Nvidia Optimus - Warning in Mint

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Nvidia Optimus - Warning in Mint

Postby anandrkris on Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:42 pm

Hi All,

I have a Nvidia Optimus graphics card with working bumbleee setup and am quite happy with performance. Now that Steam is open for Linux and people are trying hard to get Tux on TF2. I saw many new users experiencing critical issues such as black screen at logon, etc.

Can Mint alert or warn users that Optimus is not offically supported yet and bumblee could be tried?

I see this is as a MAJOR issue becuase not all are aware that Optimus is not supported and installing Nvidia drivers without bumblebee can actually break the system. I sincerely request someone to look into this becuase we're losing lot of potential users and it really pains me to see users leaving linux becuase of this single issue.

If you dont believe my word - please browse through the forums and you will understand the issues users are facing. We need to create awareness about bumblebee.

http://steamcommunity.com/app/221410/discussions/0/
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Re: Nvidia Optimus - Warning in Mint

Postby catweazel on Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:07 am

anandrkris wrote:Can Mint alert or warn users that Optimus is not offically supported yet and bumblee could be tried?

It's highly unlikely. By the time the next release is out, the landscape will have changed and things may be different. Besides, what do steam gamerz think search engines are for?
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Re: Nvidia Optimus - Warning in Mint

Postby anandrkris on Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:40 am

Am not sure but I dont think the landscape will change soon...But can there not be a patch instead of a release?

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=n ... px=MTA0ODE - NVIDIA Talks Of Optimus Possibilities For Linux
http://steamcommunity.com/app/221410/di ... 825749602/ - extract from discussions in Steam community

If you follow Phoronix you'll know the whole situation. In short:
Linus (head honcho of the Linux kernel) wants Nvidia to push out Optimus stuff now.
Nvidia wants to push out Optimus stuff as well to, by using a new feature to communicate between it and the Intel drivers called DMA-BUF. The guys behind Xorg also support it (since they wrote it).
However, DMA-BUF got slapped with a "GPL-Only" flag. Nvidia drivers aren't GPL'ed, causing a problem.
Nvidia's trying (and asking nicely) to get that flag dropped. Some die-hards in the Linux kernel dev space (most notably Alan Cox) say "NO! AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME, MY LAWYER SAYS SO!"
There's three ways of fixing this:
1. Nvidia needs to GPL or shim their drivers.
2. The die-hards need to change their minds about binary-only drivers, probably in the face of user backlash. (I'm very tempted to go up to Alan Cox with my laptop and say "HERE! Optimus is broken in Linux, and it's your fault! You got five minutes to fix it, I got a TF2 tournament that's about to start!")
3. We sue, and the whole thing takes another decade to resolve (the Nuclear option).
Ether way, it's not happening soon.
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Re: Nvidia Optimus - Warning in Mint

Postby zerozero on Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:56 am

first:
i have no idea from where you took that quote but is absolute rubbish:
- optimus is broken in linux because nvidia pushed a technology and blatantly said that wouldn't support linux ( http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showpost.php?s=f9d80101210f81978d482b351e371266&p=2183477&postcount=2 )
- what changed in the meantime?
1- the community (once again) hacked a way to make this unsupported tec. work (bumblebee is the most successful project)
2- kernel and xorg are in continuum development and might now with the upcoming xorg 1.14 support optimus http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTE5MDY

second:
i doubt that such a warning would be useful seeing how many users come asking for support without even knowing what kind of graphics setup they have
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Re: Nvidia Optimus - Warning in Mint

Postby anandrkris on Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:49 am

@zerozero - Not to argue but i feel there is truth in what i've posted...I am not sure if you read through my first link whic is quite recent.

http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/dri-devel/2012-January/018448.html - Alan Cox mail response on dma-buf patch

In fact, I remember sharing you the other article in this forum. As clarified by you, development is only on nouveau.

If you browse through the steam and other linux forums, you will understand my concern. Believe me, there are many such users. For the past two days, I have been active on Steam forum, not to brag - though I am not a gamer myself hanged around in steam forums to help new comers, and there have been many instances where people were not aware of lack of optimus support / bumblebee project.

viewtopic.php?f=59&t=125963 - An example. I can quote many such, bit it will seem pedantic and portray me as a troll. :oops:

A warning surely does not hurt the user but will avert any breakage of system. Anyways, i've shared my concern, i leave it to the experts, developers and Mint team to decide.
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Re: Nvidia Optimus - Warning in Mint

Postby zerozero on Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:38 am

no, not arguing at all :D exchanging ideas is always useful

what i see here with this optimus mess is a 2-fold problem:
1- proper linux support
- and this won't happen if nvidia insists in bending the kernel/xorg because of its shortcomings
- nvidia has a way to go (yet); situations like this bellow can't happen
The developers of the Nouveau driver don't receive any support from NVIDIA and use reverse engineering techniques to obtain the information they need to program their driver. here


2- user awareness
- what you have been doing is important (kudos for that 8) )
- in the end of the day (and this is the lost battle) users can't go buying computers as just another disposable appliance, they should at least know what's in there (again check the number of topics where the user is not even aware of the kind of problem he has)
- if the above is true (and my experience tells me that it is) what's the added value of a warning? you need to know that you have a problem (in this situation a problematic hardware setup) to know that the warning is for you otherwise we might see users with regular geoforce and 1 gpu setup install and try to configure bumblebee (happened)
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Re: Nvidia Optimus - Warning in Mint

Postby anandrkris on Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:13 pm

@1 - It is not directly in our hands. Proper support is only Wishful thinking.

@2 - Thanks, even this post is to garner attention. :wink:
I find merit in what you're saying but sadly many users blindly follow tutorials and may not be as knowledgeable as desired. Unfortunately, even some of the existing tutorials have no mention of bumblebee as a pre-requisite before installing proprietary Nvidia drivers with Optimus and an integrated graphics cars .
Another case in point.

Just thinking aloud, can't the below check be used in the warning to determine whether both Intel and Nvidia are present.
Code: Select all
lspci | grep VGA

With the above, I rest my case. :)

P.S.A Added some cases for clairty / reference -
Help with getting Ubuntu to detect correct GPU
Issues with GPU
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