Struggling Open-Source Support, Pascal Rocking & Other NVIDIA Linux Topics Of 2017

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 16 December 2017 at 09:18 AM EST. Add A Comment
As part of our various year-end lists, recaps, and end of year testing, here's a look back at the most prominent NVIDIA open-source/Linux news of the year.

In 2017, NVIDIA's proprietary Linux driver has continued to "just work" and do so pretty damn well for those wanting a driver+GPU to give you the complete feature set and with optimum performance. Using the NVIDIA Linux driver remains a largely trouble-free experience if you do not care about the driver's code license and don't happen to hit any of the few bug issues. But if you are wanting an open-source GPU driver stack that's where it's been more difficult. It's also been difficult for those using the proprietary NVIDIA driver but wanting to make good use of Wayland... That's where it's still been troublesome in 2017 but will be interesting to see what 2018 brings for NVIDIA and Linux.

Of our over 100 NVIDIA Linux news articles this year, the most-viewed ones on Phoronix this calendar year included:

NVIDIA's "Open-Source Guy" Has Left The Company
One of the main public-facing figures to NVIDIA's open-source driver efforts has left the company to pursue a new opportunity.

NVIDIA Makes Huge Code Contribution To Qt, New Qt 3D Studio
The Qt Company today announced Qt 3D Studio, a new 3D UI authoring system, thanks to NVIDIA providing Qt with hundreds of thousands of lines of source code making up this application.

Nouveau Developers Remain Blocked By NVIDIA From Advancing Open-Source Driver
Longtime Nouveau contributors Martin Peres and Karol Herbst presented at this week's XDC2017 X.Org conference at the Googleplex in Mountain View. It was a quick talk as they didn't have a whole lot to report on due to their open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver efforts largely being restricted by NVIDIA Corp.

NVIDIA 375.27.08 Vulkan Driver Released
NVIDIA has released a new beta of their Vulkan driver for Windows and Linux.

NVIDIA Appears To Finally Be Prepping OpenCL 2.0 Driver Support
The OpenCL 2.0 specification is going on four years old and it appears NVIDIA's proprietary drivers are finally getting ready to support this newer GPGPU computing specification.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti On Linux?
The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is NVIDIA's new high-end gamer graphics card as a step-up from the previous GTX 1080 flagship. The GTX 1080 Ti is getting ready for release by retailers and, thankfully, NVIDIA did mail out a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti for Linux testing at Phoronix.

NVIDIA Open-Sources "NVDLA", Open-Source Hardware Project
NVIDIA has announced a new open-source project: NVDLA.

NVIDIA 381.09 Linux Beta Driver Released: New Kernel Support, Updated Vulkan
Coinciding with today's NVIDIA Titan Xp announcement is a new beta Linux driver release!

Debian Linux Is Now Available For NVIDIA's Jetson TX1
Debian Linux is now available for running on NVIDIA's Jetson TX1 developer board powered by their Tegra X1 SoC.

More OpenGL / OpenCL / Vulkan Benchmarks Of The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti On Linux
Complementing yesterday's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Linux review with OpenGL and Vulkan benchmarks and this morning's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti OpenCL benchmarks, here is a range of more standalone benchmarks for this GP102 graphics card.

NVIDIA 378.09 Driver Adds Multi-Threaded GLSL Shader Compilation, Vulkan Extensions
As reported a few hours ago, it's the day for a new NVIDIA Linux driver beta series. Meet the NVIDIA 378.09 driver release and it's pretty darn exciting for both OpenGL and Vulkan.

GeForce GT 1030 Will Work With NVIDIA 381 Linux Driver, Good Luck With Nouveau
This week NVIDIA released the GeForce GT 1030 as their newest low-end Pascal card. The GT 1030 cards retail for around $70 USD and you can find them in a low-profile version with some cards even being passively cooled.

NVIDIA Signed Firmware Published For Pascal GP102/GP104/GP106/GP107
Yesterday I wrote about initial Nouveau open-source acceleration for GeForce GTX 1050/1060/1070/1080 GPUs and now the signed firmware images needed for pairing with that code are readily available.

NVIDIA Publishes EGL External Platform Interface & Wayland Library
NVIDIA today is releasing their first Linux 378.xx driver series beta and alongside that new beta driver they are publishing their EGL External Platform interface and Wayland library.

NVIDIA 378.13 Linux Driver Released
NVIDIA's Unix driver team is celebrating Valentine's Day by releasing their first stable driver in the 378 driver series for Linux.

NVIDIA 375.66 Driver Released With Fixes, Official GTX 1080 Ti Support
NVIDIA has released the 375.66 proprietary driver update as their latest in the long-lived driver series branch.

Windows 10 vs. Linux With AMDGPU+RadeonSI, NVIDIA Pascal, Lots Of Games Coming
There's going to be fresh AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce Windows 10 vs. Linux comparisons on Phoronix in the week ahead. Here are the early details and a RFC for our patrons.

Flatpak 0.8.3 Released, Can Now Work With NVIDIA's Linux Driver
With the release of Flatpak 0.8.3, this open-source sandboxing tech is a bit more suited for Linux gaming.

NVIDIA Makes It Easier On Fedora To Try GNOME With EGLStreams On Wayland
With Fedora not yet officially supporting the EGLStreams code-path for GNOME Mutter on Wayland, NVIDIA has created their own third-party Copr repository with said support.

GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Announced: 3584 CUDA Cores, 11 GB vRAM, 11 Gbps
NVIDIA did their much anticipated unveiling last night at GDC of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card as "the fastest gaming GPU ever."

And a look at the most-viewed NVIDIA featured articles in 2017:

Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux Gaming Performance With NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060/1080
It's been a while since last testing Windows 10 vs. Linux on different, newer Linux game ports with a variety of GPUs, but that changed this week. As mentioned this weekend, I've been working on a large, fresh Windows vs. Linux gaming performance comparison. The results available today are for NVIDIA with testing a GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1080 on Windows 10 Pro x64 and Ubuntu 16.10 x86_64 with the latest drivers and using a variety of newer Direct3D 11/12 / OpenGL / Vulkan games.

Open-Source Nouveau Linux 4.10 + NvBoost vs. NVIDIA Proprietary Linux Driver Performance
Earlier this week I posted some benchmarks showing the open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) driver performance on Linux 4.10 with the new NvBoost capability for finally being able to hit the "boost" clock frequencies with Kepler graphics cards when using this reverse-engineered driver. While the manual re-clocking and enabling NvBoost is able to increase the Nouveau driver's performance, how do these results compare to using the closed-source NVIDIA Linux driver? These benchmarks answer that question.

15-Way NVIDIA/AMD OpenCL GPU Linux Benchmarks Of Ethereum Ethminer
With the Ethereum cryptocurrency generating lots of buzz recently due to its rising valuation and being excellent for mining on GPUs, here are some Ubuntu Linux benchmarks when testing many different GeForce and Radeon graphics cards with the Ethminer OpenCL support, including performance-per-dollar and performance-per-Watt metrics.

Benchmarks Of Many ARM Boards From The Raspberry Pi To NVIDIA Jetson TX2
For some weekend benchmarking fun, I compared the Jetson TX2 that NVIDIA released this weekend with their ARM 64-bit "Denver 2" CPU cores paired with four Cortex-A57 cores to various other ARM single board computers I have access to. This is looking at the CPU performance in different benchmarks ranging from cheap ~$10 ARM SBCs to the Raspberry Pi to the Jetson TX1 and Jetson TX2.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti On Linux: Best Linux Gaming Performance
The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is NVIDIA's newest, most powerful graphics card for gamers not only on Windows but also under Linux. I only received the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti this morning so here are my initial Linux performance figures for this new high-end Pascal graphics card compared to other NVIDIA and AMD Radeon graphics cards. Linux VR tests, CUDA/OpenCL compute benchmarks, and additional GeForce GTX 1080 Ti results will be published in the days ahead when having more time to spend with this graphics card.

NVIDIA Jetson TX2 Linux Benchmarks
Last week we got to tell you all about the new NVIDIA Jetson TX2 with its custom-designed 64-bit Denver 2 CPUs, four Cortex-A57 cores, and Pascal graphics with 256 CUDA cores. Today the Jetson TX2 is shipping and the embargo has expired for sharing performance metrics on the JTX2.

AMD & NVIDIA: Open vs. Closed-Source Driver Performance
Continuing on from this weekend's open-source Nouveau vs. closed-source NVIDIA Linux driver performance are results now added in with showing AMD's open-source vs. closed-source driver performance with the same tests.

NVIDIA's Linux Driver Continues Offering Similar OpenGL Performance To Windows
Earlier this month with some fresh Windows vs. Linux benchmarks were numbers showing how the open-source Radeon driver stack is now nearly on-par with the Radeon Windows driver as well as how the Intel Linux graphics performance is getting closer to parity too. In this article are the least interesting numbers: the NVIDIA Linux vs. Windows 10 results.

18-Way NVIDIA/AMD Linux Performance For Dawn Of War III
Today marks the highly anticipated debut of Dawn of War III for Linux (and macOS) ported by Feral Interactive. Here are a number of OpenGL and Vulkan benchmarks of NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards running Ubuntu Linux with this game.

NVIDIA vs. Radeon VDPAU Mesa 17.2 Video Decode Performance
In yesterday's GeForce GT 1030 Linux review, a $70 USD graphics card that's low-profile and passively-cooled, I featured a number of NVIDIA VDPAU video acceleration benchmarks. But a question came up about Radeon VDPAU performance, so here are some benchmarks on that front, but they are far from ideal.
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Michael Larabel

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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