For New Developers There Are A Lot Of Ways To Help Nouveau

Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 5 July 2015 at 09:47 AM EDT. 10 Comments
For developers that may be experienced with advanced C/C++ programming, dealing with graphics drivers is a very different beast, and thus for individuals wanting to get involved there are often lots of questions simply about how to get started.

There's been attempts at writing a Linux graphics driver development book and other steps over the years by veteran X.Org/Mesa developers to get new blood involved, but at the end of the day the open-source Linux graphics drivers remain one of the most neglected subsystems of the Linux desktop stack and in the need of the most help -- in catching up to the proprietary drivers and latest industry-standard specifications.

There's another new thread with the common question of "getting involved with open-source video driver development", this time in the Nouveau camp. Ilia Mirkin, one of the most prolific Nouveau contributors in recent times, has suggested the most normal approach: "First start by building a mesa from git and making sure that you can run it. It tends to be most effective when there's some thing that is broken that you can fix, as that gives you a clear goal."

The other interesting element and a large reason for this article is a Trello board that he's assembled of Nouveau work items. He's keeping an active list of Nouveau work items for those wishing to try to get involved with Nouveau driver development or just wondering what sort of items are left to be tackled for this open-source NVIDIA driver. Among the listed items are adding VP6 Maxwell video acceleration support, VDPAU support for VPE2, the big power management tasks, various OpenGL tasks, and compiler optimizations.
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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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