Good news for Linux users, NVIDIA is finally working on a new vesion of its’ non-free drivers for Linux which will bring support for its infamous Optimus technology. This technology is used in laptops to save battery life as it automatically switches the power of the GPU off when it is not needed and switching it on when needed again. Linux users were not able to take advantage of this technology due to lack of support by NVIDIA.
NVIDIA’s plans to support Linux was revealed in an email by Aaron Plattner who has managed to get a proof of concept working.
So I’ve been experimenting with support for Dave Airlie’s new RandR 1.4 provider object interface, so that Optimus-based laptops can use our driver to drive the discrete GPU and display on the integrated GPU. The good news is that I’ve got a proof of concept working.
Optimus has been a pain in the neck for Linux users and they can’t get most out of those laptops that use this technology. NVIDIA came under fire in June when Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, flipped a finger and said “NVIDIA, Fuck You!” Linus was responding to a question asked during a Q&A session at Aalto University in Finland. An attendee shared the problem she was facing with the infamous Nvidia Optimus chip on her Linux machine.
Linus doesn’t express his opinion often, but when he does it gets realserious. As I say when Linus sneezes the Linux world gets cold.