[sclug] Vanilla linux-friendly graphics card?

Alex Butcher lug at assursys.co.uk
Thu Jun 18 15:42:13 UTC 2009

On Thu, 18 Jun 2009, John Stumbles wrote:

> Any suggestions for a cheap graphics card that plays well with Linux (in the 
> sense of not requiring closed-source, possibly buggy drivers, for example). 
> Needs to do up to 1280x1024 24-bit colour but no fancy 3-D games or anything 
> like that.

Really nothing special. Anything from about 1998 on should suffice, assuming
it fits.

> Or if anyone's got something kicking around, looking for a nice 
> FLOSS-friendly home :-)
> It could fit a standard PCI slot or there's a longer slot the now-defunct 
> NVIDIA card came out of (AGP?)

As far as GPUs go these days, I think there are three manufacturers to
consider: Intel, nVidia and ATI.  Intel would tick all the boxes, but I
haven't seen any on anything other than a motherboard for years now.  Many
ATI and nVidia cards have some degree of 3D support in Free drivers these
days (radeon for the ATI, nouveau or the 2D-only nv driver for nVidia).

I used to prefer ATI due to their greater level of co-operation with FOSS
developers, but I've found more bugs in the Free drivers than nVidia's
proprietary drivers. nVidia's proprietary drivers have a better reputation
than ATI's too, I think.

Until the Open Graphics Card Project
<http://wiki.opengraphics.org/tiki-index.php> becomes mass-market, I think
this is a battle mostly lost.


More information about the Sclug mailing list