Why aren't the NVIDIA Linux drivers open source?
One of the biggest growth areas for Linux is in the workstation market, where NVIDIA's enterprise customers are using custom deployed OpenGL applications under Linux with our Quadro GPUs. Most of these companies require NVIDIA to provide an end-to-end solution which stipulates that NVIDIA be wholly responsible for product delivery and support, including the drivers. This is the primary reason why NVIDIA has decided to retain source code control for our 3D graphics engine.
However, NVIDIA does fundamentally believe in open source for the Linux community, and thus our GeForce 2D graphics drivers, nForce audio drivers, nForce network drivers, graphics Control Panel, Installer, and Linux Update utility are all open source and freely available.
NVIDIA is committed to supporting Linux. We have a long history of supporting Linux going back to 1999 and have achieved many milestones that were firsts in the graphics industry, as well as driving new technologies that will enable more adoption of Linux because they make it more accessible.
Our Linux Support Infrastructure includes:
Dedicated Linux driver development teams
Developer Relations and Developer Technologies Linux teams
Support forum at NVnews.net