Since our Nouveau: A First Look article last month, new developments continue to come out of the Nouveau camp. Among the changes in the past month is glxgears now working on NVIDIA NV4x hardware, the pledge drive now being completed, and the Fedora Project announcing its intent for including Nouveau in the upcoming Fedora 7 release. At the time this article is being published, 1,351 people have signed the pledge to each donate a minimum of $10 USD. Nouveau developers plan to use the generated funds to buy additional hardware (primarily GeForce 8 series hardware). The other managerial announcement this month was word Nouveau would be included with Fedora 7. However, as Fedora 7 final will ship at the end of April it will not include the stable version of Nouveau, and as a result will likely not be enabled by default. The latest word still looks like Nouveau will have a functioning driver for end-users by the end of the calendar year.
The exciting announcement, however, is word that the 3D driver is functioning with NV4x hardware and glxgears is now running. However, glxgears still has issues with pre-NV4x hardware. With glxgears now reported to function on NV4x hardware with Nouveau, we could not help but to try this. We had built everything from git on January 28, 2006, and yes, glxgears was running! The GPU was a NVIDIA GeForce 6150 and the Linux distribution used was Fedora Core 6.
While the 3D driver is not really functional unless your job consists of you running glxgears all day, it was certainly a beautiful sight to see for the progress made with this open-source NVIDIA driver. While not directly NVIDIA related, word had also got out this month that Intel will begin producing high-end discrete graphics cards, which should make things interesting for open-source Linux users in the future with possible side-effects on NVIDIA and ATI. Since we first looked at Nouveau a month ago, the development seems to be progressing along nicely and we are excited to see the continuing progress made with this project.
If you have tried out Nouveau, be sure to share your thoughts on the Phoronix Forums.