It's been almost six months since the
last issue of the Nouveau
Companion, but Pekka Paalanen has rejuvenated these efforts and has put out
the 40th issue of this newsletter that updates the open-source community on the
status of the Nouveau project, an effort to reverse-engineer NVIDIA's binary driver
and provide a fully open-source 2D and 3D implementation. While we have been without
the Nouveau Companion for many months, progress on the open-source Nouveau driver
has continued. There is now GeForce 8 support with 2D EXA acceleration, work underway
in implementing Gallium3D,
switching the driver's memory manager from TTM
to using a GEM
API with TTM internals (similar
to the ATI driver), and of course kernel
Greetings everyone, the long awaited TiNDC #40 is finally here.
It has been a very long time since the last TiNDC, over five months.
Also the Nouveau Wiki has been fairly quiet, because no new shiny features have
progressed to the level where we would like the general public to test them (or
a little bit due to forgetting to update it). This does not say that the project
is dead, not at all, the difficult parts take time, and changes in the DRI/DRM
development process model and memory manager designs are not exactly pushing us
forward. Having our beloved koala_BR hijacked by real life, the public output
of the project has been very low. Getting frustrated with the silence, I (pq)
decided to write something, but I don't plan to become a regular TiNDC writer.
So, here is a review of the current things, but unfortunately I cannot cover everything
from the past five months. Thanks to gQuigs for writing the Google Summer of Code
- The Nouveau Source Code Repositories
- Renouveau, Mmiotrace and User Contributed Dumps
- Displays and Suspend
- Kernel Mode Setting
- Gallium3D Progress
- Memory Management
- Fruits of The Google Summer of Code 2008
- Short Topics
Highlight: NV50 2D is now on par with the rest! For details, see
The Nouveau Source Code Repositories
The Nouveau project uses several git repositories and many branches.
In these quiet times, the best place to monitor Nouveau's progress is to watch
the repositories. Here is a short introduction to most of them.
The home of the X.org driver part, the DDX, is where Xv, EXA and
Xrender accelerations are implemented, where RandR 1.2 roams, and which normally
sets the display modes. When you use Nouveau, you use the "master" branch.
There is also a curious branch called "ng", which we will cover with
darktama in section Memory Management. Other branches here are abandoned.
DRM, also known as the kernel parts, manages the hardware and
provides access and protection to user space. The "master" branch is
the one to use, although there are very many other branches. There was also the
branch "drm-gem" where initial development of the GEM API was done,
it was merged into "master" in August. Nouveau KMS was prototyped in
the branch "modesetting-101", which is now superseded by "modesetting-gem".
Libdrm lives here, too.
This is a new beast and off-limits to all but developers. This
is a parallel Mesa repository for developing Nouveau Gallium3D support, i.e. what
you all are eagerly waiting for: 3D acceleration. The "master" branch
has long been untouched, but like in the upstream, there are the branches "gallium-0.1"
and "gallium-0.2". In the upstream, i.e. the main Mesa repository, the
"gallium-0.2" branch is used to prepare Gallium3D for merging it into
"master" branch. Cleanups and possibly some interface changes are done
there before the merge. Meanwhile, "gallium-0.1" is the branch where
to develop drivers, and it is kept more stable.