Linus from Linus Tech Tips recently released a couple of videos where he attempts to use Linux as his daily driver, and makes some interesting decisions. In this video, Tom and Jay, two full-time Linux users, share their thoughts on how Linus could’ve done better.
TBH I use my Linux PC (Manjaro-i3) mostly for work (Blender, Python, etc) and my Dad for programming and ML stuff. I’m not really a gamer, I just like ones like MSFS and ATS/ETS2 that I play on my Windows PC. That actually works out nice, because we both use the Linux one for working, so keeping games separate is a good idea anyway.
IDK why LTT didn’t try a USB live distro to test first, though; that seems so basic.
One nitpick I have regarding this video is that, around 00:54:00, Jay says something like:I don't think it is Linux's fault that nVidia (or any other company for that matter) doesn't provide support or drivers for Linux. And many people who criticized and who were in support of Linus fail to see this. Both sides do it. It is true that the Linux experience using nVidia products is not great, but people still put the blame on Linux for some reason.
If Intel hypothetically stopped making CPUs compatible with Windows, like say, they moved to Itanium again, because they get more demand or more money from that side than x86_64, people wouldn’t blame Intel because they aren’t making x86 CPUs anymore right? Well, some will, but that’s not a legitimate criticism, everyone would just vote with their wallet and move to AMD if they kept making x86. Most people would be asking Microsoft to make Windows compatible with Itanium or ARM, but criticism that they don’t is invalid (or rather, not legitimate). And people wouldn’t complain to Microsoft that WinRAR doesn’t work on Windows on Itanium / ARM, they would complain to WinRAR the company to port their proprietary program to the new Windows.
And back to nVidia, I wouldn’t put the blame on them either. I would not blame anything or anyone. It’s not Linux responsibility to support nVidia products, it is not distro developers’ job either. And nVidia has no obligation to support Linux either. For that matter, even Microsoft has no obligation to keep making Windows for x86, they can at any time they desire just kill it, declare that they will only support Windows 10 and 11 until they hit EOL, but only as extended-support and not feature releases, i.e. basically the platforms would be dead unless something critical happens that requires a patch. And MS could either move on to, idk, make Android phones or something, or just continue to offer Azure and cloud office365.
Of course, Microsoft would probably not get away with killing Windows 11 before EOL, because they promised to paying customers that it will receive feature updates. RedHat managed to pull the rug from under CentOS 8 because they had no obligation to serve anyone until RHEL hit EOL. But after a while, it is plausible that MS could kill Windows if they so desire and people can put the blame on Microsoft for not making Windows x86 anymore all day long, but that won’t change a thing unless MS changes their minds.
So, to conclude, it’s not Linux’s fault, it’s not nVidia’s fault, it just so happens that the compatibility between the two is not great. People need to deal with it, grow up and stop blaming manufacturers for not supporting a platform (of course, they can ask the manufacturers to support a platform, that’s perfectly reasonable, but they cannot legitimately criticize them for not doing it) and also stop blaming a platform for not supporting a platform.
You cannot have software that doesn’t work on any hardware (that would at best be pseudo-code) and you cannot have software that magically works on all hardware. Someone has to write software for a certain hardware if the instructions / protocols / APIs are not standardized. And people are not entitled to someone else’s labor.
Ok, I’ve digressed a bit too much, but I think I’ve made the point clear. Again, it’s more of a nitpick at Jay’s (and a lot of other people’s) argument. But unlike most people, Jay understands that it’s not Linux fault because nVidia doesn’t have good support for it. nVidia could do better and adhere to the mesa standard on Linux, but they are not obligated to. But with how things are turning out, it seems kinda inevitable at some point, because of how good the stack is.
But Nvidia drivers work fine on Linux, even with multiple GPUs. I use it every day and beat on it with Blender and my dad with his ML stuff. It just works.
Yeah, the drivers aren’t open-source, but they do work well just the same.
Yeah, I know that, I was just making a point. Linus and Luke wouldn’t have gone through a whole month of using Linux on an nVidia system if it didn’t work at least partially. I used the nouveau drivers in the past (many years ago) and that worked perfectly fine for me. And it appears the proprietary drivers worked well for Linus and Luke (and for you), otherwise they wouldn’t have played any game.
I agree for the most part.
I might’ve misspoke about something. Yes, Nvidia support on Linux not mirroring the quality on Windows isn’t the fault of Linux, that’s true. IIRC, I was moreso bringing that up as a legitimate thing that’s better on Windows, not that it’s Linux’s fault. When I mentioned that I blame the Linux community for some things, I was moreso talking about the reputation side of things. Linux fans will often claim that Linux works on everything and blindly recommend that everyone install it (without checking compatibility) and I think sometimes that mindset works against it.
Not only that, but if there was a packaging issue with Steam, then there’s no excuse for that. (Assuming Linus didn’t do something off-camera to make that happen). I have seen packaging issues in distributions every now and then, and I never understand why that kind of thing happens given that we have a culture of testing things in development environments before graduating changes to production. I think we need more information on if Linus broke something before that, or there was an upstream package issue.
When it comes to Nvidia supporting the Linux platform, I can see your point there - but I think it gets a bit frustrating when a company decides to support a platform, and then decides to do the minimum amount of work possible and give users a subpar experience. In that case, the debate turns a corner and I wonder if it does more damage to not support a platform at all, or choose to support that platform but give their users a subpar experience. Either way, their customers lose.
To be fair, like Buffy mentioned, the drivers do work, but there have been some quality control issues on Linux that doesn’t seem to happen as often on Windows (unless I’m mistaken).
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