4 for 4, and its not good

Ubuntu 10.04. 4 separate machines. All having some sort of nVidia card for CUDA/GPU work. All started from base desktop load.

All, every single one of them, unable to update to CUDA enabled drivers. Or even to the Canonical hosted non-CUDA drivers.

Get a black screen. On all 4 boxen. With vanilla loads. With very different motherboards.

I appear to be in good company. Few people can get the NVidia drivers working. There are some links, and yes, I have now tried most of what was indicated.

Our choices are to

  1. use nouveau, give up on accelerated graphics and GPU programming
  2. use a different distribution that doesn’t completely break this

We are opting for #2. My 9.04 on my laptop will go out of support in a few months (as it will on my various desktops). Thats when we will switch. We will evaluate until then.

I should note that Fedora 12 seems to have the same anti-NVidia disease.

I should also note that, given the direction of computing in general, moving rapidly to accelerator based systems … yeah … one could say that Canonical allowed ideology to get in front of practicality. I expect this from Fedora, as they have taken some rather bad decisions in the past and played with them as a beta for RHEL. I don’t expect this from a distribution that purports to provide long term support, first and foremost, by disabling functionality you have purchased and expect to be able to use.

Current contenders for our consideration include Centos + upgrades to Gnome and other bits, Debian, and a few others.

I should also note that we are displeased with some of their other decisions on the distro side, which make adding value atop their system far harder than it needs to be. We are redoing Delta-V’s OS load as a result. It will be no different in base OS load than JackRabbit.

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