CUDA 2.3 for Mac probably has the worst installer I’ve seen:
- having 2 driver installs, depending on OS and installed GPU: is is not a bit Mac like.
Apple installs ALL kexts for all devices with every OS: the correct kext gets loaded depending on the user’s hardware
- separatelly installing the toolkit from the driver: what’s the point here? Can the driver do anyting without the toolkit? NO - so separating them is wrong!
- BUGS: wrongly set permissions on the toolkit folder prevents CUDA from working after reboot.
- The installer for version 2.2 warned user’s about the need to expand DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH, on CUDA 2.3 that was taken away from the installer, though still nescessary.
- The whole DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH ist wrong: OS X provides a very good way to package dyld’s and header files as Frameworks and if a Framework is installed where it should, it is automatically found
- The installer will often not install over an old installation - requiring manual deletion of /usr/local/cuda and the CUDA.kext
I also dislike the handling of problems and communication from NVIDIAs part:
- when CUDA 2.3 was released the packages had bugs. A few days later the CUDA toolkit has re-released. No version increment, no way for user’s who had downloaded the buggy version to know it unless they digg deep into the CUDA announcements forum.
- some user’s have found a work around for the current installations wrong permissons problem - but where is the sticky post on this forum? Or fixed installer packages?
- since the GTX 280 was released users are having problems with the throttling of the GPU. Where’s official information from NVIDIA? And a fix, or at least a timeframe for a fix? The driver comes from NVIDIA so if this is a power management issue, it is an issue from NVIDIA.
- Snow Leopard: we have a driver for it, but it looks like noone got it to work yet. Not a word from NVIDIA on this.
- 64 bit CUDA for Mac: not a word on this too… besides a comment it might not make it into the 2.2 release
Have any of you seen a consumer application for Mac making use of CUDA?
Guess what, you won’t!
I cannot tell my end users to choose the correct driver, fix filesystem permissions, edit .bash_config to run my app. That is a no go.
That makes CUDA a tool for engineers and researchers only.
It’s like NVIDIA is screaming: forget the CUDA API on the Mac… OpenCL is the way to go. Just ignore the things CUDA can do better - eventually OpenCL will catch up.