xf86-video-nv Driver Updated, First In Months
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 8 March 2010 at 05:07 PM EST. Add A Comment
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.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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