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System76, the Linux hardware supplier for laptops, desktops and more has been working with NVIDIA on fixing up their drivers.

It's good to see more companies get involving in speaking with and working directly with NVIDIA to improve Linux graphics drivers. It's important for our future to have stable drivers as it makes the experience for everyone so much better. Every little issue fixed would hopefully make us look more attractive to people new to Linux too.

In the NVIDIA 375.26 driver two bug fixes made it in thanks to System76: The screen backlight not coming on after entering idle mode and the driver not detecting when the power source had changed (say between battery and being plugged in).

They are still working on a bug involving the screen backlight not adjusting properly, which should arrive in a future driver.

I spoke with their community manager Ryan Sipes about it to see if I could find out a little more.

GOL: First of all, can you tell us how receptive NVIDIA were to your requests? We've heard before that NVIDIA aren't the easiest of companies to get in touch with to fix Linux driver issues.

Ryan: We sent the bug reports via their channel for doing so with an explanation of who we are and what we do. A couple of their engineers responded to us and we began a dialogue. They were very attentive to our bug reports and we now have a direct line to those engineers.

GOL: What part did System76 play in getting NVIDIA to fix bugs in their driver, what did your company actually do? Was it just getting in touch with them, or something more?

Ryan: Before working with NVIDIA we were filling and tracking these bugs, as they were affecting our customers. We worked alongside them, providing information and doing testing. Given the proprietary nature of the driver, we could not write the code. But we were able to keep in contact and keep the ball moving. We even sent them a brand new Bonobo WS (our most powerful laptop) for them to test on as well.

GOL: Have NVIDIA given a timeline of when to expect the screen backlight adjustment bug to be in a public driver?

Ryan: From what I understand, the backlight adjustment bug will be fixed soon in a follow-on update.

GOL: Will you be looking to do the same for AMD drivers as well, have you spoken to AMD at all?

Ryan: We don't ship any machines with AMD currently.

GOL: Do System76 have any plans to ship units with AMD GPUs?

Ryan: Not at the moment, we will continue to assess the quality of the AMD drivers. It is something we watch.

I would like to thank Ryan for taking time out of his busy day to have a chat with me.

You will see a post about it on the System76 blog sometime soon.
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natewardawg 28 December 2016 at 4:25 pm UTC
Go System76!

It would be really nice to see AMD drivers get up to snuff and then see some AMD GPU options in System76 machines. Seeing some benchmarks already, I'm sure Vulkan will really help this a lot. It will probably be the default API in Unity3D builds starting in March when 5.6 releases.

As a side note, I was about to buy a new $2000 System76 machine about a month ago, but since I live in Peru I found out at checkout that the shipping was almost $1000 on top of that. Maybe once I move back to the States or find some less expensive way of getting the computer here I'll pick one up. If anyone has any experience getting something like this to another country much cheaper I would love to hear it!

I have some family coming soon from the US. Does anyone have experience getting a packed up desktop computer as luggage on a plane? Sounds a little bit risky to me. Thanks!
sarmad 28 December 2016 at 7:11 pm UTC
Wow, 1000$ for shipping! There are companies that can open a POBox for you in the states and then re-ship whatever it receives to you overseas. I would check some of those, maybe you get reasonable prices with those instead.

I own a System76 Oryx Pro, and it's been great for gaming and for my work as well. Really worth the price.
Tak 28 December 2016 at 7:38 pm UTC
natewardawgIt will probably be the default API in Unity3D builds starting in March when 5.6 releases.
It will be available, but it's very unlikely to be the default.


sarmadI own a System76 Oryx Pro, and it's been great for gaming and for my work as well. Really worth the price.
+1, I couldn't be happier, and that's after a succession of macbook pros and an alienware laptop. (Although I have the model from last year, that doesn't have the backlight issues.)
Mountain Man 28 December 2016 at 7:51 pm UTC
AMD has really done a disservice to the Linux community with their poor support. If it wasn't for Nvidia, Linux gaming wouldn't be where it is today.


Last edited by Mountain Man at 28 December 2016 at 7:52 pm UTC
erlaan 28 December 2016 at 8:02 pm UTC
I like the Idé that system76 do. But.. I don't know if I want the US layout on the keyboard. Plz sytem76 deliver it with more option on the layout.
natewardawg 28 December 2016 at 8:55 pm UTC
sarmadWow, 1000$ for shipping! There are companies that can open a POBox for you in the states and then re-ship whatever it receives to you overseas. I would check some of those, maybe you get reasonable prices with those instead.

I own a System76 Oryx Pro, and it's been great for gaming and for my work as well. Really worth the price.

Thanks for the advice, I'll keep it in mind. Do you know of a name of one of these companies? I wouldn't need a PO Box, I have friends and family I could initially send it to.

I have a Bonobo Extreme that I bought about 2-3 years ago and, while it has served it's purpose, it's already quite outdated. I'm really shooting for a desktop this time that I can actually swap out the parts in it. I've never been much of a laptop person and got this one more out of necessity (for traveling) instead of want. I have some large projects and want to also have a ZFS raid setup to avoid data corruption (like I've had a lot of in this computer). While there's space for two drives in this laptop I found out the hard way with this laptop that it's a very bad idea to put two spinning hard drives in it. I have lost two drives now due to heating issues since both drives are right next to each other and there's no ventilation there. Both drives were hitting 55 to 60 degrees Celsius. I'm pretty sure this is what caused the massive data corruption in one and completely burnt out another. I now just have one SSD and use an external drive for larger data.

Thanks for the advice!
wvstolzing 28 December 2016 at 9:04 pm UTC
natewardawgI have some family coming soon from the US. Does anyone have experience getting a packed up desktop computer as luggage on a plane? Sounds a little bit risky to me. Thanks!

A large case with all the parts installed is too risky for luggage that's checked-in (the one that goes to the baggage compartment on a conveyor belt); that luggage gets tossed around like crazy, so something's bound to come loose and hit and grind against everything else in the case.

Someone could take the case as carry-on luggage, and take it inside with themselves into the cabin. But then that uses up the hand luggage allowance. Also the case might not be all that much safer in the overhead lockers; and it wouldn't fit under the seat in front.

I think the best option is to get the parts separately, and distribute the individual boxes to your backpack, and the checked-in luggage. I did this a couple of years ago on a flight from Chicago, with a layover at London Heathrow. In Chicago, I asked a TSA (security) person whether I needed to take anything out of my bag (which had the motherboard, ram sticks, the processor, and a graphics card in their original boxes; everything else [power source, cooler, extra fans; *no case*] was in my checked-in luggage) and he said no. The bag went through the xray, but then they set it aside for an additional manual check. The person doing the check had no idea what the electronics were, but luckily she didn't ask me to 'turn anything on'. At Heathrow, I took the electronics out onto a tray just as I'd do with a laptop; and went through security like that; no problems there.

So it's possible to do; but it's a bit of work for the person carrying the items. Then you could just get a case in your city, and install everything yourself.
pete910 28 December 2016 at 9:14 pm UTC
Mountain ManAMD has really done a disservice to the Linux community with their poor support. If it wasn't for Nvidia, Linux gaming wouldn't be where it is today.

Don't talk utter crud.

Nv drivers have been reasonable on linux since what, the 90's. !

Why has it taken this long? And to point out, the games that were on linux prior to steam worked fine on AMD too. as both camps was generally beating the windows version on several games.

So the real force that catapulted linux gaming???? Valve/Steam end of.
natewardawg 28 December 2016 at 9:36 pm UTC
wvstolzing
natewardawgI have some family coming soon from the US. Does anyone have experience getting a packed up desktop computer as luggage on a plane? Sounds a little bit risky to me. Thanks!

A large case with all the parts installed is too risky for luggage that's checked-in (the one that goes to the baggage compartment on a conveyor belt); that luggage gets tossed around like crazy, so something's bound to come loose and hit and grind against everything else in the case.

Someone could take the case as carry-on luggage, and take it inside with themselves into the cabin. But then that uses up the hand luggage allowance. Also the case might not be all that much safer in the overhead lockers; and it wouldn't fit under the seat in front.

I think the best option is to get the parts separately, and distribute the individual boxes to your backpack, and the checked-in luggage. I did this a couple of years ago on a flight from Chicago, with a layover at London Heathrow. In Chicago, I asked a TSA (security) person whether I needed to take anything out of my bag (which had the motherboard, ram sticks, the processor, and a graphics card in their original boxes; everything else [power source, cooler, extra fans; *no case*] was in my checked-in luggage) and he said no. The bag went through the xray, but then they set it aside for an additional manual check. The person doing the check had no idea what the electronics were, but luckily she didn't ask me to 'turn anything on'. At Heathrow, I took the electronics out onto a tray just as I'd do with a laptop; and went through security like that; no problems there.

So it's possible to do; but it's a bit of work for the person carrying the items. Then you could just get a case in your city, and install everything yourself.

Thanks for the advice. So it really sounds like the best thing for me to do is just go with my gut and get a computer from here. There's a nice shop down the road that seems to know what they're doing and builds custom boxes. Granted, the UEFI will either be in Spanish or most likely Chinese, but I've found my way through one of those before, haha

Sorry System76, maybe next time


Last edited by natewardawg at 28 December 2016 at 9:37 pm UTC
Purple Library Guy 28 December 2016 at 9:44 pm UTC
System76 are great, and this is a good sign.
I'm also fond of ZaReason, who also ship Linux computers--the nice thing for me is that they will ship computers preloaded with distros other than Ubuntu, such as Mint.
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