1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Nouveau To Enter The Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Kernel

Nouveau

Published on 23 November 2009 09:10 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau
16 Comments

The Nouveau driver, the X.Org project designed to provide a open-source NVIDIA graphics driver for Linux with 2D/3D/Video acceleration that's developed by cleanly reverse-engineering NVIDIA's binary driver, is about to get promoted in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. The Nouveau project has been around for years now and continues to make progress but there has yet to be a stable release of any component -- even just a DDX driver -- although their current feature matrix is reflecting that 2D and X-Video support is complete for all NVIDIA graphics hardware generations, many output-related features (RandR 1.2, KMS, NouveauFB) are done, and the 3D work using Gallium3D is even progressing. The only Linux distribution to currently deploy the Nouveau driver stack by default is Fedora, considering the driver isn't even in the kernel's staging tree. This though may soon change.

With Ubuntu 9.04 it became easier to use the Nouveau driver with Ubuntu Linux as a snapshot of its DDX driver (xf86-video-nouveau) and its kernel DRM code were packaged up and made available through its package repositories, which continues to be the case in Ubuntu 9.10. Though after the Ubuntu Developer Summit last week for 10.04 "Lucid Lynx", Canonical is now going to put Nouveau into the kernel by default. Not too many details beyond that or their intentions are known at this time, but Nouveau developers are currently being asked about the matter.

One mailing list message can be found here. Pekka Paalanen of the Nouveau project has commented and recommended they use Nouveau's kernel mode-setting support and goes over the Nouveau project's official release steps of first needing to get this code in the mainline kernel's staging tree and then to tag and release their libdrm and DDX driver code once this support is available in a released driver. The Linux 2.6.32 kernel is likely what will be found in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, so for this release Canonical's kernel team will likely end up pulling in their own Nouveau support regardless of whether Nouveau enters staging in the next few months.

Having the Nouveau driver with all of its kernel mode-setting glory by default in Ubuntu 10.04 would be certainly welcomed and would be a much better option than continuing to use NVIDIA's xf86-video-nv driver that only provides basic 2D acceleration atop an obfuscated and ill-maintained code-base and that's about it (the xf86-video-nv tree hasn't even seen any serious work done in months) with no kernel mode-setting or support for other newer technologies.

For Ubuntu Lucid we will likely not see Nouveau's Gallium3D driver appear for providing OpenGL acceleration by default for this NVIDIA hardware, but even just a proper 2D driver will be quite exciting and a huge step forward. This will also mean that a majority of the graphics cards (ATI, Intel, and NVIDIA) would all be supported by kernel mode-setting in this next Ubuntu release. To see how the Nouveau driver is currently working with your NVIDIA hardware, one easy way to test it is by trying out a Fedora 12 LiveCD that has a recent snapshot of Nouveau. Also worth noting is what the X stack in Ubuntu 10.04 may look like.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. A Walkthrough Of The New 32 System Open-Source Linux Benchmarking Test Farm
  2. Habey MITX-6771: Mini-ITX Board With Quad-Core J1900 Bay Trail
  3. OCZ Vector 150 SSD On Linux
  4. Noctua i4 CPU Cooler: Great For Cooling High-End LGA-2011v3 CPUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. 17-Way Linux Graphics Card Comparison With Civilization Beyond Earth
  2. AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver
  3. 12-Way AMD Catalyst 14.12 vs. NVIDIA 346 Series Linux GPU Comparison
  4. AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver Brings Mixed Results For Linux Users
Latest Linux News
  1. Server-Side XCB Is Being Discussed For The X.Org Server
  2. Adreno A4xx Rendering With Freedreno Takes Shape
  3. Linux 3.19-rc1 Kernel Released Ahead Of Schedule
  4. Civilization: Beyond Earth Linux GPU/Driver Benchmarks
  5. X.Org Server 1.16.3 Released To Fix Security Issues
  6. Linux 3.19 Merge Window Closes Ahead Of Schedule
  7. MIPS R6 Architecture Now Supported By GCC
  8. LowRISC To Feature Tagged Memory & Minion Cores
  9. Intel Skylake Audio Support For Linux 3.19
  10. After 10+ Years, NetworkManager Reaches v1.0
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Speeding up systemd networking service
  2. Need some hand holding with upgrading xserver
  3. FPS capped on Linux (AMD fglrx drivers)
  4. Are there an app using HSA ?
  5. The New SuperTuxKart Looks Better, But Can Cause GPU/Driver Problems
  6. XLennart: A Game For Systemd Haters With Nothing Better To Do
  7. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  8. Debian init discussion in Phoenix Wright format