[svlug] Installing NVIDIA Drivers on RH 8.0

Ken Blake kblake at ptc.com
Tue Oct 22 12:41:23 PDT 2002

David Leimbrock wrote:
>  From what I've observed on linux-kernel, most developers don't want
> anything to do with the nvidia drivers.  F.e, when 'tainted' kernel oops
> are posted the first thing the individual is usually told is to try and
> reproduce the problem without any binary only (ie. Nvidia) modules
> loaded.  If the problem is then no longer reproducible, they're
> correctly directed towards the vendor (ie. Nvidia).
> I personally don't have any problems either with Nvidia or the binary
> mod's but at the same time can appreciate why Redhat/Mandrake feel that
> they don't have the tools (source) necessary to support.

Since the kernel driver source code is available I assume the tainting
is from the license agreement.  I just reviewed it a little more closely
and it is a bit strange.  For Linux it allows unlimited copies but in another
clause says you cannot reverse engineer or obtain the source.  But
they've made the source available so this seems a bit of a contradiction.

If by not including the drivers, Mandrake and Red Hat are trying to
persuade nVidia to loosen up their license agreement, I can understand
and support that.  It's hard to believe that nVidia thinks their competitors
are so stupid that they would learn anything significant by looking at the
driver source.


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