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 Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

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 Articles & Reviews
  1. Sub-$20 802.11n USB WiFi Adapter That's Linux Friendly
  2. The Lenovo T450s Is Working Beautifully With Linux
  3. Linux 4.0 SSD EXT4 / Btrfs / XFS / F2FS Benchmarks
  4. Linux 4.0 Hard Drive Comparison With Six File-Systems
  5. Lenovo ThinkPad T450s Broadwell Preview
  6. How Open-Source Allowed Valve To Implement VULKAN Much Faster On The Source 2 Engine
Latest Linux News
  1. AMD Releases New "AMDGPU" Linux Kernel Driver & Mesa Support
  2. A Gigabyte Sandy/Ivy Bridge Motherboard Now Handled By Coreboot
  3. Linux 3.16 Through Linux 4.0 Performance Benchmarks
  4. Intel's Windows Driver Now Supports OpenGL 4.4, Linux Driver Still With OpenGL 3.3
  5. DRM Graphics Updates Sent In For The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  6. More eBPF Improvements Heading To Linux 4.1
  7. LLDB Is Getting Into Shape For Linux 64-bit Debugging
  8. Wine-Staging 1.7.41 Works On Improved Debugging Support
  9. GNOME 3.18 Release Schedule: 23 September Release
  10. Library Operating System (LibOS) For Linux Still Being Pursued
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Nouveau: NVIDIA's New Hardware Is "VERY Open-Source Unfriendly"
  2. Linux 4.1 Brings Many Potentially Risky x86/ASM Changes
  3. Microsoft Announces An LLVM-Based Compiler For .NET
  4. LibreOffice 4.5 Bumped To Become LibreOffice 5.0
  5. Linux Audio Is Being Further Modernized With The 4.1 Kernel
  6. KDBUS Is Taking A Lot Of Heat, Might Be Delayed From Mainline Linux Kernel
  7. VirtualBox 5.0 Beta 2 Released
  8. Mozilla Start Drafting Plans To Deprecate Insecure HTTP