NVIDIA Drops Their Open-Source Driver

NVIDIA has announced that it is dropping the support for new GPUs, such as the forthcoming Fermi, from it’s open source xf86-video-nv driver for X11. NVIDIA are recommending that users who want to use these new GPUs install the VESA driver at installation and then install the NVIDIA proprietary Linux drivers to make full use of the GPU. NVIDIA says it will continue to support the nv driver for existing functionality and current levels of acceleration for current and previous GPUs and says that “within reason” it will support future X server versions. New features, such as DisplayPort, will not be added to the nv driver on any GPU.

NVIDIA has actively supported the development of the free nv driver in addition to its proprietary Linux drivers. The xf86-video-nv driver only works to accelerate 2D graphics operations and does not assist modern desktops which often require 3D acceleration. NVIDIA therefore feels that the nv driver now offers no benefits beyond the VESA X driver.

The Nouveau driver, and its development, is independent of NVIDIA and provides an open source driver which experimentally supports 3D acceleration and xvideo, features that the nv driver lacks.


Mmm, not overly surprising. The nv driver performance doesn’t compare to the proprietary version, which has been around and stable for quite some time. Note; if anyone out there has an NVidia graphics card and a line that says ‘Driver “nv”’ in their /etc/X11/xorg.conf, it’s time to Click on SystemAdministrationHardware drivers !!