This package didn’t exist one year ago. It was split out of the main x11-video-nvidiaG03 package only in December.
From the changelog:
Thu Dec 5 14:11:34 UTC 2013 - email@example.com
- introduced nvidia-glG03 subpackage
* One of the problems our users face is installing the driver
on an iGPU+dGPU system (ex. a system that would be labeled
Optimus capable). Specifically, users lose access to the
mesa GL libraries when the Nvidia driver is installed, causing
issues if they want to run X on their iGPU. Giving users the
ability to opt-out of the GL components of the Nvidia driver
would allow them to continue to drive the visual components
of their system on the iGPU, and still run CUDA on their dGPU.
(Andy Dick <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
And 11 days later it was changed to not be required:
Mon Dec 16 13:45:48 UTC 2013 - email@example.com
- no longer hardrequire nvidia-glG03 (by x11-video-nvidiaG03), just
recommend it when installing the KMP, since there are users who
want the driver stack except for the GL components
And does this mean I should install this package right now? My old laptop in particular is Dell Inspiron 1520 with nVidia GeForce 8600m GT, and by doing a quick test I was able to run games like Limbo and The Cave, and also Project64 emulator over Wine. And doing it without the package installed, unless “3D support” means heavier games, or Linux-native?
If you want to use 3d acceleration, you have to install this package.
But, it exists as separate package only for the G03 driver.
There is no nvidia-glG02.
If you use the G02 driver, the GL components are in the standard x11-video-nvidiaG02 package.
And on Optimus systems, why is the 3D switching needed? Wouldn’t nVidia’s 3D support be better than Intel’s Mesa for games and system behavior overall? I thought nVidia could “blacklist” Intel’s 3D just like it blacklists Nouveau driver when installed…
Of course nVidia’s 3D support is better for games and system behavior. But the intel chip needs much less power and generates less heat.
So it’s better to use that if you don’t need the additional performance of the nvidia chip.
But when using the intel chip, you need the intel driver obviously.
That’s the whole point of Optimus/hybrid systems.
And on a real Optimus system, the display is only connected to the intel chip, so if you install the nvidia driver, you just get no display at all.
And on the intel chip you need Mesa for 3D support, which does not work when the nvidia driver is installed, as I explained already.
There are some hybrid systems where you can switch off the intel chip in the BIOS.
In that case you can use the standard nvidia driver for 3D graphics, but cannot use the more power-efficient intel chip then of course.