You use nvidia drivers? You're 0wn'ed!

Thanks to Uwe, I have this hilarious news to you:

The NVIDIA Binary Graphics Driver for Linux is vulnerable to a buffer overflow that allows an attacker to run arbitrary code as root. This bug can be exploited both locally or remotely (via a remote X client or an X client which visits a malicious web page). A working proof-of-concept root exploit is included with the advisory. The only possible solution (as NVIDIA still hasn't fixed the issue, although they know about it since 2004): Disable the binary blob driver and use the open-source "nv" driver that is included by default with X.

So, will you still whine when I tell you NOT to use the Nvidia propriatary closed-source buggy clumsy and awfull drivers?


  1. It's a shame that NVIDIA's boards are the only ones with decent support for OpenGL 2.0 and GLSL on Linux.

    Those of us that need to work in cutting edge real-time graphics and want to use Linux for development don't really have another choice as ATI's drivers are even worse...

  2. I thought that Matrox were the ones having "Graphics for Professionals"?

  3. Matrox stopped caring about realtime programmable graphics around 2002 when they launched Parhelia.

    When I referred to "cutting edge realtime graphics", I meant off the shelf graphics boards that fully support OpenGL GPU programming via GLSL for applications like 3D games.

    Linux does have some clout in the niche of high perfomance scientific visualization and high end content creation for which there are graphics cards like ATI's FireGL, NVIDIA'S QuadroFX, Matrox's Parhelia and 3D Labs' Wildcat. But guess what? the drivers for these boards (apart from the Matrox one) are also proprietary.

    The problem these makers face with releasing free and/or open source drivers for their hardware seems to stem from both a fear of leaking their trade secrets to the competition and the amount of patented/unreleaseable code in the drivers themselves.

    If only the Bitboys (http://www.bitboys.com) hadn't been bought out by ATI, we'd probably have by now a decent 3D graphics board with open drivers for all platforms.

    For now, enduring proprietary but fully functional Linux drivers for the NVIDIA boards is the only viable solution for my work if I want to continue using Linux as a development platform.