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

A Nouveau 3D Driver That Works For Old NVIDIA Hardware

Nouveau

Published on 02 February 2010 08:36 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau
19 Comments

While there is now DRM support in the Linux 2.6.33 kernel for the Nouveau driver that carries the bits for kernel mode-setting, 2D (EXA) acceleration, and other fundamental functions on NVIDIA graphics processors, the Gallium3D driver still is incomplete. Prior to focusing solely on Gallium3D for their OpenGL acceleration, the Nouveau project was working on a DRI driver for classic Mesa, but that work was dropped in 2008 to focus entirely on Gallium3D support. This afternoon, however, a new Mesa DRI driver has emerged for Nouveau that provides *working* 3D support for older NVIDIA hardware.

Gallium3D is largely designed around modern graphics processors (particularly GPUs with shaders) and the fixed-function NVIDIA graphics hardware that came prior to this has largely suffered in Gallium3D. These old GPUs being referenced are from the NV0x, NV1x, and some NV2x series graphics processors. Rather than continuing to let this support rot for extremely old NVIDIA graphics hardware, a new Mesa driver has been constructed that provides support for these old graphics cards and implements texturing, transform and lighting, etc. Most importantly, however, is that this driver actually works right now.

In a new Git repository by Francisco Jerez is the Mesa code that soon will be merged to Mesa master. This code drops the NV04/NV10/NV20 Gallium3D pipe drivers and delivers on a DRI driver for classic Mesa. The reincarnation of the Nouveau classic Mesa driver was announced on the Nouveau mailing list. Already in response to this, it's been confirmed by a user that OpenArena, Tremulous, and other lightweight Linux games are running fine while there are a couple games currently running into problems.

This is good news for those with these very old NVIDIA graphics cards, but most NVIDIA GPUs currently in use are well beyond the NV20 series. The NV20 is the GPU found within the NVIDIA GeForce 3 series, which was brought to the market about a decade ago. The Gallium3D driver will continue to be the sole focus for the GeForce 4 series and later.

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. Acer B286HK: A 28-inch UHD LED 4K Monitor For As Low As $350
  2. Intel Xeon E5-1680 v3 & E5-2687W v3 Compared To The Core i7 5960X On Linux
  3. Intel 120GB 530 Series SSD Linux Performance
  4. Btrfs/EXT4/XFS/F2FS RAID 0/1/5/6/10 Linux Benchmarks On Four SSDs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Mesa Git Yields Performance Improvements For Newer AMD GPUs
  2. Apple OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 Performance
  3. Mesa 10.5-devel Brings Some Intel Haswell HD Graphics Changes Over Mesa 10.3
  4. NVIDIA vs. Nouveau Drivers With Linux 3.18 + Mesa 10.4-devel
Latest Linux News
  1. NVIDIA Posts Tegra Gallium3D Patch For K1+ Support
  2. Ubuntu 14.10 MacBook Air Tests With Linux 3.18, Mesa 10.5
  3. AMD Richland APU Support Added To Coreboot
  4. 2014 Holiday Shopping Reminder, Happy Thanksgiving
  5. Python 3 Support Added To The GNOME Shell
  6. ReactOS Lands Its New Explorer Shell
  7. Weston's IVI Shell Sees New Version
  8. IMP Launches As Another Open-Source Computer Attempt
  9. Git 2.2.0 Released With 550+ Changes
  10. GNOME 3.15.2 Released
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  2. Hurrican SDL Port
  3. Roadmap to Catalyst 14.10 ?
  4. how to configure module phoromatic ?
  5. PulseAudio 6.0 Is Coming & Other Linux Audio Plans For The Future
  6. Debian Developer Resigns From The Systemd Maintainership Team
  7. Cant get working Kaveri APU - A10-7850k
  8. Script for Fan Speed Control