Nouveau NVIDIA open source graphics driver @

Tuesday 04th September 2007, 12:12:00 PM, written by Rys have published an interesting piece on Nouveau, an open source GNU/Linux graphics driver for NVIDIA graphics hardware.

The article by's Bruce Byfield talks to two Nouveau developers, Stephane Marchesin and Ben Skeggs, about the project's status and how it's going about its work.

Born out of frustration at the lack of 3D acceleration in the free nv driver, and lack of open source code for the officially-supported NVIDIA binary driver that supports 3D acceleration on GNU/Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris, Nouveau already has working 2D for NV4-NV50 hardware.

The hard part for the project is the development of the 3D portion of the driver, and its integration into the display and render frameworks that exists for the mentioned non-Windows operating systems.

Byfield talks about the projects reverse engineering efforts with tools like MMIO Trace and RENouveau, which help to figure out what's going on with the hardware as certain actions are attempted.

Very much still a developer's project, Nouveau is nonetheless actively seeking user assistance and new developers to help them maintain momentum and move the project forward.

If you're interested in helping out, you can check out the Nouveau project homepage on While NVIDIA's binary driver is undoubtedly the best way to use an NVIDIA GPU under GNU/Linux, open source efforts to provide an alternative to the driver for 3D are worthy things to be working on and helping out with.

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