By now, it should come as a surprise to no one that Linus Torvalds is an outspoken character. If you ever wind up in his crosshair while he’s upset, the result isn’t going to be pleasant. We’ve seen him tear apart projects he’s had a beef with in the past, such as GNOME, KDE and even openSUSE – so who’s next? As the title suggests, NVIDIA – thanks to its lack of Optimus support for Linux. This came out during a Q&A session hosted by the Aalto Center of Entrepreneurship in Otaniemi, Finland.
Over the years, I’ve given props to NVIDIA for its support of Linux, as its GPU drivers have always proven far more desirable to me than AMD’s (which half of the time didn’t want to work). So I’m a bit surprised to learn that the Optimus side of things is lacking, because it’s not what I would have assumed (nor have I ever had the chance to test). Regardless, this is something that rubs Linus the wrong way – quite obviously.
In his response to the issue, Linus states that NVIDIA has been difficult to work with, and the reason that Optimus isn’t perfect on Linux isn’t because of the platform, but because of the company not caring enough about its Linux users. He ends his thoughts with an NVIDIA-targeted middle finger and a colorful “fuck you”. Classy.
After those comments, Linus does simmer down a bit to say that NVIDIA is hardly the only company who isn’t stepping up to the plate in Linux development. Toward the end of the session, a code contributor at NVIDIA stood up and said that special code was recently upstreamed as a direct result of Linus’ asking for it, so not all can be that bad. Or, it could at least be getting better.
Wrapping things up, Linus wanted to elaborate on his less-than-subtle criticisms, stating: “I like being outrageous at times. It’s amusing to see – I guarantee you if you make [this] video available on the Internet, there will be thousands of people that are really upset, and offended. I like offending people because I think people who get offended should be offended.“
I can’t disagree there.