Coordinating work around newer upstream Nvidia drivers for users

Shane Fagan shanepatrickfagan at
Mon Aug 10 23:55:00 UTC 2015

Hey Jorge,

Nice idea, if any help is needed ill throw my hat in the ring for it too, I
think its a pretty important cause to push gaming as much as we can.

Some things to note, so this is an Nvidia only thing going by what you are
saying, could we have a split for AMD users too? Also I know there are a
few PPAs out there like ( for the
latest bleeding edge open source graphic stack which would be cool if we
could bless one of those as well. Also I'm sure AMD can send out some cards
for people if needed to test the AMD stack in such an effort, I have a
contact if anyone wants to ask them directly.

Also what about tweaks like setting the CPU usage to performance mode, it
has a slight bump at least for my machine in frame rates. (cpupower
frequency-set performance)

The biggest question I have is the future of the effort given the move away
from apt to Snappy eventually. Can someone elaborate on what the idea for
the future of PPAs after Snappy comes to the desktop, I'm presuming it will
be the default eventually. Could we conceivably have a Snap that would be
just for gaming?

One last thing but aside from the topic slightly, the Steam package in
Ubuntu is semi-broken for certain systems because the installer doesn't
have the newest Steam runtime so it just straight up breaks on 15.04. The
workaround is to either disable the runtime or delete the bundled libs for
libgcc, libstdc++ and libxcb. Could we get that updated or just do a script
that wget's the one from Valve instead and installs that instead of the one
in the repo? It is a massive annoyance and it might confuse some users who
don't know how to get around.


On Tue, 11 Aug 2015 at 00:07 Jorge O. Castro <jorge at> wrote:

> ... or, how I wanted to kill Orcs all weekend, but instead I was
> wrestling with my operating system.
> So, Shadow of Mordor was recently released on Linux so I happened to
> have some spare parts, rebuilt a computer, and then ended up not
> playing because our Nvidia driver story in Trusty isn't ideal. It's
> not terrible, it worked, but I think we can do better. After some
> googling I found two people who are doing amazing work:
> The first is Michael Marley:
> And the 2nd is Jason DeRose from system-76:
> So, I approached both Will Cooke and Alberto Milone on how we could do
> a better job of getting all this goodness to users with the least
> amount of breakage.
> Will responded with "Talk to the right people, get some +1's and tell
> me how I can help". That's this email. :)
> Alberto responded with "We spend a bunch of time testing drivers,
> which is why we look slow, as long as we don't break that..."
> I just got off the phone with Michael and Jason, and I'd like to start
> this discussion. First off:
> ## Why?
> - The amount of Linux games being released is ever increasing; the
> demand for fresh drivers in a fast developing market is becoming hard
> to ignore, users are going to want the latest upstream has to offer,
> and historically that's why we're here; we should strive to deliver
> the best experience.
> - With Windows 10 Nvidia is now directly publishing their drivers into
> Windows update. That means they can deliver a kickass experience with
> almost no effort from the user. Until we can convince Nvidia to do the
> same with Ubuntu we're going to have to pick up the slack.
> ## What I propose
> Jason and Michael have done a ton of work to deliver these goodies in
> PPAs, here's where I think we should go:
> - Let's not break distro, SRUs and existing distro policies exist for
> a reason; breaking my dad's computer isn't worth it, so ....
> - Let's do a "blessed" PPA with the latest drivers, so that people can
> just get those drivers without resorting to xorg-edgers and bleeding.
> - This PPA can have a "give be the latest bling" section, which is
> basically automated builds of the latest drivers; and a "stable"
> section that is basically a few days behind for people who want the
> latest, but don't want to be beta testers.
> - Lets work to ensure that there's a nice way to get back to the
> stable drivers in distro and that for users opting in won't be stuck
> in a weird broken state.
> - Lets add a hook to the graphical driver installer for "Pure upstream
> nvidia driver", which would enable this PPA. (Actually the entire
> wording of the drivers in that capplet is horrible, but let's save
> that for another day).
> - We should ensure that there is an understanding of support; we're
> going to give you the latest driver from Nvidia, and if it breaks, you
> get to keep both pieces. :) Last thing we want is people reporting
> bugs on binary drivers that we can't fix.
> - I would like to dip into the community fund to provide Michael and
> Jason with hardware for development and testing. Carl Richell told me
> that they have no problems sourcing hardware for testing for Jason,
> but I'd like to ensure that Michael is sorted. I was thinking of a
> first gen Maxwell card (750TI), and a 2nd gen Maxwell (970) to round
> out his existing hardware.
> - I've asked David Planella if we can get a bit of support
> communicating this to places where gamers are, like Liam @
> gamingonlinux and Michael @ phoronix. This would help us getting data
> early on how well this works with plenty of time for the LTS. Once we
> have a semi-official place it will also allow other people to
> contribute if they'd like to.
> - The intent here is very much like umake; we recognize that people
> want the latest bling, and no matter what they're going to do it, so
> we might as well put a framework around it so people can get what they
> want without breaking their computer.
> On a semi-related note, Marc Deslauriers has been maintaining a PPA
> with the latest SteamOS stuff, the dedicated session, xpad controller
> fixes, and the compositor, once we get the baseline set with the
> drivers I would love to see someone grab these bits and get them into
> the distro proper. The xpad stuff has already been submitted to the
> upstream kernel, but if someone wants to help get the other parts into
> the distro, that would be amazing.
> Let's hunt some orc:
> Thoughts?
> --
> Jorge Castro
> Canonical Ltd.
> - Automate your Cloud Infrastructure
> --
> ubuntu-desktop mailing list
> ubuntu-desktop at
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