NVIDIA's Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix -- or more commonly known as VDPAU -- has had phenomenal success since this video playback/decoding API was published last year and implemented within their proprietary graphics driver on Linux. VDPAU on NVIDIA hardware utilizes the PureVideo engine and is able to provide very impressive video playback capabilities even when running a very low-end CPU and GPU. VDPAU has been adopted in a variety of Linux multimedia applications from FFmpeg to XBMC to MythTV.
While there have been NVIDIA 190.xx Linux driver releases on the Internet going back to June, a stable driver release in this series that supports OpenCL, brings new VDPAU features, provides OpenGL 3.2, and supports new hardware has yet to take place. In fact, the last stable update was NVIDIA 185.18.36 back in August. The 190.xx driver series though is slowly getting ready to be officially supported by this Santa Clara company.
It's been no secret that NVIDIA has been working on an OpenCL Linux driver for their graphics processors just as AMD has been doing, but up until now their beta drivers were only available to registered NVIDIA developers. Today though -- on the same day as NVIDIA's OpenCL driver launch for Windows -- they have made their OpenCL support publicly available.
After releasing a standalone VDPAU library, NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner shared an interesting tid-bit on the X.Org mailing list in response to questions raised by Red Hat's David Airlie. The Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix will have its own protocol, similar to that of XvMC and DRI. This VDPAU protocol will be used for telling the client (multimedia) applications what driver is to be used for the VDPAU acceleration and Aaron also has plans for adding indirect rendering support to this NVIDIA HD video playback API.
While NVIDIA developed VDPAU (the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix, one awesome way of accelerating HD video playback with great results) for use in their proprietary graphics driver, the API itself is open and has been well adopted by multimedia applications.
The NVIDIA 190.xx driver series already delivers on OpenGL 3.2 support and other new features, but continuing on with beta releases, NVIDIA's Linux engineers have released a new beta (v190.32) that brings a few more features.
If you have any (non-tech support) questions about NVIDIA and Linux, ask away! Phoronix will be hosting a question and answer session with NVIDIA regarding their Linux graphics driver. If you have any questions to ask, click on the "Comments and Discussion" button below and ask away in our forums. After a few days we will be narrowing down the list of questions before NVIDIA begins answering them.
NVIDIA hasn't been updating their binary Linux drivers as frequently as they were earlier this year when it would be hard to go even just a week without seeing a new beta, an official update, or changes to either of their legacy drivers. However, there are some new NVIDIA Linux drivers to start off this week. For those sticking with the official NVIDIA driver releases there is now the 185.18.36 release while those willing to try out a beta driver there is the 190.25 build.
Yesterday there was the major announcement of the OpenGL 3.2 release, but the news coming out of today from New Orleans during SIGGRAPH is OptiX, which comes from the folks at NVIDIA. OptiX is a ray-tracing engine developed by NVIDIA to run on Quadro FX graphics cards and uses their CUDA architecture. Later on this year NVIDIA will then release an interactive ray-trace renderer that uses OptiX within their SceniX engine.
While NVIDIA's driver engineers are hard at work on the 190.xx driver series, which among other features does bring OpenGL 3.2 support, for those living by the stable releases there is a new driver that's out today. The NVIDIA 185.18.29 Linux driver was uploaded to NVIDIA's FTP server this morning and does bring a number of changes as listed in their official release highlights.
Earlier this week NVIDIA had released their first beta driver in the NVIDIA 190.xx Linux series. The official change-log for the driver was pretty interesting as there were some new additions and other improvements, but unofficially, it delivered OpenGL 3.2 Linux support. The OpenGL 3.2 specification hasn't even been released yet, but we anticipate it will be announced by the Khronos Group early next month at SIGGRAPH.
Late last month there was a private beta driver from NVIDIA for the 190.xx Linux driver series that was leaked onto the Internet. There was no complete change-log with this leak, but we have a change-log now as NVIDIA this afternoon released its first public beta driver. The NVIDIA 190.16 Beta driver was released for Linux as their first public beta release in this forthcoming software series.
NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner has just announced the release of the xf86-video-nv 2.1.14 driver, but does it have anything in store? Not really. The NVIDIA open-source X.Org driver update brings support for a couple of new ASICs, fixed mode-setting for some NVIDIA GPUs, and other fixes, but nothing too exciting... At least compared to the ATI X.Org module and other drivers that have picked up kernel mode-setting support and other exciting features.
The latest stable NVIDIA Linux driver release is in the 185.xx series, but NVIDIA developers have been hard at work on the forthcoming 190.xx driver series. Among other features, this next major driver update is expected to bring their talked about OpenCL support.
Back in May we shared that NVIDIA was readying its OpenCL Linux driver and had submitted their OpenCL 1.0 NVIDIA drivers to the Khronos Group for certification. As of this morning, NVIDIA has now released its OpenCL driver for Linux (and Windows), but it's only available if you are a registered NVIDIA developer. Developers of hand-helds, games, workstations, and GPU computing are able to apply and if you are lucky you will get your hands on the OpenCL binary driver.
While NVIDIA is hard at work on the 185.xx display driver series for Linux, FreeBSD, and OpenSolaris systems, as can be seen by their 185.18.14 driver release just days ago. However, for those sticking with the official NVIDIA driver updates, a new release in the 180.xx series is now available. The NVIDIA 180.60 Linux driver brings a few noteworthy changes.
NVIDIA hasn't released as many Linux driver updates in May as they have in past months, but this week they are out with the NVIDIA 185.18.14 driver update. This proprietary driver for x86 and x86_64 Linux features a variety of bug-fixes, VDPAU enhancements, and better support for newer Linux kernels. Interestingly, NVIDIA hasn't updated their proprietary FreeBSD or Solaris drivers to this latest version, nor have they even been updated in a while.
It has been two or three weeks since we were last presented with a new display driver from NVIDIA for Linux, whether it be in their 180.xx or 185.xx series, a stable release, a beta release, or any of their legacy driver updates. This timespan is quite long compared to the past few months where they have released as many as five Linux drivers per month. This evening though there is now a new stable release in the NVIDIA 180.xx driver series.
Andrew Humber, NVIDIA's senior PR manager for their Tesla and CUDA products, has passed along word that they have submitted OpenCL 1.0 supportive drivers to the Khronos Group for conformance certification. This initial OpenCL support will be on Linux and Windows, though there was no mention of OpenCL on Solaris/OpenSolaris or FreeBSD where they also maintain proprietary drivers.
Last month there were five Linux driver releases from NVIDIA and we have already seen quite a few this month, but just days after releasing the 180.51 Linux driver, they have pushed out another new release. This time around NVIDIA released a new beta in the 185 series, which is called 185.18.04.
NVIDIA has now managed to make it nearly two weeks before issuing a new Linux driver update. The NVIDIA 185.19 Beta is still the latest in the 185.xx series, but NVIDIA has provided a pre-release of the 180.51 driver.
The ill-maintained, feature-limited, and obfuscated driver known as xf86-video-nv driver has a new release out. This is the first open-source NVIDIA X.Org driver update in several months, but its change-log is rather limited. The xf86-video-nv 2.1.13 release was pushed out by Red Hat's Adam Jackson, and not even NVIDIA.
NVIDIA had ended out March with five Linux display driver releases with it ranging from a day to a week between updated Linux drivers were pushed out from this Santa Clara company. It's been just over a week since their last display driver release, but it looks like April will be another month of fierce Linux/Solaris/BSD driver updates from NVIDIA.
You may have just installed the 180.37.04 Linux driver since it was released merely six days ago with OpenGL 3.1 support, but this morning NVIDIA has officially released the 180.44 Linux driver.
NVIDIA pushed out the 185.13 Beta Linux driver just four days ago, but already they have released another new Linux driver. This time around, the NVIDIA 180.37.04 driver was released. Most notably what's introduced with this driver is support for OpenGL 3.1, which was just publicly announced by the Khronos Group a few hours ago. This driver is based upon the 180.3x release stream does not incorporate some of the features found in the newer 185.xx series.
It has not even been a week since the release of 185.13 Beta Linux driver, but today these Santa Clara engineers have pushed out yet another driver update for Linux. The NVIDIA 180.41 driver is this newest driver and it brings support for new Quadro FX graphics cards, improved power management on some systems, and bug-fixes.
It was just one week ago that NVIDIA released the 180.37 Linux driver, but already there is a new bleeding-edge release available. Last night a NVIDIA Linux engineer pushed out the 185.13 beta. This is the first Linux release in the 185.xx series, but what this release consists of actually isn't known. NVIDIA hasn't published a change-log for the 185.13 Linux driver.
NVIDIA's VDPAU feature for providing greater GPU acceleration during video playback on Linux desktops has experienced great adoption since its November launch. This NVIDIA-spawned video API has already worked its way into open-source projects like MPlayer / FFmpeg, MythTV, Xine, and XBMC. This morning we find out from Stefan Huskamp that a new Linux VDR (Video Disk Recorder) / EasyVDR release is coming soon and it too will feature support for the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix through its use of the Xine library.
It was not even two weeks ago that the NVIDIA 180.35 display driver was released for Linux, but yesterday NVIDIA decided to push out yet another update (they have been on a driver updating rampage this year).
This week we received a note from Matthias Dahl, a Phoronix reader, who wanted to remind us about current problems plaguing the NVIDIA 180.xx driver series. Using any of the newer NVIDIA Linux drivers can cause graphics corruption followed by the system locking up. These problems are certainly known by NVIDIA and are experienced by many users as can be seen from this NvNews Forum thread. Below is what Matthias had to share about the situation.
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