NVIDIA Issues 185.xx Stable Linux Driver Update
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 28 July 2009 at 11:50 AM EDT. 5 Comments
While NVIDIA's driver engineers are hard at work on the 190.xx driver series, which among other features does bring OpenGL 3.2 support, for those living by the stable releases there is a new driver that's out today. The NVIDIA 185.18.29 Linux driver was uploaded to NVIDIA's FTP server this morning and does bring a number of changes as listed in their official release highlights.

There are a few general bug-fixes in this release like addressing a graphics corruption problem caused by an enabled Unified Back Buffer and an X Server crash, but most of the changes come down to fixes for CUDA, VDPAU, and Quadro GPUs. When it comes to NVIDIA Linux workstation users, there is a fix for a memory corruption problem and segmentation faults when running some OpenGL programs with Quadro GPUs and a deadlock in the OpenGL library in some Quadro instances. For those that use NVIDIA's Compute Unified Device Architecture, if there is a long-running CUDA kernel that you wish to stop, pressing Ctrl-C will forcibly terminate that kernel. There is also an interaction fix between PowerMizer and CUDA that should cause the proper performance level to be used when running a CUDA kernel and the CUDA compute-exclusive mode is now persistent across GPU resets.

For the normal Linux user playing back videos using VDPAU there is the usual assortment of fixes in this driver update. With the NVIDIA 185.18.29 driver update there should no longer be visible corruption when decoding some H.264 clips along with VC-1 advanced profile clips. This proprietary driver update also better handles corrupt and invalid H.264 bit-streams with the G84, G86, G92, G94, G96, and GT200 GPUs. Additionally, VDPAU now has better detection of the GPU's video decode capabilities, a bug fix for some ghosting/flashing issues with some H.264 clips, and enhanced error handling and resource management in presentation queue creation and operation.

NVIDIA's official change-log for this newest Linux driver update can be found at their web-site for Linux x86 and Linux x86_64. The Solaris and FreeBSD drivers have been updated to version 185.18.29 too.
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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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