CHIP DESIGNER Nvidia has joined the Linux Foundation, though there is no news about whether the firm will open source its Linux graphics drivers.
Nvidia's decision to join the Linux Foundation is undoubtedly welcome, with the firm's GPUs popular in the consumer and especially workstation markets, where Linux popularity is growing. However Nvidia's decision to join didn't carry any guarantee that it will be open sourcing its future Linux drivers.
Nvidia has often been seen as the lesser of two evils when it comes to Linux display drivers. ATI then AMD's Linux support has been seen as weak at best, and while Nvidia's drivers have been kept up-to-date, the firm doesn't open source them, meaning developers cannot get direct access to tweak the code.
Scott Pritchett, VP of Linux Platform Software at Nvidia said, "Membership in The Linux Foundation will accelerate our collaboration with the organizations and individuals instrumental in shaping the future of Linux, enabling a great experience for users and developers of Linux." Pritchett also affirmed the firm's support for Linux.
Both AMD and Intel have been members of the Linux Foundation for some time, and Intel in particular commits a significant amount of code for the Linux kernel. While Nvidia's decision to join is not necessarily an indication that it will open source its graphics drivers, many end users will settle for improved support. µ