[ANNOUNCE] Deprecation of xf86-video-nv

Andy Ritger aritger at nvidia.com
Fri Mar 26 13:43:49 PDT 2010

Historically, NVIDIA developed and maintained the xf86-video-nv X driver,
primarily as a very minimal driver that works "well enough" to give
users accelerated X rendering from the time they install their Linux
distribution until the time they install the NVIDIA driver available
from nvidia.com [1].

The xf86-video-nv driver intentionally has a very small feature set, 
both to minimize the maintenance cost of this driver, and to minimize
exposure of any IP NVIDIA might consider sensitive.

However, the rendering needs of a modern X Window System desktop have
changed drastically in recent years to rely heavily on the X Render
extension, which is not well accelerated in the nv driver.  At this point,
on a modern X desktop the nv driver does not offer much beyond what is
provided by the stock VESA X driver.  Providing proper Render acceleration
in the nv driver would be a substantial task, and would require diverting
significant engineering resources away from NVIDIA's nvidia.com driver.

For this reason, NVIDIA is dropping support, on new GPUs, for the
xf86-video-nv driver.


     - NVIDIA will continue to support the existing functionality and
       existing level of acceleration in the nv driver for existing GPUs,
       on existing, and (within reason) future, X server versions.

     - NVIDIA will not support the xf86-video-nv driver on Fermi or
       later GPUs.

     - NVIDIA will not support DisplayPort, on any GPU, in the
       xf86-video-nv driver.

Our advice to owners of NVIDIA GPUs running Linux is to use the VESA X
driver from the time of Linux distribution installation until they can
download and install the NVIDIA Linux driver from their distribution
repositories or from nvidia.com.

We believe that focusing our Linux driver engineering efforts exclusively
on the NVIDIA driver, in order to leverage NVIDIA's cross-platform
graphics driver code base, is the optimal route for the best possible
user experience for NVIDIA Linux users.

Andy Ritger

[1] http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html

More information about the xorg-announce mailing list