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NVIDIA Still Working On Linux 3.11+ Support

NVIDIA

Published on 02 November 2013 09:42 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA
17 Comments

In mid-October I had written how AMD's Catalyst driver surprisingly beat NVIDIA to modern Linux support. While NVIDIA is usually first to support new kernel releases, AMD won in shipping "out of the box" Linux 3.11 and 3.12 compatibility. NVIDIA, however, has devised a workaround and will be coming up with a more proper long-term solution.

NVIDIA outlined the issue pertaining to supporting the Linux 3.11 kernels and newer in a NVIDIA DevTalk posting this week. The blocker for 3.11 support comes down to num_physpages having been removed from the Linux 3.11 kernel and the replacement function not being an effective solution for NVIDIA.

NVIDIA's driver needs to be able to determin that all allocatable memory to the driver can be accessed by the GPU, but with this 3.11 change, that's no longer easily possible for determining the highest allocatable system memory address. NVIDIA is working on a proper solution but for now they've published a patch and are working on integrating this workaround into upcoming driver releases.

The patch provides limited support for 3.11+ by being more aggressive about falling back to a 32-bit DMA zone. This workaround will be used until a more appropriate solution has been developed. With this workaround, only users of systems with extremely large system memory capacities (128GB+ of RAM) could run into problems.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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