For a long time, Nvidia has been one of the Linux operating system's biggest bug bears. Linus Torvalds, the founder of the Linux Kernel, described it as the worst company his organisation had ever worked with. Shockingly though, now that Valve has aligned itself so strongly with Linux and is in the future set to release its own ValveOS based around a Linux distro, Nvidia wants to improve its relationship with the alternative OS.
As Ars said,, Nvidia's Andy Ritger got in touch with the team behind an open source driver called Nouveau, designed to make Nvidia cards work with Linux and said:
“Nvidia is releasing public documentation on certain aspects of our GPUs, with the intent to address areas that impact the out-of-the-box usability of Nvidia GPUs with Nouveau,” he wrote. “We intend to provide more documentation over time, and guidance in additional areas as we are able.”
He also promised more BIOS information, with the eventual goal to give Nvidia and Linux users, as streamlined an experience as those that use the GPUs on the Windows platform.
Linus Torvald has responded to the news, saying he's quietly optimistic, but isn't quite ready to retract his declaration of Nvidia being the worst company, just yet.
Of course the timing is perfect here. With Valve's recent OS announcement, Nvidia has seen that a lot of its potential customers may one day be running Linux distributions via ValveOS. If its drivers suck, those customers will go to competitor AMD instead, so it needs to sort itself and quick.
Even with Nvidia's about face here though, if you were buying a new PC with ValveOS in mind, would you go AMD or Nvidia?