Nouveau DRM Getting Pulled Into Lucid Soon
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 30 November 2009 at 08:18 PM EST. 13 Comments
A week ago we found out that Nouveau would be pulled into Ubuntu 10.04 as the default NVIDIA graphics driver replacing the current open-source NVIDIA driver mess that is known as xf86-video-nv. The Nouveau driver stack isn't stable or officially released yet, but the 2D portion is in good standing and the 3D portion written to use Gallium3D is progressing (recent status update). The Nouveau driver has been used by default in two Fedora releases, but on the Ubuntu side it will be the default starting with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx", including the DRM / kernel mode-setting bits.

A meeting was held today on IRC regarding Nouveau in Ubuntu's kernel. In particular, with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS planning to ship with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, which has no support for Nouveau, it's to be decided what DRM code to back-port into this Ubuntu kernel. The entire drm-next tree (the DRM code that will appear in Linux 2.6.33) could be pulled in, but that's risking more regressions and other graphics updates outside of the Nouveau driver (though we would love for this pull to happen!), or to just manually pull in the Nouveau-specific patches. This specific matter is to be discussed more at tomorrow's Ubuntu kernel meeting. The drm-next patch-set weighs in at about 2.9 megabytes of code.

Also being decided is whether to pull in all of the Nouveau code now and then pull in a more recent DRM snapshot when the Ubuntu 10.04 release nears, or whether to just selectively pull in new patches. Whatever the case, the first alpha freeze for Ubuntu Lucid is happening next week so expect some Nouveau DRM code to get pulled in shortly so that it will be present for Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 1.

The IRC log from this Nouveau discussion can be found on the ubuntu-x mailing list.
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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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