NVIDIA Developer Posts Secure Boot Refactoring For Nouveau

Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 11 October 2016 at 07:16 AM EDT. 14 Comments
It's not as important as NVIDIA publishing new signed firmware images, but then again it's not every day we see NVIDIA developers contribute to the open-source Nouveau driver stack. Nevertheless, today a new set of patches were published for the Nouveau DRM driver.

Alexandre Courbot of NVIDIA who previously sent out the Nouveau patches for "Secure Boot" support sent out a big refactoring of the code today that touches nearly two thousand lines of code. This isn't to be confused with UEFI Secure Boot but is rather the code for properly loading NVIDIA's signed firmware blobs that are needed for hardware initialization since Maxwell.

Courbot wrote on the Nouveau mailing list, "Apologies for the big patchset. This is a rework of the secure boot code that moves the building of the blob into its own set of source files (and own hooks), making the code more flexible and (hopefully) easier to understand as well. This rework is needed to support more signed firmware for existing and new chips. Since the firmwares in question are not available yet I cannot send the code for them yet, but hopefully the gain in clarity will be enough to merge this series ahead of the rest."

So this code is important for supporting more modern NVIDIA hardware with their tight signed firmware requirements, but sadly today isn't met by any new firmware release -- namely we're still waiting for any Maxwell PMU firmware to better allow re-clocking and we're also waiting for the firmware images so Nouveau can provide hardware acceleration for the GeForce GTX 1000 series consumer GPU hardware. No word with this latest patch series when any new firmware might be published. Until then, NVIDIA Maxwell/Pascal GPUs are really only useful when using the proprietary NVIDIA Linux graphics driver.
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