outdated nvidia drivers in the repository are a serious problem

Sander van Loon svloon at xs4all.nl
Wed Jan 4 22:49:52 GMT 2006


I'm not sure if ubuntu-devel is the right place for this (my request is
not "highly technical"), but as far as I know developers don't read
ubuntu-users. If it's in the wrong place here, my apology.

What I would like to bring up is the serious issue of outdated nvidia
drivers in the Ubuntu repository. I have posted a bug report about this
nearly a month ago - https://bugzilla.ubuntu.com/show_bug.cgi?id=20682 -
(I'd like to mention that a lot of my other bug reports -
40xs4all.nl&emailtype1=exact&emailassigned_to1=1&emailreporter1=1 - are
still unanswered after a long period of time, this doesn't encourage me
to keep helping with bug hunting and improving Ubuntu)

Please read the description in the bug report. I'll give an example.
You're a newbie to Linux, you don't know how to install the nvidia
drivers using the nvidia installer downloadable from nvidia's website.
Downloading the drivers from Ubuntu's repository is the only easy option
for you. You've recently bought a GeForce 7800 GTX 512 MB. You notice
that the nvidia drivers in Ubuntu's repository are outdated because
Ubuntu has a policy of security updates/bug fixes only to the stable
version. These outdated drivers do not support you 7800 GTX 512MB, which
means that you will be practically unable to play games on Linux like
Quake 4 and Doom 3 because you don't have support for 3D acceleration
for you videocard.

The hard reality is that you think Ubuntu sucks because it doesn't have
an easy way to install the most recent nvidia drivers. You go back to
Windows XP and simply download the latest nvidia drivers from nvidia's
website, and you can play games with no problems.

I think this is a serious problem for Ubuntu which can cause people to
give up on Ubuntu. The example I've given above will probably continue
in the future, because Ati and NVIDIA will keep releasing new video
cards which will require the latest video drivers to support those video

My suggestion is that Ubuntu keeps updating the NVIDIA drivers with the
latest released version, even in the stable version of Ubuntu.

Sander van Loon

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