail, x would fail
            , all would fail at the same time. I tried ndiswrapper, my system hangs on that one.
            (three different versions of ndiswrapper). All on amd64.

            After a week or so trying different versions of all programs involved i came up with
            the right settings. A custom kernel 2.6.18.1, ati driver 8.29.6, x windows 7.1.1,
            If i try a newer kernel, the ati drivers won't compile, if i try an older kernelversion
            my wlan isn't properly supported, so i'm stuck at 2.6.18.1, and i want xen to run on
            my laptop, which uses 2.6.17.x i think so i'm out ofluck...

            I think they did a good job postponing the option of a beryl/compiz/xgl/aixgl setup
            in ubuntu. If you get it working it's quite cool and worth the trouble. IMHO this kind
            of thing is always worth the trouble (i have a relatively high geek factor).
          • by MMC Monster (602931) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @09:07AM (#18010394)
            Actually, I thought the above post should be marked funny. Yes, it's relatively simple and I've done similar for my nvidia drivers in the past. The problem is, you really can't expect end users to use a CLI to install anything.

            End users should be told to go to one place. For now, that's synaptic. Maybe in the future it will be some click'n'run thing. Don't instruct them to

            1. download a driver from a particular website.

            2. open up a shell.

            3. enter a cryptic line.

            4. pray.

            Plus, is the CLI way going to survive when a kernel upgrade is released? Presumably when the proprietary drivers are in synaptic they will be updated to work with the kernel updates.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by bberens (965711)
              Yep, I'm one of those linux users that can probably get it working if I really want to but for the most part if yum install [whatever] doesn't pick it up with my extended repository list it's just not getting installed on my Fedora box. While it's not exactly pertinent to Ubuntu it's basically the same idea. Even people who are capable of doing the work are less likely to do it because it's a pain.
          • by 605dave (722736) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @09:37AM (#18010638) Homepage
            "What's so difficult about: % sh ./ati-driver-installer-8.33.6-x86.x86_64.run --buildpkg Ubuntu/6.10 % dpkg -i *deb" Wow, and you people wonder why Linux hasn't taken hold for the average consumer. Sure it isn't difficult to type that line, but it looks confusing and intimidating to the average person. And that answer is always slightly condescending too, implying someone is an idiot for not knowing the obvious solution. Linux will not succeed anytime soon on the desktop market, because the geeks who make it don't respect the non-geeks who would use it.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by rbanffy (584143)
              There are different measures of success.

              For me, Linux is very successful on my desktop (notebook, really) and on the server I depend. It beats Windows XP and 2003 hands down on many tasks I do on a daily basis and, when compared to it, Vista and its brain-dead UAC mechanisms are a bad joke. When considering my job, Windows - every single version - fails miserably.

              On the other hand, most users seem to be happy with its shortcomings and Windows commands a huge market share.

              But, really, I couldn't care less ab
            • by mrsbrisby (60242) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @12:38PM (#18012940) Homepage

              Wow, and you people wonder why Linux hasn't taken hold for the average consumer.
              I agree. It's all ATI and NVidia's fault.

              Let's tell consumers to stop buying their low-quality buggy hardware that require special installation procedures, and maybe they'll stop dragging down the consumers idea of the Linux Desktop.

              I have an intel-based graphics setup that works just fine with beryl- no special install voodoo necessary. It might not get quite as many FPS as my coworkers' firegl board, but it never crashes, and never freezes up on me.

              He's convinced all he needs to do is tweak some underclocking or somethingrather I don't really understand, but at this point I'm pretty sure a big part of his efforts are there to justify his purchase and vindicate his decision, and that the ATI board really wasn't worth it even to him- an otherwise very technical person.

              Maybe after we get ATI/NVidia to stop hurting Linux with their inferior hardware and software, we can get some OEMs- besides TiVO- to actually ship with Linux desktops...
          • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @12:22PM (#18012658)
            Typing in the stuff isn't difficult.

            Figuring out what to type in is. Rebooting, then coming up with a text screen because "startx" failed and there's nothing but an instruction telling you to restore your backed-up config (with, of course, no instructions on HOW to do that or, even better, an option to automatically do it)... that's very difficult.

            Of course typing in those commands *is* difficult for somebody who's visually (or otherwise) impaired. You can install a driver on Windows or OS X using a screen-reader... try typing in 6-x86.x86_64.run with a screen-reader.
          • by rantingkitten (938138) <<kitten> <at> <mirrorshades.org>> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @03:30PM (#18015174) Homepage
            Guys, I hate to break this to you, but "most users" can't install the drivers on Windows either. You ever walk someone through that process?

            "Okay, so go to nvidia.com and find the driver for your card."
            "How do I do that?"
            "Click Downloads, select your operating system..."
            "Is that Windows?"
            "Yes. So select that and--"
            "It says.. Windows XP slash 2000... Windows 98 slash 95..."
            "You're on Windows XP. So select that."
            "Okay."
            "Now which video card do you have?"
            "I don't know."
            "Right click on the desktop. Go to properties. Go to Advanced. Do you see it?"
            "No."
            "Right above the colorful thing."
            "Oh. Okay.. uh.."
            "..it'll say Nvidia something, or maybe GeForce something."
            "Ohhhh. GeForce 5200?"
            "Okay, select that then."
            "Where?"
            "On the WEBSITE."
            "Exit out of this?"
            "YES, EXIT OUT OF THE PROPERTIES THING AND GO BACK TO THE WEBSITE."
            "Okay."
            "..."
            "..."
            "..."
            "Did you select the 5200 yet?"
            "No, am I supposed to?"
            "YES. Click that. Click next."
            "Do-I-want-to-download-the-following-file: installer dot exe."
            "Yes. Download that."
            "Where should I save it?"
            "ANYWHERE. The desktop, okay?"
            "Okay... it's downloading."
            "..."
            "Do-I-want-to-run-the-following-application: installer dot exe."
            "Yesssss."
            "It says.. warning-some-software-can-damage-your-computer-are -you-sure-you--"
            "Yes."
            "Accept terms and conditions?"
            "...yes..."
            "This-will-install-nvidia-drivers-blah-blah-blah, continue?"
            "...yes..."
            "Setup is preparing the... uh, install..shield.. wizard?"
            "That's fine, just let it go."
            "Do I click Next?"
            "YES. YES. JUST KEEP HAMMERING NEXT UNTIL IT SAYS FINISHED."
            "Okay. ...it says finished, do I click Ok?"
            "YES FOR GOD'S SAKE ALREADY!"
            "Okay, now it says I must reboot. Should I do that?"
            "@#%"

            Yeah. That's much, much easier for most people. The CLI looks intimidating but, to most people, both Windows and Linux CLI are incomprehensible gibberish anyway, so what's the difference?
        • by cortana (588495) <{ku.gro.stobor} {ta} {mas}> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:25AM (#18009840) Homepage
          The difficulty comes later on when you need to install or upgrade something else and the shitty packages built by the idiots at ATI who know nothing about how Debian-based systems are put together break.

          Do yourself a favour and stick with the official packages: http://packages.debian.org/src:fglrx-driver [debian.org]
          • by dinivin (444905)

            I've been using the ATI packages for over two years now (first on Debian, now on Ubuntu) without any major problems (at least due to the installation procedure).

            Of course if you overwrite a file installed from the package you'll have to reinstall the generated ATI files (using that oh-so-complex 'dpkg -i' command). This is no different than installing the nVidia drivers from the nVidia package.
            • by cortana (588495)
              Yes, my point is that *both* the official ATI and NVIDIA packages are shit. Users are much better off sticking with the official packages provided by their distributions. :)
        • by Etyenne (4915)

          Or rather :

          sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx

          You could even do that from Synaptic or gnome-app-install, if you need a GUI for the tasks.

          Is there a particular reason not to use the packaged binary drivers in the first place ?

      • Buy hardware (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Kludge (13653) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:44AM (#18009930)
        Or maybe we complain just because we like our Tuxracer, UT, Doom3, and desktops to be ready to go when started.

        My Tuxracer, bzflag, + AIGLX/compiz bling-bling work out of the box because I only purchase hardware that is supported out of the box: ATI 9200 or less, or Intel graphics.

        If you don't support the companies releasing open source drivers, those companies will disappear. And please don't give me the boo-hoo about Intel graphics not being as fast as the latest-latest-latest ATI/NVIDIA card. They really are fast enough for 99% of gamers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Etyenne (4915)
        Installing proprietary video driver is already a breeze in Ubuntu. You just need to install the nvidia-glx package (if you have a Nvidia GPU) or the xorg-driver-fglrx package (if you have an Ati card). You don't even need to use the command line to do it; ou could use Synaptic or gnome-app-install (The "Add/Remove..." applet in the Applications menu).
      • Like DeCss and Mp3 support not coming as default, and no wizards for installing firmware for wifi cards etc....
        I thought Ubuntu was supposed to be easy to use, It's about time someone put up an illegal distribution of Linux with everything included (firmware etc...)
    • by MrvFD (711808) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @06:53AM (#18009710)
      The only thing that bothers me is that they add to the confusion by not dismissing the general "proprietary drivers == 3D desktop" point of view. In summary, Intel integrated graphics have 3D desktop with the free drivers, ATI Radeon up to quite new X850-series have 3D desktop with the free drivers, and by the time of feisty+1 we just might have 3D desktop working on the free Nouveau drivers for NVIDIA cards. Not the top speed of course in case of reverse-engineered ATI/NVIDIA drivers, but enough.

      The situation is even more interesting considering that the proprietary ATI drivers (that are required for the X1000-series to have even 2D support) don't support Composite with AIGLX, the default in Ubuntu and X.org, while the reverse-engineered open source driver does. I think it is one aspect that has been affecting this decision - why include proprietary drivers if they don't even work.

      It is to be admitted though that NVIDIA has such a large market share (probably 20-30% of all desktop and laptop PCs, compared to ca. 50% with Intel integrated graphics), that it partly makes the issue "3D needs proprietary drivers"-like, until Nouveau gets usable.
      • Excuse me, I'm not able to follow all the Linux news, so I've got a question here:

        Is there any project similar to Nouveau underway for ATI? What's the ETA for Nouveau? I'm going to make another serious run at using Linux as a production system when UbuntuStudio comes out, and I'd like to plan for the platform starting next month.
        • Actually, the open source ATi drivers are far more advanced than nVidia's. (Probably due to the lower quality of the proprietary ATi drivers). You can find what you are looking for with the open source "ati" or "radeon" drivers. The radeon driver is actually the only ATi driver that works with compiz/aiglx. The proprietary drivers will only work with XGL.
          • by MrvFD (711808)
            Actually, "radeon" and "ati" are the exactly same driver. The confusion has arised from the fact that "ati" driver has, recently fixed in GIT though, had problems auto-detecting some recent Radeons and thus failing to give the control to the real driver (radeon). This has people led to think that they would somehow be different drivers, or that the "ati" does not support their card at all but "radeon" does.
            • Ah, I see. I've always wondered about that actually. =) They've behaved differently for me in the past, and you refer to them by different names, which confused me. Thanks for clearing that up for me. =)
      • by vhogemann (797994)
        I can confirm that for the Intel drivers.

        I have a notebook with an i915G video chipset, and making beryl work on my system was a straight forward process. Now I'm using it all the time, with very few (if any) stability issues, and even when anything goes wrong it falls back to the default window manager.

        What I'd like to see is a more serious effort to show what hardware is fully supported under Linux. Of course you have some listings at the Ubuntu wiki, and other distros provide similar info... but I don't
      • Actually, in the original post [ubuntu.com], Nouveau was explicitly mentioned. Both ATi and intel have open sourced drivers that are sufficient to run composite desktops. If Nouveau was ready for prime time in Feisty+1, then it's entirely possible that we wouldn't need the binary drivers for anything but bleeding edge video cards.
      • by Etyenne (4915)
        Nvidia have 30% market share in desktop and laptop ? Which market is that ? In my world, integrated GPU from Intel dominate the market by a wide margin (like you said), with Ati second. Nvidia is really only seen in white box built by gamers and some few high-end laptops.
  • misleading title (Score:5, Informative)

    by Verunks (1000826) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @06:37AM (#18009646)
    the driver will not be enabled by default, but they will be still present in ubuntu
    • by aeneas (139456) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @06:43AM (#18009662) Homepage
      .. trying to turn on the 3D desktop.

      --snip--
          * However, new infrastructure will be implemented which allows the user to
                trivially enable both enhanced desktop effects and the necessary driver
                support.
      --snip--
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ardor (673957)
      The question is: will they be present in the repositories?
    • Reading the title + summary I got the impression that Feisty would not offer any way of installing these drivers and that I would have to download the drivers for my Nvidia card separately. Fortunately, this is not the case, which you'll see in TFA. I say "fortunately" because many of us do not mind having proprietary software on our machines (at least not as much as RMS) and prefer to have all the goodies accelerated OpenGL et al. (Debian is still around for RMS & friends.) I can handle the installatio
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @06:40AM (#18009658)
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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Graphics drivers are highly compex and extremely difficult to write and maintain and stay up to date, graphics advances happen tremendously quickly. The community simply cannot keep pace with the functionality and quality required. The test effort alone is huge and the available test cases are actually trivial compared to real world useage. The available drivers are ABI compatible and therefore simple drop-in replacements. Face it people available public implementations don't even have glslang compilers and
    • by MrvFD (711808) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:12AM (#18009794)
      I'd understand the "give us our whatever-blobs"-attitude better if the "half" of the proprietary drivers people want wouldn't suck so bad. On my 64-bit Ubuntu, the proprietary ATI fglrx drivers:
      - Hang the whole machine every time I logout (apparently because I'm using DVI output... gosh!), so I exit that installation of Ubuntu (which is not my primary, just testing the fglrx drivers etc. there) with alt-sysrq-e/i/s/u/b because it's safer.
      - Give only green stripes and a complete hang if using _both_ DVI and VGA outputs at the same time (oh my god, we never though that could happen!).
      - Do not give any 3D support if I happen not to disable Composite/AIGLX in Xorg.conf.

      ...while the reverse-engineered drivers give my Radeon X800 card 3D acceleration, DVI output, DVI+VGA output, accelerated Beryl 3D desktop via AIGLX etc. just finely. So I just don't belive in the FUD (from eg. NVIDIA) that they are so complex and extremely difficult to write, that the worldwide OSS community couldn't do that - those handful of reverse-engineering people are already doing better drivers than ATI with all the in-house knowledge!

      I do symphatize with the people who just want "stuff to work", and know that NVIDIA proprietary drivers happen to be better quality at this time, but all my experiences with binary blobs has been so bad that I will take reverse-engineered drivers anytime, even for NVIDIA.

      For those who haven't read it yet, David Airlied's LCA 2007 talk is a really good and entertaining piece: http://www.skynet.ie/~airlied/talks/lca07/nouveau. odp [skynet.ie] (yes, server's mime-type is probably wrong, you have to save it first)
      • Many years ago, I worked for a manufacturer and wrote a graphics driver. This was a long time ago and on ancient hardware, so I won't name names. If I write a disk driver, the thing is fairly basic and the hardware exposes basic functionality, which most people can get right. A graphics processor, particularly with 3D shading support is *exceptionally* complex. To get it running properly, you not only have to know how it works but what doesn' and usually for several different variation of a chip mask. We d

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dpilot (134227)
          I don't doubt the complexity of graphics drivers. But I'd guess that many people thing their job is just soooo complex, and no doubt many of them say that with considerable merit.

          One interpretation of what you've just said is that graphics chips have a goodly share of bugs, the workarounds are in the drivers, and they're sufficiently embarrassed about it that they keep it all secret.

          Imagine if CPU makers worked the same way.
          • CPU's do have bugs (Score:3, Informative)

            by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *
            Imagine if CPU makers worked the same way.

            I'm sure you know this, but for others reading your post: CPU's do have bugs, the manufacturers publish errata as they find them, the kernel does CPU detection and either works around the bug or uploads a microcode patch for the bug, and everybody gets along swimmingly.
    • I am sure there are things going on with the latest "gaming" cards that open source would have trouble keeping up with but how much "functionality" and "quality" is needed for the desktop? My laptop has an Intel chipset in it and it does an admirable job the the Beryl effects I have set up on my Ubuntu Edgy installtion. The drivers for it are open source (supported heavily by Intel).
  • by drsmithy (35869) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (yhtimsrd)> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:03AM (#18009756)

    Apparently what is probably the premier desktop-oriented Linux distro doesn't think it's stable enough to include, but it's just as good - nay, better - than Aqua and Aero ?

    Sounds like just another day in Linux-land to me :).

    (Aside: I've used Beryl, etc on Ubuntu and it definitely does some cool stuff. To try and suggest it's anything close to the equivalent of OS X's and Vista's offerings, however, ignores some pretty hefty usability issues with regards to getting - and keeping - it working.)

    • by kripkenstein (913150) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @08:03AM (#18010014) Homepage

      Apparently what is probably the premier desktop-oriented Linux distro doesn't think it's stable enough to include, but it's just as good - nay, better - than Aqua and Aero ?

      Sounds like just another day in Linux-land to me :).

      You are comparing them on one aspect, in which admittably the Linux offerings fall short - stability. But the people who say that Compiz/Beryl are better aren't talking about that, they are referring to other aspects - say, that they require less in the way of hardware (especially vs. Vista), or that they allow a lot more user customization.

      So, you are all right.
    • To try and suggest it's anything close to the equivalent of OS X's and Vista's offerings, however, ignores some pretty hefty usability issues with regards to getting - and keeping - it working.)

      Beryl and and Compiz go far beyond the released versions of either OS X or Vista, both in functionality and in architecture. Current OS X and Vista-like functionality have been in X11 desktops since before they were included in Apple's and Microsoft's commercial releases.

      There are no installation issues with Beryl a
      • by drsmithy (35869)

        Beryl and and Compiz go far beyond the released versions of either OS X or Vista, both in functionality and in architecture.

        Really ? How ?

        Current OS X and Vista-like functionality have been in X11 desktops since before they were included in Apple's and Microsoft's commercial releases.

        Right. Which is why the OSS community is making such a big deal of them *now* - because the functionality has been around for ages ? Maybe that would also explain why, until quite recently, those fancy features were now

    • by oohshiny (998054) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @08:36AM (#18010202)
      Apparently what is probably the premier desktop-oriented Linux distro doesn't think it's stable enough to include, but it's just as good - nay, better - than Aqua and Aero ?

      Look who's talking: OS X 10.4 has most OpenGL acceleration disabled by default because Apple doesn't consider it release-ready; to enable them, you have to dig around with low-level settings. The only hardware-accelerated desktop operations in 10.4 appear to be texture operations. And Vista apparently has serious problems with 3D graphics drivers not quite doing what they are supposed to (see FPS story earlier).

      Don't kid yourself: none of this stuff is new and neither Apple nor Microsoft pioneered it. The reason they are all coming to market with this functionality in mainstream systems at around the same time now is because hardware is finally cheap enough and fast enough to do so. If Linux were a little later to market (I don't think it actually is), it has to do with getting drivers out of recalcitrant vendors, not with Linux "following" Apple or Microsoft.
    • by arevos (659374) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @09:22AM (#18010512) Homepage

      Apparently what is probably the premier desktop-oriented Linux distro doesn't think it's stable enough to include, but it's just as good - nay, better - than Aqua and Aero ?
      From a stability perspective, Beryl and Compiz have quite a way to go. However, the base systems seem more flexible than their proprietary counterparts from what I've seen. Do you know if Aqua or Aero have a plugin system that enables one to add third party effects to the graphics system? For instance, could I write a plugin for either desktop that would make my windows "wobble" when moving them around? Or explode in a shower of sparks when closed? Or would adding such features be built into the operating system and unable to be altered or extended by third party developers?

      I don't think it's accurate to say that 3D acceleration on Linux is necessarily better than Aqua and Aero, as it's currently more immature. However, the X based systems seem to me to be more flexible, with a more clearly defined architecture. When this reaches stability, it seems that Linux will enjoy a not insignificant advantage over its competitors. Until then, I'd have to consider it as not better, but perhaps "more promising".
  • by jdub! (24149) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:18AM (#18009810) Homepage
    As with every previous release of Ubuntu, proprietary drivers will be provided and installed by default, but they won't be used by default unless the free drivers do not function at all on the hardware present (a choice that has nothing to do with 3D acceleration). This decision just means that the plans to use proprietary display drivers by default have been nixed, but only for feisty.

    Everyone seems to make a big deal about the display drivers, but Ubuntu has shipped proprietary wifi drivers since warty, and they are used by default on vastly more hardware than the display drivers.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:25AM (#18009838) Homepage Journal
    Well, that sux.
  • by Chineseyes (691744) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:25AM (#18009842)
    for the next few releases I suggest nibbling nymphs, fighting phallus, and nasty necrophiliac.
    • by heroofhyr (777687)
      AFAIK, they have to be the name of an animal and sound like a character from some sort of terrible children's tv programme. Pernicious Penguin, Whistling Wallaby, Heretical Hermit Crab, Frugal Ferret, Balanced Budgie, and so on. Although I'd like to see a future 3d desktop release called Toucan Playatthatgame.
    • they don't begin with the same letter, it would have to be "Pickled Phallus", "Periwinkle Phallus", or perhaps, "Pee-wee Phallus".

      On the other hand, if you are that enamored with the letter "F", you could have "Fluffy Fur-burg{CENSORED}"

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by aug24 (38229)
      Sorry, but sticking with the traditional alphabet it's clearly going to be Gobbling Girlfriend next.

      Ubuntu adoption will go through the roof ;-)

      J.
  • Confused ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by foobsr (693224) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:27AM (#18009856) Homepage Journal
    Quote: "Starting with Ubuntu's 7.04 release in April, Ubuntu users will gain access to Linspire's newly opened CNR (Click and Run) e-commerce and software delivery system."
    referenced here: http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/08/ 1830240 [slashdot.org] : "Canonical and Linspire Make a Deal ... Ubuntu users will get access to proprietary software (DVD players, media codecs) via Linspire's ..."

    What will a potential user make out of this while asking himself whether things will work for him?

    CC.
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jopet (538074) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:29AM (#18009870) Journal
    What is so bad about including the proprietary drivers. For many users, they are the only way to make proper use of their hardware and e.g. run 3D design programs or something like X-Plane under Linux.

    Why make it harder for these users?

    What is so bad about giving me the proprietary but working NVidia driver for my NVidia hardware right from the start instead of forcing me to read countless HOWTOs and jump through holes first?
    • by byolinux (535260) *
      Proprietary drivers are against the spirit of the community.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jopet (538074)
        Sorry, but that community must obviously be 1) nuts and 2) not representative of Linux users if it thinks that way.

        I am really sick and tired to see a couple of fundamentalist nuts hinder the success of Linux through nonsense like this. Until you can actually use hardware the way you do with other OS, Linux on the desktop for everyone will remain fiction.
        It is already sad enough to see how much hardware there is were no driver at all (proprietary or not) is available -- to limit Linux even more by not suppo
        • by byolinux (535260) *
          Actually, it's sad that you feel representative enough of the community to feel you can take away the freedom of others for the sake of the 'success' of GNU/Linux on the desktop. Millions of people are already using the GNU/Linux system, but almost none of those users have a machine that runs only free software because many people are not willing to fight for their freedom.

          I agree a lack of drivers is not a good thing, but we should not give up. Buy hardware from manufacturers that support free drivers and
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by peragrin (659227) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:51AM (#18009966)
      And what happens when the drivers don't work quite right but instead hang the entire kernel on you while your doing some menial task.

      Who's fault is it? Who do you go to get help? I have had the NVidia driver die on me but it killed off the system. when you have a closed blob you can't figure out which part is broken. is it the kernel, or is it a driver?

      That is what is wrong with them. Even on windows. how do you know which part really breaks? is it the crappy third party drivers, or is it MSFT's interface? Both sides blame each other if you ask them. All you can do is throw out the card or wait for an update. At least with linux if you have the mind to you can do the work yourself.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Hal_Porter (817932)
        That is what is wrong with them. Even on windows. how do you know which part really breaks? is it the crappy third party drivers, or is it MSFT's interface? Both sides blame each other if you ask them. All you can do is throw out the card or wait for an update. At least with linux if you have the mind to you can do the work yourself.

        Or you can get Windbg, find the non Microsoft module in the stacktrace and either upgrade or uninstall it.

        Interestingly, on Win XP, the machine uploads a dump to Online Crash An
      • by jopet (538074)
        This is a bit of a contrived argument. First of all, billions of users use mixes of closed software that depend on each other without much of a problem -- in fact with much *less* of a problem than Linux users who have to fight with half- or notatall working or not-existing drivers. Second, it is not that hard to isolate components in a well designed system and to make it easy to figure out which component was the one that failed.
        However, that would mean that there is an explicit way how closed drivers shou
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @08:58AM (#18010322) Homepage Journal

      What is so bad about including the proprietary drivers.

      It breeds complacency. My home desktop has an old GeForce MX 400 card which still works perfectly well. It renders my 1600x1200 desktop cleanly and quickly, and basically does what I want it to. I don't have a strong need for OpenGL but do like to play games occasionally (eg Quake or Second Life) and although it's not fast, it worked perfectly.

      Note I said "worked". Nvidia has officially deprecated my card, so no new drivers will ever support it. New kernel with an incompatible ABI? I can't upgrade to it. Security vulnerability? I can't get the fix. Basically, I can either keep using my system in its current state forever, or buy a new card purely for the driver upgrade.

      Yes, I know my card is old and slow by today's standards. But if it works for me and I'm happy with it, why should I have to replace it? Given that my motherboard has an old Via chipset that Nvidia only supports in AGP 2x mode and that new cards are all but impossible to get working (I've tried), I'm looking at a complete system upgrade just to get a new driver.

      With a Free driver, in the worst case situation I could at least attempt to fix new problems on my own as they arise. With closed drivers, I have no control whatsoever. I like Free software for philosophical reasons, but it also has huge practical advantages. This is one of them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Billly Gates (198444)
        Your card is still supported.

        Infact I referred a few users to go to www.nvidia.com who had your hardware to update their drivers so graphical distortions would go away in our game we made. The latest drivers always helped
    • Um, no. Put away the tarbrush.

      So, here's a handful of reasons why bundling the drivers is bad.

      First, it's copyright infringement two different ways to do so. ATI and Nvidia both forbid commercial and non-commercial redistribution of their drivers -- the only way to get them is from ATI or Nvidia. This is the same on Windows boxes and Linux boxes alike. Also, it's against the terms of the GPL to redistribute (ship) a tainted kernel, if I remember correctly. At any rate, I do know for a fact that the kernel d
  • Sorry but.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:36AM (#18009902)
    I don't understand why we can't use proprietary drivers if they exist. I mean support from the hardware manufacturers are what Linux lacks and needs and what many wants, at least bitch about. Let proprietary and open source live together and take advantage of each others existence since proprietary drivers means that developers have one thing less to do and might use their time onanother project.

    All of the above IMHO of course.
    • by petrus4 (213815)
      I don't understand why we can't use proprietary drivers if they exist.

      Because the FSF and the reactionary, brainwashed morons who support them also want control over what everyone else does, is why.

      "Free as in do as I say."
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mr. Roadkill (731328)

      I don't understand why we can't use proprietary drivers if they exist. I mean support from the hardware manufacturers are what Linux lacks and needs and what many wants, at least bitch about. Let proprietary and open source live together and take advantage of each others existence since proprietary drivers means that developers have one thing less to do and might use their time onanother project.

      Additionally, for some devices with binary-only drivers, there are other matters that prevent the manufacturers

  • I remember it was fairly easy to add the restricted drivers. If this is no longer available, there will be a lot of people not upgrading.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Etyenne (4915)
      No difference from Edgy, the binary drivers will still be available from the restricted repository.

      Shoddy reporting and misleading title ... typical Slashdot staple.
  • The scoop is somewhat confusing. Proprietary video drivers will not be included, because software for the 3D desktop isn't quite ready yet? I can see how software not being stable is a reason for not including it in the distribution. If it was the drivers that weren't ready yet, I could see how one would also not include the 3D desktop software, which, after all, depends on the drivers. However, video card drivers do not depend on 3D desktop software, and there is plenty of software that can make use of the
  • They say that they're downgrading PowerPC support now, and that problems with the PowerPC port will not delay releases, but this isn't actually new. Dapper had some issues with at least certain PowerPC notebooks, and these did not delay the Dapper release, even though they were known well in advance. I don't know whether to be sad that PowerPC officially isn't supported anymore, or happy that it has been officially acknowledged that this is the case.
    • by Psykechan (255694)
      Since they are focusing on including binary drivers from nVidia with the distro and that company has no desire to produce any PowerPC support, Canonical pretty much has no choice than to not support PowerPC as well.

      To me, it's sad on a few levels. I still use PowerPC and lament another distro stoping support and also because Canonical is taking the perceived easier path and kowtowing to the video card manufacturer's "inability" to release information on their hardware.

      Linux means different things to differ
  • Extracted from announcement message here https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-announce / 2007-February/000098.html [ubuntu.com]:

    * There is a clear need for wider testing of open source software under
    development in this area, including both desktop tools and video drivers.

    and
    * However, some of the relevant software necessary to implement this
    proposal is not yet considered mature enough to deploy in the d
  • There's no genuinely sane reason for this, and all it does is greatly inconvenience total newbs...the exact group Ubuntu ostensibly is meant to target.

    Ubuntu needs to find a way to continue development work while not allowing zealots to have influence...because it will only hurt the distribution in the long term.

    I've been reading recently about how there are plans to scrap music DRM entirely, which I knew was going to happen all along, once the companies figured out how unpopular it was. The zealots think
  • Mandriva? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Linegod (9952) <pasnak.warpedsystems@sk@ca> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @10:48AM (#18011412) Homepage Journal
    So Mandriva can do it, but Ubuntu can't, and now all the arguments are 'why Linux can't do it'?

    Since when did Ubuntu become the only Linux? Does everyone fall for marketing that easily?
  • by smash (1351) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @11:31AM (#18011972) Homepage Journal
    OK, background - been a linux user since 1996. I've done the "compiling all my apps from source" shit back in the mid-late 90s with slackware. And by that I mean manually downloading/compiling dependencies, not the "emerge foo" shit that apparently makes gentoo users so 'leet.

    My first experience with ubuntu was 5.10. It installed fine, apt-get install nvidia got my video sorted, and it played MP3s, etc out of the box. Excellent.

    6.06, didn't play MP3s out of the box, and i spent some time (half-assed) rooting around to get my favourite MP3 playing app in KDE to work to no avail. 6.10 shipped with a broken installer that required script hacking to even get it to install on my machine.

    Yes, I could have fixed it, but that's not the point. The point is, I couldn't be bothered, and I'm a fairly experienced linux admin - the distribution is, after all supposed to be the "so easy, your grandma could do it" distro. If i have to fuck with it to get it to work i may as well go back to something like slackware/freebsd (which is surprisingly easy to set up these days really).

    Now they're removing support for closed drivers? Way to go....

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