It was just one week ago that NVIDIA released the 180.37 Linux driver, but already there is a new bleeding-edge release available. Last night a NVIDIA Linux engineer pushed out the 185.13 beta. This is the first Linux release in the 185.xx series, but what this release consists of actually isn't known. NVIDIA hasn't published a change-log for the 185.13 Linux driver.
NVIDIA's VDPAU feature for providing greater GPU acceleration during video playback on Linux desktops has experienced great adoption since its November launch. This NVIDIA-spawned video API has already worked its way into open-source projects like MPlayer / FFmpeg, MythTV, Xine, and XBMC. This morning we find out from Stefan Huskamp that a new Linux VDR (Video Disk Recorder) / EasyVDR release is coming soon and it too will feature support for the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix through its use of the Xine library.
It was not even two weeks ago that the NVIDIA 180.35 display driver was released for Linux, but yesterday NVIDIA decided to push out yet another update (they have been on a driver updating rampage this year).
This week we received a note from Matthias Dahl, a Phoronix reader, who wanted to remind us about current problems plaguing the NVIDIA 180.xx driver series. Using any of the newer NVIDIA Linux drivers can cause graphics corruption followed by the system locking up. These problems are certainly known by NVIDIA and are experienced by many users as can be seen from this NvNews Forum thread. Below is what Matthias had to share about the situation.
It was just two weeks ago that the NVIDIA 180.29 driver was released for Linux and we talked about how NVIDIA had kept pushing out many updates in a short period of time. Well, they didn't stop with the 180.29 release. Available since last night is now the NVIDIA 180.35 display driver. Unlike some of their earlier driver releases that carried few changes visible to the end-user, the 180.35 release does have a few items worth talking about.
While NVIDIA doesn't stick to a defined release cycle like AMD where they will issue Catalyst driver updates for Linux and Windows on a predictable monthly basis, as of late they have been pushing out a lot of drivers. Two weeks ago NVIDIA released four new Linux drivers and then just a day later they released another driver. Well, NVIDIA has now pushed out yet another proprietary driver update.
It was just yesterday that NVIDIA released four new Linux drivers, but today they have pushed out a fifth proprietary Linux driver update. Yesterday one of their drivers released was version 180.25, which brought a host of VDPAU fixes and new GPU support, but replacing that is now 180.27.
Up to this point NVIDIA had released several betas in the 180.xx driver series that introduced VDPAU acceleration support, OpenGL 3.0, CUDA 2.1, and other Linux work. This afternoon all of these new features are finally supported by NVIDIA with the release of the first stable Linux driver in this latest series.
It has been nearly a year to the day since the release of NVClock 0.8 Beta 3, but a fourth beta has finally been released. Last month we shared that the NVClock developer was in need of GeForce 8/9 help and the Phoronix community then came together and provided more than 70 posts of debugging information and related.
Back when NVIDIA introduced VDPAU they had provided a set of patches that implemented this video API within the MPlayer and FFmpeg projects.
In roughly the past month NVIDIA has released five beta display drivers for the Linux operating system. NVIDIA began by releasing the 180.06 driver that brought PureVideo-like features to Linux in the middle of November. This driver was succeeded quickly thereafter by a 180.08 release that brought OpenGL 3.0 support. In early December, NVIDIA was quick to push out the 180.11 driver that brought a couple of changes, but that was replaced by the NVIDIA 180.16 driver that brought an updated VDPAU implementation. This afternoon NVIDIA has now released the 180.18 beta driver with additional VDPAU work.
Just in time before many of NVIDIA's engineers leave for the holidays, the first beta of CUDA 2.1 has been released. The beta for version 2.1 of the Compute Unified Device Architecture brings a few changes to both the SDK and Toolkit.
It was just a month ago that NVIDIA had introduced the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix that brought PureVideo-like features to Linux and as our early benchmarks showed this video API did an effective job at offloading video-related tasks to the graphics card that otherwise would be handled by the CPU. Last week we then took a $20 processor and $30 graphics card and managed to play HD videos on Linux quite well when using VDPAU.
NVClock, the open-source utility created by Roderick Colenbrander that allowed overclocking NVIDIA graphics cards under Linux long before NVIDIA had introduced CoolBits has been through some tough times. NVClock could mistakenly be considered dead. NVClock 0.8 has been in development for several years now and it has yet to see a stable release. The last beta release of NVClock occurred in January. Roderick has since moved on to helping out the WINE project, but he still has interest in continuing work on NVClock though he lacks testers for those with the newer GeForce graphics cards.
Up to this point if you've fully wanted to configure and manage your displays when using the binary NVIDIA graphics driver on Linux, you've had to use nvidia-settings from the command-line or the GUI version for full support. We have learned, however, that NVIDIA is quickly working to enable RandR 1.2 support within their binary driver.
Back on November 14, NVIDIA had unveiled their 180.06 Linux driver as a major update that brought forth VDPAU, an advanced video acceleration API, and a horde of other features. Four days after that, NVIDIA then pushed out the 180.08 Linux driver that delivered OpenGL 3.0 support. Now this afternoon, NVIDIA has pushed out another driver. The 180.11 Beta brings in a couple of fixes and improvements.
Less than a week after releasing the NVIDIA 180.06 Linux display driver, NVIDIA has released a new set of beta drivers for their supported alternative operating systems. NVIDIA has released the 180.08 driver, which adds in OpenGL 3.0 support and contains fixes for their new video acceleration API.
NVIDIA had released their 177.80 display driver more than a month ago, but arriving today is a point release update to this binary Linux driver. The NVIDIA 177.82 driver adds support for several new GPUs, a mobile power management fix, a mobile hot-key switching fix, and a Firefox 3.0 image corruption issue. The new ASICs supported in the NVIDIA 177.82 driver include the Quadro NVS 450, Quadro FX 370 LP, Quadro FX 5800, Quadro FX 4800, Quadro FX 470, and Quadro CX.
As many of you have likely heard, Apple's new MacBook notebooks launched last week and are using NVIDIA graphics instead of the Intel integrated graphics they had been using. With NVIDIA GPUs now appearing on more Apple products with Mac OS X, this graphics company is now encouraging game developers to bring their titles to Mac OS X. At NVIDIA's launch of their new GeForce 9 motherboard IGPs, they had shared their plans to encourage more game developers to release their games for Mac OS X and to bring their release dates closer to when they ship the title for Windows.
The NVIDIA 177.76 Linux driver was released a week ago with a few changes from the earlier betas that made it out of NVIDIA's Santa Clara campus roughly a month ago. Now today NVIDIA has issued another Linux beta driver, which is at version 177.78.
In the past week we've seen the NVIDIA 177.67 binary driver for Linux which was outdone by the NVIDIA 177.68 driver just two days later. The 177.70 Beta driver was then released this morning with fixes and other enhancements since the 177.68 driver. Yesterday we had also seen the release of the xf86-video-nv 2.1.11 driver that added support for a few more chips and fixed a couple of bugs. the xf86-video-nv driver is NVIDIA's open-source X.Org driver thats limited to 2D support and its code-base is obfuscated, which renders this code mostly useless. However, today they have issued a new xf86-video-nv release.
Last week NVIDIA had released the NVIDIA 177.67 driver and then immediately following that was the NVIDIA 177.68 driver and now today marks the release of the NVIDIA 177.70 driver. Like the two former releases, the 177.70 release is another beta driver.
While NVIDIA's NVISION 3D conference is taking place this week, we have yet to hear anything in regards to Linux announcements. However, NVIDIA has updated its open-source driver. Sadly though, their open-source driver is still the xf86-video-nv driver with its 2D limitations and obfuscated code. The xf86-video-nv 2.1.11 release has its hardware cursor initialization code rearranged, ROP bug-fixes for the G80 series, logging the i2c G80 port number, fix some warnings, a pixel clock setting fix, and adding in more and missing chip names. The release announcement for xf86-video-nv 2.1.11 can be read on the X.Org mailing list.
Last week OpenGL 3.0 and GLSL 1.30 were released during SIGGRAPH 2008. In that article we expected NVIDIA would be first to provide an OpenGL 3.0 driver due to NVIDIA's involvement with the Khronos Group and their much rumored "Big Bang II" project, but we had no official comment from them at the time of publishing. Though we now have a response from NVIDIA.
While NVIDIA's newest GPU family is the GTX 200 series, they aren't yet introducing the GTX low-end models but are continuing to mature the GeForce 9 arsenal. Introduced this morning by NVIDIA Corporation was the GeForce 9500GT, which is a sub-$100 product.
If you're using an older NVIDIA graphics card and haven't yet turned to the reverse-engineered Nouveau driver, you may want to check out the latest NVIDIA legacy drivers. NVIDIA has updated its two oldest legacy drivers -- the 71.xx.xx and 96.xx.xx series -- for Linux. The new 71.86.06 driver for Linux fixes a bug that resulted in black-and-white video output on secondary TVs. The other new driver, 96.43.07, has this TV fix too along with improved nvidia-xconfig parsing when using a xorg.conf file that lacks a module section. Both of these new drivers also have support for the Linux 2.6.26 kernel. The NVIDIA 71.86.06 and 96.43.07 Linux drivers can be downloaded from here and here, respectively.
It's been seven weeks since the obfuscated xf86-video-nv driver was last updated, so this afternoon NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner decided to release version 2.1.10, which will be in time for X.Org 7.4. However, before getting excited that they may actually be doing something good with this open-source driver, it continues to be limited to 2D acceleration and of limited use to someone that just laid down several hundred dollars for a graphics card or two.
Yesterday we reported on the Linux Foundation's message they have issued on the behalf of more than 140 kernel developers: Binary-only kernel modules are harmful and undesirable. While no vendor was singled out in this message, the biggest hardware manufacturer that has yet to provide any real level of open-source support is NVIDIA Corporation.
NVIDIA has released the 173.14.09 binary display driver. However, support for the GeForce GTX 200 series is not part of the change-log, unfortunately. This driver is just a bug-fix release for the recently released 173.14.05. Though this driver does have the following fixes: aliased font rendering corruption on X.Org Server 1.5, display corruption problem driving two dual-link DFPs with the Quadro FX 1700, a regression that prevented the X driver from starting on some GeForce FX/6/7 series, and fixing a locale-interaction issue in the nvidia-settings parser. In addition, this release also has preliminary support for the Linux 2.6.26 kernel. To download the x86 and x86_64 NVIDIA Linux drivers, click here and here, respectively.
This morning NVIDIA had unveiled the GeForce GTX 200 series and already NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner has committed support for these cards to the open-source xf86-video-nv driver. This support just involved adding in two new PCI IDs for the GeForce GTX 260 and GTX 280. No other work was needed, since of course this driver is limited to mode-setting and 2D acceleration. Though if you've just shelled out $399 or $649 on a graphics card, changes are you will want to stay clear of this obfuscated driver. If you want to check out this driver, you'll need to obtain it from git on FreeDesktop.org.
476 NVIDIA news articles published on Phoronix.