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Linus Wants Nouveau Merged Into Kernel

NVIDIA

Published on 10 December 2009 11:52 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA
15 Comments

This morning the first DRM pull request went in for the Linux 2.6.33 kernel that brings many nice graphics changes for Intel, ATI/AMD, and VMware users. Anything for NVIDIA hardware through Novueau was not mentioned as there is no readied support, but as we stated in our article this morning, its unlikely to see Nouveau's DRM in the mainline kernel before the Linux 2.6.34 kernel. This is even though Fedora has been shipping Nouveau support for a few releases now and even Canonical is pulling in Nouveau KMS support for Ubuntu 10.04.

In response to David's DRM pull request, Linus Torvalds had the following to say (and no, this time he is not calling the code untested crap) on the mailing list:

No, the biggest missing feature is that Fedora is _still_ shipping Nouveau, and I'm _still_ not seeing Red Hat people actively trying to get it merged into mainline.

What the _hell_ is going on?

Linus

In response, Xavier Bestel was quick to reiterate that at last check the Nouveau developers still want the option of changing their kernel/user-space interface. Per standard Linux practice, once the code has been upstreamed in the mainline Linux kernel, the kernel/user API needs to be maintained to avoid causing any breaks for the user.

The Nouveau project has been around for a few years now and they have kernel mode-setting working on nearly all NVIDIA hardware along with many features like RandR 1.2, NouveauFB, suspend/resume, and there is support emerging for its Gallium3D driver (Nouveau status update), but the developers are still not confident in their API.

Linus has responded to Xavier with:

I've heard all the excuses. If it isn't ready, they shouldn't ship it to millions of people. And if it's ready, they should work on merging it.

No excuses.

Linus

By shipping it to millions of people he is referring to Red Hat shipping Nouveau with Fedora, which has been their default NVIDIA driver for two releases. David Airlie nor any of the Nouveau developers have yet to comment on this thread, but we are awaiting their response(s).

If we can see Nouveau's DRM get into the kernel soon (Linux 2.6.34 or 2.6.35?) and then a release of their xf86-video-nouveau X.Org driver, we have hopes of seeing the death of the obfuscated, trouble-ridden, feature-limited xf86-video-nv driver in 2010 by the time that X.Org 7.6 rolls around in October of 2010.

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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