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Nvidia responds to Linus Torvalds' scathing criticisms over Linux compatibility

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Nvidia responds to recent harsh criticisms of the company's support for the Linux operating system by explaining how it handles drivers for its GPUs and how it contributes to the kernel.

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Linux Penguin
Linux Penguin

In response to Linus Torvalds' harsh criticisms of Nvidia's interaction with the Linux community, the company issued a statement to Phoronix today stating that "supporting Linux is important," and that it understands people's frustrations. To address the immediate remarks about its Optimus laptop graphics system — which allows users to toggle between discrete and integrated graphics — Nvidia says that it has made changes in its R295 drivers that will make Linux driver developers' lives a little easier.

However, Nvidia tempers readers' enthusiasm:

"...we have made a decision to support Linux on our GPUs by leveraging Nvidia common code, rather than the Linux common infrastructure. While this may not please everyone, it does allow us to provide the most consistent GPU experience to our customers, regardless of platform or operating system."

The company also points out that many of its GPUs are supported by Linux and that, even though it doesn't contribute as much code as some users would like to the x86 Linux kernel, it does contribute very heavily to the ARM kernel for its Tegra processors. While this response from Nvidia doesn't indicate a change on the company's part, it's also unlikely to change the open source community's opinion on the GPU maker either. You can hear Torvalds' contentions with Nvidia in the video below.