NVIDIA To Issue An Update On Their Support Of Mir & Wayland

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 29 September 2014 at 01:20 PM EDT. 44 Comments
While there's no supportive driver out at this time, NVIDIA continues to be working in the direction of supporting non-X11 windowing systems like Mir and Wayland.

XDC2014 Bordeaux should be very interesting next week. Besides AMD providing an update on moving towards a unified open-source driver and NVIDIA still working on the new Linux OpenGL ABI, Andy Ritger of NVIDIA has a secondary talk regarding Enabling Alternative Window Systems with a non-Mesa Graphics Driver Implementation.

Ritger summarizes, "Alternates to the X Window System, such as Wayland and Mir, have evolved through novel use of the building blocks of the Mesa-, DRI-, and DRM-based Linux graphics driver stack. We have been working to support alternative window systems in the NVIDIA Linux Graphics Driver." NVIDIA has been working to refactor their binary blob stack so it more closely aligns to what's assumed by Wayland/Mir -- that it will plug into the DRM/KMS infrastructure. NVIDIA is also working on new EGL extensions that Mir/Wayland could utilize to "enumerate GPUs, correlate objects between EGL and DRM-KMS, and present frames through EGL + DRM-KMS." These EGL extensions would make it easier for other drivers to provide support to these new windowing systems in a more uniform manner.

We've known for quite some time that NVIDIA has been working towards Wayland support but there's been no updates in a while. It seems over the year they've been busy making their NVIDIA kernel blob more aligned to the DRM/KMS interfaces. Until next week one could wonder if it will be similar to AMD's new unified Linux driver approach with having an open kernel driver, but that's probably unlikely given the poor state of the Nouveau DRM code and not expecting to see any mega open code drop out of NVIDIA. Then again, we'd love to be surprised.

XWayland Linux Gaming Performance With GNOME Wayland On Fedora 21

Among the EGL extensions being proposed by NVIDIA for use by Wayland/Mir are EGL_EXT_device_base, EGL_EXT_device_drm, EGL_EXT_output_base, and EGL_EXT_device_drm. Some of these EGL extensions already have contributions by Christopher James Halse Rogers, a Canonical developer working on the Ubuntu Mir/X stack.

We'll know more next week during XDC2014 Bordeaux so stay tuned to our live remote coverage on Phoronix. If you appreciate all of the Linux graphics news on Phoronix, please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium or a PayPal tip. This year I won't be attending XDC in person due to an increase in those using ad blockers on the site; Phoronix.com is financed by ad impressions and premium subscribers that receive an ad-free experience and multi-page article viewing on a single page.
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