The wonders of Open Source

Saturday I met some friends, and one of them was saying that she bought a new laptop but she couldn't run Second Life in it because it had an Intel graphics card. First I went into "WTF mode": after all I have an Intel graphics card and I run Second Life in my laptop without any problem. But then I remembered: I'm using Second Life's open source client in GNU/Linux, while she was running the Linden Labs' binary for Windows... Which made me write this just to make three quick remarks:
  • Open Source is great. Linden Labs open sourced its "Second Life viewer" and in a snap of fingers the Open Source community made it work with Intel graphic cards.
  • Linden Labs isn't using the fact that they Open Sourced its client as they could/should. Since that the limitation isn't there in the Open Source client, why is it still there in the "official" one?
  • If you have an Intel card you can use Second Life. Either run it on GNU/Linux, or - if you really want to use it on Windows (blergh!), you can try to compile the Open Source client yourself...


  1. Intel didn't actually support most of the 3d features for their hardware in their Windows drivers - I think that was the stumbling block.

  2. And that's one of the marvels of Free Software!

  3. This is so. Intel are only just starting to get practical 3d support in the Windows drivers for their 3d cards. The open-source Linux drivers are far in advance of those - partly due to open specs and a lot of Free Software work.

  4. Sorry guys, I would love to believe Intel is letting 3D performance slip in Windows and not in Linux, but the world is not that pink for FLOSS yet. The truth of the matter is, I'm afraid, Intel is just lazy about adding DirectX support to their hardware (more complex chips needed) and as a consequence, OpenGL performance (Linux) is better. But just as a side-effect of Intel's cost effectiveness.

  5. Anonymous9:52 PM

    Tenho uma placa gráfica da Intel sem aceleração 3D e o Second Life corre melhor em Windows do que em Linux:
    $ lspci | grep VGA
    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82915G/GV/910GL Express Chipset Family Graphics Controller (rev 04)

    Só porque assististe a um caso em que uma dada configuração não funcionou bem (que nem pareces querer dizer [ou pelo menos omites] se o problema vem do facto de a placa não ter aceleração 3D, de a tua amiga não ter instalado os drivers no Windows ou de qualquer outra configuração inadequada do programa), não significa que o fabricante ou as entidades envolvidas sejam o Diabo.
    Se porque assististe a um caso de um programa que não corre bem em Windows, assumes que o FOSS é o melhor que há na vida... Enfim...
    Hurray for extremely-biased posts.

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  7. A Linden Labs tem as placas Intel marcadas como não sendo suportadas, e é nesse sentido que vai o meu post. Quando apareceu o cliente do Second Life para Linux ainda lhe dei algumas marteladas para que ele fingisse que a placa não era uma Intel, mas só foi depois do cliente ser Open Source é que houve um esforço para que o Second Life fosse suportado.

    O estranho aqui é mesmo tu teres uma placa Intel e conseguires correr o Second Life em Windows, não o contrário. Quem assumiu coisas do meu post foste tu.

    Hurray for extremely-biased comments.