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NVIDIA Releases Major Linux Driver With New Features, EGL

NVIDIA

Published on 04 October 2013 07:53 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA
42 Comments

NVIDIA this morning unveiled their first Linux graphics driver beta as part of the 331.xx series. The NVIDIA 331.13 Beta that was released this morning for Linux systems is quite exciting in that it brings a whole lot of fixes, improvements, and new features. Perhaps most exciting is that there's finally (but limited) EGL support right now -- a precursor for handling Wayland and Mir.

There's a whole lot of changes to find with the NVIDIA 331.13 Beta that was released this morning, but some of my favorite highlights include:

- Support for the EGL API! EGL is needed for Mir and Wayland support. However, before getting too exciting, this EGL support right now is just for 32-bit platforms. Additionally, the EGL interface only works for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.0 and not OpenGL standard. The only window system back-end that the NVIDIA driver supports with EGL right now is X11. At least this is movement in the right direction for supporting Wayland and Mir.

- A new "AllowEmptyInitialConfiguration" option so the X.Org Server will start without connected display devices, which is useful for RandR 1.4 display offload support.

- A system memory cache for improving the performance of certain X rendering operations that use software rendering fallbacks.

- Support for multiple NVIDIA kernel modules to be present so that different GPUs can be assigned to different NVIDIA kernel modules on the same system. This can reduce software overhead in coordinating access to multiple GPUs.

- GPU utilization reporting is now available through the NVIDIA Settings control panel.

- There's support for reading the tachometer-measured fan-speed on graphics cards through the NV-CONTROL API. There's also NV-CONTROL support for reading the display's backlight brightness.

- Updates to the NVIDIA driver installer.

- Many driver fixes.

More details on the just-released NVIDIA 331.13 Beta can be found via the NVIDIA.com download page. Benchmarks are forthcoming on Phoronix.

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 .
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