Most Linux distributions this year will be switching over to the community-created Nouveau
graphics driver stack now that there's mainline DRM support
in the Linux 2.6.33 kernel
and later releases that provides kernel mode-setting support and more. However, for those that have not yet made move to the Nouveau driver (or are running a *BSD or OpenSolaris where there is not yet the ported DRM) and are sticking it out with NVIDIA's rudimentary, feature-limited open-source driver, there is a new update out today. NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner has just declared the xf86-video-nv 2.1.17 driver release.
This is the first open-source driver update from NVIDIA since releasing v2.1.16 in December
. While it's been a few months since the last X.Org driver update, there really isn't much to get excited about with this new driver. There's only been seven Git commits to their FreeDesktop.org repository
since the December update.
There's only two changes worth mentioning and that is a gamma control fix and the ION GPU support
that we talked about last week. Older releases of the xf86-video-nv DDX haven't been compatible with X Server 1.7 and later, but now the 2.1.17 release does by supporting RandR 1.2's new-style of gamma control. The ION GPU support is just the usual very basic EXA acceleration for the GeForce 9400M GPU found in many netbooks and nettops of the past year.
That accounts for the xf86-video-nv work over the past few months with no major Linux advancements, unlike the constantly evolving Intel, ATI Radeon, and Nouveau drivers. Those interested in the xf86-video-nv driver release announcement can find it on the X.Org mailing list
. We've already been wondering what will happen to xf86-video-nv in 2010
, but so far NVIDIA's response
has been to remain clear of the Nouveau driver work and continue pumping very basic mode-setting and 2D support into their own driver.