Nouveau Becomes The Default Driver In Fedora 11
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 24 February 2009 at 10:57 AM EST. 9 Comments
Among a horde of other features to be introduced with Fedora 11 (a.k.a. Leonidas), the Nouveau driver will become the default NVIDIA driver on this Red Hat distribution.

This is a fairly bold move on the behalf of Red Hat, which recently hired Ben Skeggs, one of the Nouveau developers. The Nouveau developers have yet to issue a stable 2D or 3D driver release and that will not occur until their kernel mode-setting implementation has stabilized along with having proper Gallium3D support, but Fedora will incorporate this code anyways. More on the Nouveau driver's current status can be found in the Nouveau Companion 42 and their FOSDEM 2009 status update.

The latest Nouveau upstream code is currently in Fedora Rawhide, but the Gallium3D driver at this time won't be enabled since it's not yet in a usable state. The Nouveau driver is replacing the xf86-video-nv DDX driver, but this official open-source NVIDIA driver will remain installed and will be used as a fall-back if Nouveau doesn't recognize a chip or runs into other problems.

More details on the Nouveau driver being the default for NVIDIA hardware can be found on the Fedora Project Wiki. Ubuntu 9.04 is also getting the Nouveau driver, but it won't be enabled by default.

Bye bye to the xf86-video-nv driver. With its obfuscated code, lack of RandR 1.2 support, and many other feature handicaps, it will not be missed. In the future as more distributions start switching to a stabilized Nouveau driver, it will be interesting to see how NVIDIA handles the xf86-video-nv driver and whether they just kill it off or decide to play ball with the Nouveau developers.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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