Mesa Adds Initial Support For Open-Source OpenGL On NVIDIA RTX 30 "Ampere"

Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 10 November 2022 at 06:00 AM EST. 9 Comments
While NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 "Ada Lovelace" GPUs are shipping, the Nouveau Linux driver stack for open-source support on NVIDIA hardware is finally getting ready to provide basic OpenGL support for the existing RTX 30 "Ampere" graphics processors.

For going along with the Nouveau driver improvements for Linux 6.2, in conjunction with that code merged to Mesa Git yesterday for next quarter's Mesa 23.0 is enabling OpenGL support for Ampere GPUs. This Mesa NVC0 Gallium3D driver support for the Ampere GPUs will depend on Linux 6.2+ as well as using the signed Ampere firmware packages.

Red Hat's Karol Herbst worked out the few hundred lines of Nouveau Gallium3D driver changes needed for getting OpenGL working on the RTX 30 series. The support has been part of this merge request that had been open for three months but only now merged with the kernel-side driver support coming together for DRM-Next.

This is only about OpenGL acceleration for the RTX 30 series while the Vulkan API support will come via the in-progress "NVK" open-source Vulkan driver. Additionally, for Linux 6.2 there isn't yet any GPU System Processor (GSP) integration or other workarounds for dealing with the low performance / boot clock speed limitation. So once this open-source OpenGL driver support is running on GeForce RTX 30 series, it will be extremely slow with the open-source driver stack. Only once the Nouveau GSP support lands and the power management / re-clocking is sorted out can there expected to be good performance.

This RTX 30 series support for now (pre-GSP) will be similar to that of the GeForce 900 "Maxwell" series and later of having very low performance. Until that GSP milestone is crossed, the best Nouveau support/performance remains with the aging GeForce GTX 700 series. Or using the NVIDIA proprietary driver with any of their modern GPUs if not concerned about the openness of the software. Hopefully 2023 will prove more exciting on the open-source NVIDIA front if the GSP efforts come together nicely and NVK proves capable for Linux gaming.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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