Nouveau Open-Source Driver Will Now Work With NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti On Linux 5.0
Back in December, Ben Skeggs of Red Hat posted the initial Turing support for Nouveau in the form of the TU104 (RTX 2080) and TU106 (RTX 2060/2070) but was lacking coverage of the TU102, which is for the flagship RTX 2080 Ti and TITAN RTX. He wasn't able to test the support at the time and thus left it out. Skeggs has now been able to verify the TU102 support is working and that patch is now on its way to the mainline kernel tree.
Before getting too excited, as outlined previously, this initial Turing open-source support is just good for kernel mode-setting. Turing GPUs at least can have KMS and run at the monitor's preferred resolution so it's better than nothing, but there is not yet any hardware acceleration support. Nouveau is blocked from providing any Turing hardware acceleration until more reverse engineering but more pressing is for NVIDIA to release the signed firmware images for Turing, which has been required since the GTX 900 Maxwell days due to heightened firmware security. Until that point, OpenGL acceleration falls back to the software, e.g. LLVMpipe.
But even when the Turing microcode binaries are published, the hardware will presumably still be struck by the same re-clocking issues that have plagued Maxwell, Pascal, and Volta GPUs... Leading to very poor performance. See The Open-Source NVIDIA "Nouveau" Linux Driver Performance At The End Of 2018 if the state of this open-source NV driver is new to you.
The patch adding the TU102 support is quite simple and simply re-using the existing TU104 code-paths and for some areas even that of older generations still works out plus adding the 0x162 PCI ID.
That patch was sent in today as part of this DRM pull request and should land in time for this weekend's Linux 5.0-rc3 kernel. So now at least there will be kernel mode-setting for a pleasant display experience when booting with the RTX 2080 Ti / TITAN RTX until being able to download and install NVIDIA's full-featured and performant but proprietary Linux driver.