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Thread: A Synopsis Of Linux Graphics Drivers

  1. #1
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    Default A Synopsis Of Linux Graphics Drivers

    Phoronix: A Synopsis Of Linux Graphics Drivers

    With all of our coverage at Phoronix of the different ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers, if you're new to Linux or just get caught off guard by all of the different open and closed-source drivers, it can be confusing to know which driver is right for you and your needs. At the request of many readers, and the obvious need for a concise article explaining the different solutions, we have written a synopsis of the Linux graphics drivers currently available. This is really to let those new to Linux know what choices are available for them and their graphics card.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=11396

  2. #2
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    Only one note about the article for those who might be new to Linux: The article doesn't say how would a user actually use the drivers. Maybe a compliment article explaining a bit of the Section "Device" in Xorg might be in order?

    I know I'd love to see one such article for all the possible options that the fgrlx driver can put in that section, which are rather obscure *hint*hint*

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thetargos View Post
    I know I'd love to see one such article for all the possible options that the fgrlx driver can put in that section, which are rather obscure *hint*hint*
    With that, what about an article regarding the hidden aticonfig options... Wait, did I say that?

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    Indeed... That would be very useful

  5. #5
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    The graphics stack in Linux isn't really KISS "keep it simple, stupid". The diversity of drivers some packaged with xorg, some kernel modules, .. The Xgl/Aiglx/nvidia , the cairo/glitz/.. It's too much to comprehend for me as mortal. But i guess making a for dummies article on the entire stack is somewhat out of the scope of phoronix.. shame

    Nice article though, kind of confronting if you realize that you knew all that by heart in active knowledge ... made me wonder if i shouldn't get drunk more often.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by rolz View Post
    The graphics stack in Linux isn't really KISS "keep it simple, stupid". The diversity of drivers some packaged with xorg, some kernel modules, .. The Xgl/Aiglx/nvidia , the cairo/glitz/.. It's too much to comprehend for me as mortal. But i guess making a for dummies article on the entire stack is somewhat out of the scope of phoronix.. shame

    Nice article though, kind of confronting if you realize that you knew all that by heart in active knowledge ... made me wonder if i shouldn't get drunk more often.
    I may write a more comprehensive one on drivers and "desktop bling" in the future, but most have just requested one clarifying all of the different drivers -- especially for the different ATI choices.

  7. #7
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    You didn't state probably the most useful thing that users of the open-source driver should know:

    * The 2D component of the driver (the one responsible for drawing windows, viewing videos, etc. etc.) is distributed by X.org in the xf86-video-{ati,nv,via,$ALL_OTHERS}
    * The 3D component of the driver (the one responsible for OpenGL acceleration, compiz effects, etc. etc.) is distributed by Mesa3D in the "mesa" package

    If you have a problem with 2D you must report the bug to your distro's or to freedesktop's bugzilla and clearly indicate the xf86-video-* version. If you have a problem with 3D you must indicate the version of mesa.

    It's good practice to always indicate both, and xorg-xserver version number as well.

    The same's true when you review the performances of the drivers, test the compatibility of graphics software, etc. etc.

  8. #8
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    Yes, thank you. This article was needed. As people try to move away from Windows to a *nix, the whole install and forget is not there yet. I look for the day when I can burn a Live CD, hand it off ot my parents and let them replace Windows with something of equal function and [almost] zero hassle. But until then, I need to come up to speed with Linux. So yeas, this article is the first third of what I'd like to see.

    The middle thrid third should be how to install. With many varients of Linux, there are also many variants of installing drivers and apps. Git here, sudo there, automatix, Envy, etc. Having the time and patience to actually write all most of the permutations could be very rewarding (A book deal, perhaps?)

    The final third is the most technical, an insider's guide to the drivers. Explain all the flags during a make build or an install to optimize. Post installatiomn configuration changes to X.conf and other tweaks round out this third.

    Yes, thank you for this article. When the others follow me into the Linuz world, it will be nice to point them here for some important base knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I may write a more comprehensive one on drivers and "desktop bling" in the future, but most have just requested one clarifying all of the different drivers -- especially for the different ATI choices.

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    I thought the article was clear enough for the purposes of stating what is out there and outline the differences. We all spotted parts where more articles will be of use and all... why don't we all get something written, submit that to Michael and make a coherent from A to Z of Linux graphics... Better yet, why not write all that in a wiki? (again, someone tampered with my soda at the club earlier in the afternoon, I'm sure! Now I'm splashing ideas all over the place )

  10. #10
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    please format this synopsis into a table

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