Nvidia on Linux

Good or Bad for FOSS? Ubuntu to Package Proprietary Nvidia Driver

NVIDIA is one of the most widely used graphic cards in the market today and it seems its support for Linux just got a boost. Not every company believes in open source and maybe Canonical realizes this so they made this move.

It seems Ubuntu developers are planning to add the proprietary Nvidia drivers to the ISO of the next release of Ubuntu (19.10).

However, these drivers will not be activated/enabled by default.

The reason for backing these drivers is simple. As mentioned in the Launchpad bug report, “On Ubuntu desktop, without a network connection, the user can elect to install 3rd party drivers (which states that it’ll install graphics driver) but even if the user selects this option, Nvidia proprietary drivers won’t be installed because they are not on the pool of the ISO.”

With drivers backed into the ISO, users can install these drivers without Internet. To ensure that there won’t be any licensing issues, Will Cooke of Canonical said that they have worked with Nvidia to ensure that they are allowed to distribute the drivers on the ISO. Depending on user feedback, Canonical might also back-port this to earlier releases of Ubuntu.

All the same, Canonical will continue to offer open-source Nouveau drivers as the default driver for NVIDIA cards.

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