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X Devs Drop NVIDIA Auto-Config Support

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Software

Sparking a heated Sunday afternoon debate, NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner had commited a trivial change to the X Server that resulted in several key open-source X developers becoming disgruntled. Ultimately, this NVIDIA-spawned patch ended up being recalled just hours later.

This aim of this patch was quite simple. Graphics processors with a vendor ID of 0x10de (which means one from NVIDIA Corporation) it would attempt to auto-configure the server to use NVIDIA's binary driver (if installed) before defaulting to the open-source xf86-video-nv driver. This patch had nothing to do with making the X Server require this binary blob or anything along those lines, but if the proprietary NVIDIA driver is present, the server would use it. This would allow the NVIDIA driver to be used without having a xorg.conf file present or manually specifying the driver to load. The xorg.conf file will eventually be removed in favor of greater auto-configuration and other persistent driver options. Some Linux vendors have already begun shipping their distributions without this configuration file by default.

Aaron Plattner's reasoning for this patch was that if the user has chosen to install the binary driver from NVIDIA for enabling 3D acceleration, it should be automatically used.

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