NVIDIA responds to criticism by Torvalds
NVIDIA has responded to the harsh criticism recently expressed towards the company by Linux creator Linus Torvalds. Torvalds had scolded the company for not providing official support for its Optimus technology and for not sufficiently collaborating with the kernel developers. The statement, which was published on several web sites such as nV News, has not yet appeared on NVIDIA's official web site.
The message begins with NVIDIA reaffirming its support for the Linux platform. "Supporting Linux is important to NVIDIA, and we understand that there are people who are as passionate about Linux as an open source platform as we are passionate about delivering an awesome GPU experience." The statement goes on to explain that the company has made changes to its installers and documentation for the Optimus technology, pointing to the community-driven and open source Bumblebee project as the de facto way to support the technology on Linux.
NVIDIA also points out that it has "made a decision to support Linux on our GPUs by leveraging NVIDIA common code, rather than the Linux common infrastructure" and that this would allow it "to provide the most consistent GPU experience to our customers, regardless of platform or operating system." Ironically, this leads to Optimus currently not being supported by the official NVIDIA drivers for Linux.
Finally, the statement mentions that NVIDIA has been contributing a lot of code to the ARM portions of the Linux kernel lately. The company also says that its model of supporting Linux means that Linux users have drivers available when new graphics cards enter the market and that their performance and configuration options are comparable to the Windows drivers. NVIDIA's statements on the release dates of their drivers may result in objections from the Linux community, however, as Intel manages to release their open source drivers concurrently with the market launch of their GPUs as well. In several cases, the Intel drivers were even released before the corresponding card reached the market.