Nouveau Starts Dropping Non-KMS Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 11 January 2010 at 02:22 AM EST. 7 Comments
Back in 2008 the developers behind the Nouveau reverse-engineered NVIDIA driver dropped support for their classic Mesa driver even before there was ever a stable release of it. Instead the developers working on the 3D support for all generations of NVIDIA hardware turned their focus to their Gallium3D driver, which still remains heavily experimental to this day. In a similar move, the Nouverau developers have begun deleting their non-KMS code paths even before a stable DDX driver release has been made.

The Nouveau DRM has entered the Linux 2.6.33 kernel to much excitement, which is complete with its kernel mode-setting support for nearly all NVIDIA graphics cards. No official xf86-video-nouveau driver release has yet been made, but one should come in 2010 after the Linux 2.6.33 kernel is available.

Red Hat's Ben Skeggs though has started deleting non-KMS code (Git commit) that is trimming this NVIDIA X.Org driver by thousands of lines of code. While user-space mode-setting will no longer work, kernel mode-setting is the superior solution and is the future. Intel had also recently dropped support for user-space mode-setting.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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