Nouveau X.Org Driver Adds Maxwell & GLAMOR Acceleration Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 19 June 2014 at 09:23 AM EDT. Add A Comment
The Nouveau X.Org driver (xf86-video-nouveau) now has basic support for NVIDIA's newest Maxwell graphics processor. Related to that, there's also GLAMOR 2D acceleration support available within the Nouveau DDX.

Now that the Maxwell Gallium3D driver support and the Maxwell DRM/KMS support are coming together, Ben Skeggs has added Maxwell support to the xf86-video-nouveau DDX component. With a few changes came basic support for Maxwell but without X-Video or X RENDER acceleration. The game-plan going forward for Nouveau with Maxwell and future NVIDIA GPUs is to utilize GLAMOR acceleration, similar to how the Radeon X.Org driver also depends upon GLAMOR for 2D support with the Radeon HD 7000 series and newer.

GLAMOR is the 2D acceleration library implemented in a generic way over OpenGL and doesn't depend upon hardware/driver-specific implementations. GLAMOR was originally spearheaded by Intel developers as an alternative to SNA and UXA while as aforementioned the support has been picked up by the AMD Radeon Linux developers for the "Southern Islands" hardware and newer, or as an alternative acceleration method to EXA on the HD 6000 series hardware and older. GLAMOR is also the means of 2D acceleration under the current XWayland implementation.

Skeggs added basic GLAMOR support to xf86-video-nouveau this morning along with DRI3 GLAMOR support. He proceeded to default Maxwell GPUs to using GLAMOR while existing NVIDIA GPUs on Nouveau will stick to EXA, but can optionally be reconfigured by the xorg.conf using the new AccelMethod option for Nouveau.

It's nice to see Nouveau now supporting GLAMOR and will hopefully lead to more upstream improvements in GLAMOR, which is now part of X.Org Server 1.16. Coming up soon I'll run some EXA vs. GLAMOR tests on pre-Maxwell GeForce hardware with Nouveau; earlier this month of interest may also be my 2D comparison between Nouveau and NVIDIA's binary blob.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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