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Ubuntu Unity, GNOME 3: The Video Driver March of Folly

May 25, 2011, 17:08 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

[ Thanks to James Maguire for this link. ]

"Specifically, I'm referring to the fact that drivers with 3-D hardware acceleration are required by both GNOME 3 and Unity. Whether each development team decided on this requirement separately, or whether one decided that it must match the other in sophistication, will probably never be known. But the fact remains that two of the leading desktops now require what, for FOSS, is advanced -- at times, even bleeding edge -- technology.

"This requirement is a problem for two reasons. First, in general, FOSS hardware acceleration lags behind that of other operating systems. Video drivers is an expert's field, but, Phoronix's Linux Graphics Survey in September 2010 suggests that more or less reliable hardware acceleration is available only for 72% of Linux desktops -- those using Intel, Catalyst/fglrx, and NVidia drivers. (And many would quibble about the reliability of each of these drivers)."

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