Initial Open-Source GeForce GTX 1000 "Pascal" Nouveau Driver Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 8 July 2016 at 10:47 PM EDT. 11 Comments
NOUVEAU --
While there isn't yet any 3D/hardware acceleration support, the first milestone of open-source bring-up for the latest-generation NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1000 "Pascal" graphics processors is now available for Nouveau.

Nouveau DRM maintainer Ben Skeggs has managed to publish initial open-source, reverse-engineered graphics driver support for Pascal (GP100 series) GPUs. Ben Skeggs at Red Hat continues to do this without official documentation from NVIDIA Corp but rather just receiving hardware samples and the hard process of reverse engineering.

It was a delight to see a bunch of Pascal-related work hitting Ben's Nouveau DRM Git tree this evening. There is now initial support for the Pascal hardware with the Nouveau DRM/KMS driver. I have yet to see him formally announce the work on any mailing lists or provide any overview, but it's a lot of work and will hopefully at least allow the displays to light up well on the GeForce GTX 1060/1070/1080 hardware.

But before getting too excited, while this first milestone has happened, the hardware acceleration support will still be blocked by NVIDIA. Not until they decide to release the signed firmware images for Pascal will there be any reasonable chance of having hardware acceleration on these brand new, very power efficient, and extremely performant GPUs. Need I remind all of you that only earlier this year NVIDIA released the signed firmware files for enabling GeForce GTX 900 "Maxwell" acceleration with Nouveau... There is now OpenGL acceleration on GTX 900 series hardware with this open-source code paired with the binary-only firmware blobs, but there isn't yet re-clocking and other missing features. Long story short, it will still be a number of months (but hopefully not years) before the GTX 1000 Pascal support is in good standing by Nouveau... At least now the display should hopefully light up and mode-set to your native resolution until you can get about to installing NVIDIA's proprietary Linux driver.


The GeForce GTX 1060/1070/1080 are extremely great under Linux, but for now only if willing to use NVIDIA's proprietary graphics driver stack. Hopefully this will change with Nouveau before Pascal becomes too irrelevant; Kepler is meanwhile finally getting into suitable shape on the open-source stack.


Ben Skeggs hasn't yet sent out the Nouveau DRM-Next pull request for Linux 4.8 material but hopefully this initial Pascal support will make the cut. More details as they become available.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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