Nouveau Driver Q&A
Published on 3 September 2007
Srouquette: I have a 8800 GTX and I'd like to help, but I don't have Linux installed yet. is there a Live CD with everything to test the drivers from the CD?
The answer is no and there are mainly two reasons for that:
1. For the blob we can't redistribute it as a precompiled and automatically inserted module within a modified Live CD like Knoppix. Doing so would violate the GPL and thus is no real option. We could compile it at run time but that would need much system memory (to hold the read write filesystem, the compile results etc.). That would rule out smaller systems. Although the knowledge to do this is available, it is not worth the amount of work necessary.
2. For (re) nouveau creating a Live CD doesn't make much sense due to the fact that our code is highly volatile. Before you can burn a Live CD there is already a bug fix or a new bug added to our repositories. We need testers who grind through our latest offerings, the older the driver used, the less useful a bug report is. So again, a Live CD is not useful.
Yoshi314: Are you having problems with insufficient user exposure/manpower, because NVIDIA blob is "good enough" for most people?
The joint effort between Phoronix.com and our project is mainly due to us trying to get more contributors (writers, coders, tester). So in this way the answer is yes. Whether we miss people because the blob is "good enough" is hard to say. Personally I would have to say no. I do have no problems with the blob at all, but still I do help out a bit every now and then :)
We do get some exposure on the net. When we spoke to several people at FOSDEM (be it Xorg, Suse...) and LCA earlier this year, all knew our project and wished us best of luck. At FOSDEM in the Xorg room our talk was one of best visited the whole day. But really, I don't know and we don't care.
We are not on a crusade to burn all binary drivers. We do think however that people should have options and that other systems (like PPC) shouldn't be banned from 3D acceleration under Linux with NVidia.
Regenwald: Are you looking forward for integration into the Xorg Server? License issues?
Well our driver is under MIT license and thus shouldn't have any problem with licenses. Now that Xorg is modular, "integration" is as simple as making releases from time to time. We will probably start doing releases once the kernel/user space API is stabilized, which might not be too soon though.
When we spoke with Egbert Eich on FOSDEM earlier this year, he indicated that Xorg is very interested in the success of our driver, something they underscored with their sponsoring of Xv in their Vacation of Code this summer.
We would like to thank the Nouveau developers, especially KoalaBR and Marcheu, for taking the time to answer these reader questions. Should you have any other Nouveau-related questions or would like to share your opinions on X.Org drivers, be sure to stop by the Phoronix Forums.
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