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NVIDIA Will Support Newly-Dropped GPUs On Linux Through 2019
While NVIDIA will be dropping support soon for GeForce 8 through GeForce 300 series graphics hardware from their mainline graphics driver, they are committing to supporting these older graphics processors for another five years. The support will include new Linux kernel and X.Org Server updates along with critical bug-fixes.
NVIDIA is already maintaining their earlier legacy driver for NV4x through G7x GPUs through the end of 2017 while the G8x through GT2xx support is now committed to the end of 2019. This is really great news and can be found posted on NVIDIA.com and the Linux commitment was confirmed to me by NVIDIA's Hardy Doelfel.
The GeForce 8 series was first introduced in 2006 so this will represent thirteen years that NVIDIA is supporting their binary-only Linux graphics driver for this hardware support. The GeForce 300 series, which is the newest hardware that's being dropped, was introduced in the 2009~2010 time-frame.
It's wonderful seeing NVIDIA willing to maintain their proprietary Linux graphics driver support so long with new Linux kernel and X.Org Server releases -- meaning the driver will continue to work with new Linux distribution releases -- while AMD doesn't maintain their Linux legacy drivers and barely do release notes all in the name of trying to reduce engineering costs. The Radeon HD 4000 series graphics hardware that was introduced in 2008 is no longer receiving updates with the AMD Catalyst Legacy driver but is left to just the open-source Linux Radeon driver.