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Nvidia Removed Linux Driver Feature Due to Windows

By - Source: Softpedia | B 28 comments

The reason seems a little contradictory.

Softpedia points to a Nvidia Developer Zone forum post revealing that the company has removed a specific Linux feature as of the v310 drivers due to the Windows platform. A BaseMosaic user on Ubuntu 12.04 noticed a change in the number of displays that can be used simultaneously after upgrading from the v295 drivers to v310.

According to the post, the Ubuntu user connected three displays using BaseMosaic, backed by Nvidia's v310 drivers and two GeForce GTX 560 Ti cards in SLI. But after configuring the xorg.conf file and adding the supposedly supported fourth display, only three monitors would light up.

"Then I tried installing the v325 drivers after uninstalling all the Ubuntu Nvidia packages," the post reads. "This only worked for 2 monitors, because I couldn't get BaseMosaic working anymore, even not from the Nvidia GUI after enabling advanced options. After a little bit of research I found that v310 only supports up to 3 monitors in BaseMosaic, the same is valid for v325."

Yet in v295, the Ubuntu user was able to get four monitors up and running. So why was BaseMosaic altered to support only three monitors instead? Nvidia explains. "For feature parity between Windows and Linux we set BaseMosaic to 3 screens," said "Sandpit" of Nvidia's Linux team.

What's interesting here is that Nvidia's proprietary Windows driver has features not found in the Linux drivers, but the company will remove specific Linux-only features for "parity." The comment indicates that the three-screen limit has nothing to do with a degradation of quality when using four screens, but a possible Microsoft request/demand.

Nvidia's driver documentation states that BaseMosaic can be used to extend a single X screen transparently across all of the available display outputs on each GPU.

"This is like SLI Mosaic mode except that it does not require a video bridge connected to the graphics cards," the notes read. "Due to this Base Mosaic does not guarantee there will be no tearing between the display boundaries. Base Mosaic is supported on all the configurations supported by SLI Mosaic Mode. It is also supported on Quadro FX 380, Quadro FX 580 and all G80 or higher non-mobile NVS cards."

It will be interesting to see if Nvidia returns four-monitor support back to its Linux drivers, given that the reason for removing the feature seems a little contradictory.

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  • 26 Hide
    fimbulvinter , October 3, 2013 12:53 PM
    Nvidia's day isn't complete without shitting on Linux for no apparent reason.
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    WithoutWeakness , October 3, 2013 12:39 PM
    Odd that they would decrease the Linux screen limit rather than increase the Windows screen limit. If the GPU can easily push 4 screens I don't see why you shouldn't be able to use them all, especially if you could before. I wonder what other features have been cut or diminished to bring the Linux driver in line with the Windows driver or if AMD cards have OS feature discrepancies between drivers.
  • 26 Hide
    fimbulvinter , October 3, 2013 12:53 PM
    Nvidia's day isn't complete without shitting on Linux for no apparent reason.
  • 4 Hide
    Spooderman , October 3, 2013 12:54 PM
    Hey Toms...Chrome is constantly detecting malware on pages of your site. I'm sure there's nothing to worry about but I don't know why it started doing it.
  • 5 Hide
    Akizu , October 3, 2013 1:01 PM
    This seems like the dumbest thing ever... If it was possible to have 4 screens under linux then this must be a software limitation... I won't be surprised if someone will find a way to hack nvidia driver to support 4 screens for both windows and linux...
  • 9 Hide
    JD88 , October 3, 2013 1:04 PM
    The big question here is why there would be a 3 screen limit in Windows to begin with. Is there some technical reason as to why 4 screens work under Linux but not Windows? If so, and Linux has an advantage, this sounds like someone at MS wasn't too happy about it and threw a fit which would not be out of character for the company.
  • 0 Hide
    abimocorde , October 3, 2013 1:05 PM
    Back to AMD...
  • 2 Hide
    DRosencraft , October 3, 2013 1:12 PM
    This really is baffling. My best guess for any possible excuse is that 3 monitors is more common than 4, and they didn't feel like doing whatever debugging or coding upkeep needed to make sure that 4 actually worked. They must have been hoping no one noticed, as I for one had no idea that card could push 4 displays in the first place.
  • 4 Hide
    firefoxx04 , October 3, 2013 1:25 PM
    this is sad. ive always had good luck with nvidia under linux. my amd gpus always have driver issues under linux and never seem to work... i guess if only supporting 3 screens is nvidias biggest problem, there is not much to worry about.
  • 3 Hide
    pyromanicadeluxe , October 3, 2013 2:34 PM
    Microsoft requesting Nvidia nerf linux-only features? Do I sense fear in the once mighty beast?
  • -1 Hide
    pyromanicadeluxe , October 3, 2013 2:35 PM
    Microsoft requesting Nvidia nerf linux-only features? Do I sense fear in the once mighty beast?
  • 4 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 3, 2013 2:42 PM
    Quote:
    Microsoft requesting Nvidia nerf linux-only features? Do I sense fear in the once mighty beast?


    I think the reasoning is more of an assumption at this point.

    Considering that Linux has a very small market share that has very little gamers I don't think that's the real reason.

    Of course one company will try to point fingers in order to save face.

    Honestly its stupid to do that or to change something that did work. I wonder if they ran into issues with newer cards on those drivers and just removed it for all of them. I honestly hate trying to setup multiple displays on Linux but if it works, then why take it out?

    I honestly doubt MS cares enough to do something like that as it would be considered monopolistic to try and limit Linux.
  • 2 Hide
    socalboomer , October 3, 2013 2:44 PM
    I've never found a 3 max limit on Windows. . . might be because I'm not using nVidia but even when I was (under XP) I didn't have any problems driving four monitors. . . really not sure what's going on here, but there's a lot of smelly . . .
  • 3 Hide
    smeezekitty , October 3, 2013 3:25 PM
    Hmm... NVidia deliberately breaking functionality in drivers - what else is new.
  • 6 Hide
    Gamma12 , October 3, 2013 3:40 PM
    Okay where is is Linus now?
  • 4 Hide
    Blazer1985 , October 3, 2013 5:01 PM
    To me it looks like an excuse to push quadros for more-then-3-monitors configurations (think about genlock - memlock).
    Always IMHO it is the same reason why 780s can't have double Floating point units unlocked by the driver (even though titans / quadros can). For once I don't think Microsoft is involved :-D
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , October 3, 2013 5:49 PM
    Quote:


    I honestly doubt MS cares enough to do something like that as it would be considered monopolistic to try and limit Linux.


    You're absolutely right, Microsoft would never do something that would be considered monopolistic. It's certainly not like they have a track record of doing anything like that.
  • 5 Hide
    southernshark , October 3, 2013 6:42 PM
    Quote:
    Linux is irrelevant to literally 99.9% of PC users since it has .1% market share...who cares.


    With SteamOS and Android being Linux based it matters more every day. And yes there is an x86 version of Android. With MS making little new contribution to computing functionality it's market share can only diminish. So it may start to matter.
  • 7 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , October 3, 2013 7:35 PM
    I believe Linus Torvalds is having the finger manicured as we speak.
  • 3 Hide
    CrArC , October 4, 2013 1:40 AM
    Quote:
    Linux is irrelevant to literally 99.9% of PC users since it has .1% market share...who cares.


    Comments like the above make me wonder how the world hasn't yet disappeared into a gravitational vortex of stupidity.
  • 0 Hide
    digiex , October 4, 2013 2:47 AM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_36yNWw_07g
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