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Re: Please recommend zero-hassle video card for GUIX

From: Yasuaki Kudo
Subject: Re: Please recommend zero-hassle video card for GUIX
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2020 14:15:31 +0900

Hi Maxim and everybody,

First of all, thank you all for your replies and I wish to thank the FSF and 
the community for this whole "blob" discussion.  I had absolutely no idea that:

* Linux had "blob" sections
* GNU (predictably though πŸ˜…) would go the distance, remove them all and call it 
Linux-libre, and that's what Guix uses
* All newer video cards (GPUs), regardless of vendor, need those "blobs" to be 
supplied by Linux kernel before they function (presumably so they can fix bugs 
post production and since it is so close to hardware and architecture, they 
feel the source code for the blobs to be their "intellectual property" ?)

So, although this will probably not be my first Guix-learning project, there is 
a way around this by using the "inferior", "backdoor", repository I read that I 
should not utter in this channel πŸ˜…

All-in-all, it feel that Guix is very appropriate for my purpose - learn the 
techniques of constructing highly customizable software for the end-users, 
(barring the controversial subject of  allowing proprietary components, of 
course πŸ˜…)


> On Sep 18, 2020, at 11:06, Maxim Cournoyer <> wrote:
> ο»ΏHello Yasuaki,
> Yasuaki Kudo <> writes:
>> Hi,
>> As per the subject-line, what is the very best video chip/card for GUIX?  My 
>> criteria:
>> β€’ I use AMD Ryzen 5 CPU (The chip has no integrated video feature enabled)
>> β€’ I currently use NVIDIA with proprietary driver support provided by
>> corresponding NixOS packages but now I am considering switching from
>> NixOS to Guix – so I prefer to have a video card that runs natively
>> without proprietary driver enabling gimmick.
>> β€’ The video card should behave normally – there should be no performance 
>> degradation in 2D/3D/video, etc.
> Behaving normally is an easy target, but "no performance degradation in
> 2D/3D/video less so, because I'm not sure a GPU exists that can do video
> decoding without a binary blob.
> I'm currently using an old nVIDIA 8800 GTS on my desktop with the
> nouveau driver.  2D and 3D seems fine and stable (I don't play games
> though), but it doesn't accelerate videos, so some applications will use
> a lot of CPU.
> At work, I use another nVIDIA card (GeForce GTX 680) with similar
> results (good desktop performance, no video acceleration).
> I don't know what the landscape looks like on the AMD side, but I know
> their recent cards boasting the free AMDGPU driver are nearly useless
> without the binary blobs (no 3D support, and that's if you're lucky that
> it doesn't leave you on a black screen at boot).
> You can view reports of video hardware at [0].
> Hope that helps!
> Maxim
> [0]

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