NVIDIA 361.16 Beta Driver Now Includes Long-Awaited GLVND

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 5 January 2016 at 05:20 PM EST. 26 Comments
NVIDIA's Unix graphics driver team is starting off the new year by releasing their first public beta in the 361 Linux driver series.

The NVIDIA 361 beta release isn't as exciting as some past series, but there is a lot to be excited about for one change: GLVND is finally happening! GLVND, short for the OpenGL Vendor Neutral Dispatch Library, has been talked about for years but is only now happening. The GLVND library is the critical piece of the new Linux OpenGL ABI talked about since around 2013 and is when NVIDIA developers first published this library.

Using libglvnd will ultimately simplify the Linux OpenGL driver installation and make it easier for multiple different OpenGL drivers to co-exist on the same system. With this new format, the different proprietary drivers won't overwrite each other nor cause havoc to the stock Mesa libraries. That is as long as the other prominent Linux OpenGL drivers also opt for the GLVND design.

With today's 361.16 Linux beta, the OpenGL Vendor-Neutral Driver infrastructure is now used and supported by NVIDIA's GLX and OpenGL drivers. This shouldn't cause problems for end-users but distribution packagers, applications using symbols outside of the Linux OpenGL 1.0 ABI, and other niche cases may hit problems. More details on libglvnd can be found via NVIDIA's GitHub.

Besides the OpenGL Vendor-Neutral Driver work, the NVIDIA Installer has been updated, there is an EGL driver bug fix, and the VDPAU wrapper and trace libraries have been removed in favor of using the open-source VDPAU components now shipped by most Linux distributions.

More details on the NVIDIA 361.16 Linux beta release via devtalk.nvidia.com.
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