Last month we saw the release of the NVIDIA 177.67 Linux driver along with the 177.67 beta driver, and a 177.70 driver. In the fourth NVIDIA Linux driver release in under a month's time, the 177.76 display driver has been released. This too looks like another beta driver with more fixes in store for those with GeForce or Quadro hardware owners.
The NVIDIA 177.76 display driver for Linux looks more or less identical to the earlier 177.70 change-log. This release likely incorporates just additional fixes. However, no official release announcement has yet to emerge from their Santa Clara offices. Some of these recent changes include GeForce GTX 260/280 support, improvements to the RENDER extension, improved GPU memory management, and support for using monitors with a DisplayPort interface.
It really isn't too surprising that the NVIDIA 177.76 changes are minimal, as we have been told all major work is currently focused on their forthcoming NVIDIA 180.xx driver series. The NVIDIA 180 Linux driver will feature a significant portion of the driver being rewritten, OpenGL 3.0, and other advancements. This 180 driver is expected in fourth quarter of this year.
With no official 177.76 release announcement yet, head on over to NVIDIA's FTP server if you want to grab the latest Linux driver for x86 and x86_64 platforms.
Update: NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner has now officially announced the 177.76 driver. The official changes between this new release and the earlier 177.70 beta driver is GeForce 9500GT support, updated mode validation, improved power management support, and improved compatibility with recent Linux kernels. Additionally, there are also several bug-fixes in this release.