1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

NVIDIA To Discontinue Linux Support For Some GPUs

NVIDIA

Published on 27 August 2012 11:06 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA
Comment On This Article

I have confirmed with NVIDIA that the current 304.xx Linux graphics driver series is "the last release branch for some cards, including GeForce 6/7."

NVIDIA has previously said that their 306 Windows graphics driver will remove support for the GeForce 6 and GeForce 7 series graphics processors. With the largely shared code-base between Windows and Linux/Solaris/BSD, it could be presumed that they would be removing the support for all platforms. NVIDIA's Hardy Doelfel confirmed to me today that it's indeed the case.

The NVIDIA Linux (and Solaris and BSD) 304.xx series is the last that will support the GeForce 6 and GeForce 7 series. Following the end of the 304 series, NVIDIA will maintain that as a new legacy driver branch. If it's maintained like previous NVIDIA legacy branches, they will provide new Linux kernel and X.Org Server compatibility for this hardware along with important bug-fixes, but not any new driver features and capabilities. The NVIDIA 304.43 Linux driver was released earlier today as the latest version in this current series.

NVIDIA's Hardy Doelfel wrote, "Michael, you are correct. I will be posting an official announcement the next few days that 304 is the last release branch for some cards, including GeForce 6/7, making 304 the next legacy branch for these GPUs."

NVIDIA's current legacy driver branches include the 71.86.xx, 96.43.xx, and 173.14.xx series, soon to be joined by the 302.xx series when dropping the GeForce 6/7 series support. The GeForce 6 "NV40" series was introduced in 2004 while the GeForce 7 "NV50" / "G70" series launched shortly afterwards.

NVIDIA dropping the GeForce 6/7 series support from their mainline binary blob might be good news for the Nouveau camp in general, but unfortunately at last attempt the reverse-engineered open-source support for this hardware that's about eight years old still comes up on the faulty end. The only GeForce 6 series hardware I still have around are GeForce 6600 GTs and when last trying them with the latest Nouveau Git a few months back they were still in a regressed, unstable state.

(Of course, for those following @MichaelLarabel on Twitter, this news post shouldn't come as a total surprise.)

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. ASRock X99 Extreme3 Is An Affordable Choice For Linux Users
  2. A Walkthrough Of The New 32 System Open-Source Linux Benchmarking Test Farm
  3. Habey MITX-6771: Mini-ITX Board With Quad-Core J1900 Bay Trail
  4. OCZ Vector 150 SSD On Linux
Latest Linux Articles
  1. 17-Way Linux Graphics Card Comparison With Civilization Beyond Earth
  2. AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver
  3. 12-Way AMD Catalyst 14.12 vs. NVIDIA 346 Series Linux GPU Comparison
  4. AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver Brings Mixed Results For Linux Users
Latest Linux News
  1. An Open-Source Hardware Ambient Light Sensor Is Brought Up
  2. Heterogeneous Memory Management Is Coming Along For The Linux Kernel
  3. NTP Is The Latest Project Struck By Security Issues
  4. LDC 0.15.1 Released For A D Compiler In LLVM
  5. Fedora Doesn't Yet Enable F2FS File-System Support
  6. XZ 5.2 Adds New Multi-Threaded Options
  7. Intel 2.99.917 X.Org Driver Released, 3.0 Release Finally Near
  8. Server-Side XCB Is Being Discussed For The X.Org Server
  9. Adreno A4xx Rendering With Freedreno Takes Shape
  10. Linux 3.19-rc1 Kernel Released Ahead Of Schedule
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Need some hand holding with upgrading xserver
  2. Maker3D - create your 3D RPG
  3. FPS capped on Linux (AMD fglrx drivers)
  4. Looking for an nVidia GPU, but not sure how well they are supported.
  5. Speeding up systemd networking service
  6. Major Performance Breakthrough Discovered For Intel's Mesa Driver
  7. Are there an app using HSA ?
  8. The New SuperTuxKart Looks Better, But Can Cause GPU/Driver Problems