If you're a fan of the Linux operating system, undoubtedly you know that Linux creator Linus Torvalds went Cee Lo Green on NVIDIA last year and was pictured giving the graphics firm the finger. Earlier this year NVIDIA joined the Linux Foundation, but so far the key feature many Linux users wanted -- Optimus -- has remained out of reach for Linux fans.
Torvalds said at the time, "NVIDIA has been one of the worse trouble spot we've had with hardware manufacturers. And that is really sad because NVIDIA tries to sell chips, a lot of chips into the Android market. And NVIDIA has been the single worst company we've ever dealt with. So NVIDIA f—k you!"
PC World now reports that an email from NVIDIA engineer named Aaron Plattner surfaced recently that stated NVIDIA was working on adding Optimus support for Linux machines.
“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,” Plattner wrote in the email.
He also added, "The good news is that I've got a proof of concept working."
NVIDIA isn't offering an open source driver; it will remain proprietary. However, support for Optimus technology will certainly be a big deal to Linux users. There is no timeframe on when Optimus support will be offered. For all we know at this point Plattner may be the only person working on bringing support at NVIDIA.
Once a Linux driver from NVIDIA supporting Optimus launches, users will be able to enjoy the extra battery life and the ability to switch the discrete GPU inside the computer on and off when needed. Optimus technology in Windows machines can have a significant impact on battery life, which is very important for mobile workers.