NVIDIA Lands X.Org Server Support For PRIME Render Offload On FreeBSD

Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 24 February 2023 at 10:30 AM EST. 18 Comments
It's not too often I get to talk about major FreeBSD graphics driver improvements, but with the latest X.Org Server Git code paired with the recent NVIDIA proprietary graphics driver there is now support for PRIME render offload should you be using a multi-GPU setup on this BSD.

NVIDIA's FreeBSD proprietary graphics driver has a largely shared code-base with the Linux (and Solaris) Unix graphics driver code. The NVIDIA FreeBSD driver package recently added a port of the "nvidia-drm" kernel module and now an X.Org Server change has landed to allow for working PRIME render offload. PRIME render offload is about having one GPU being used for the X.Org Server's screen rendering while allowing rendering of certain games/applications to happen from the secondary -- and more powerful -- discrete GPU. PRIME render offload has long worked under Linux for various drivers while now is beginning to work on FreeBSD with the NVIDIA stack.

This merge request from NVIDIA's Austin Shafer was merged yesterday for adding a shared DRM platform for the BSDs. That's needed along with the recent nvidia-drm-present NVIDIA proprietary graphics driver to allow for this convenient multi-GPU render offload support to now work on FreeBSD.

X.Org Server merge

From the X.Org Server side it was just a matter of moving a file and having it be included as part of the BSD xorg-server build for supporting the PRIME render offload in the same manner as on Linux.
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