Nouveau DRM driver makes its way into Linux Kernel

The Nouveau DRM driver, with around 36,000 lines will now be a part of the Linux Kernel. The driver will be available from Linux 2.6.33 kernel, which comes as a big relief for Nvidia Graphics users. The Nouveau code has support for any Nvidia GPU released till date. The prime concerns over its inclusion into the Linux Kernel was its huge size. But the decision to include it into the Kernel by Linus Torvalds has been seconded by the release of a code, provided from RedHat.

There were disagreements on this inclusion earlier as stated here,

You assume that Red Hat has full control over the project, which i don’t think is the case. The reason it isn’t in staging yet (as far as i know) is because of some questions over the copyright of some (essential) microcode. Either the question needs to be answered, or it has to be reverse engineered to the point that it’s possible to generate it.

The Nouveau code had proprietary microcode usage problems but David Airlie and Ben Skeggs of RedHat have developed a fix for this and are resenting this to the Linux community. The code still has some legal uncertainty but there is no response from Nvidia on this reverse engineered code, so they are going ahead with the release and inclusion.

Canonical is also planning on including this new kernel and its Nouveau features in its next release, the Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. All is good, until Nvidia raises a question.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.