Linus Torvalds Flips NVIDIA the Bird, Causes Positive Reaction, Optimus Support Coming to Linux

It's said the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but if that doesn't work, you could always try being vulgar. The tactic worked for Linus Torvalds, who not that long ago ripped into NVIDIA for its lack of Linux support. He was answering a student developer's question about NVIDIA driver support for Linux on her notebook during a talk at Finland's Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship. Torvalds at the time said NVIDIA is "the single worst company we've ever dealt with," and then proceeded to flip NVIDIA the bird on camera while dropping an f-bomb.

Here we are about three months later and suddenly NVIDIA is paying more attention to Linux by porting its Optimus technology to the open source platform.

"So I've been experimenting with support for Dave Airlie's new RandR 1.4 provider object interface, so that Optimus-based laptops can use our driver to drive the discrete GPU and display on the integrated GPU. The good news is that I've got a proof of concept working," Torvalds stated in an email to NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner.

Optimus is an awesome piece of technology that can greatly extend battery life on notebooks by only tapping into the discrete GPU when it's needed, but getting it to work under Linux has been an exercise in frustration. A proof of concept driver shows that it's only a matter of time before the situation is rectified.

This is still very much a work in progress, but it's good to see the two sides working together towards a common goal.