|Initial release||1.0 / 18 June 2012|
|Stable release||1.0.8 / 12 June 2013|
|Operating system||GNU/Linux, FreeBSD|
|Type||Device driver + firmware|
In computing, nouveau // is a software project aiming to develop free software drivers for Nvidia graphics cards, by reverse engineering Nvidia's current proprietary drivers for Linux. This project by the X.Org Foundation and freedesktop.org was initially based on the 2D-only free and open-source "nv" driver, which Red Hat developer Matthew Garret and others claim has been obfuscated.
The name of the project comes from the French word nouveau, meaning new. It was suggested by the original author's IRC client's French autoreplace feature which suggested the word "nouveau" when he typed "nv".
Like most other 3D graphics drivers for X.Org, nouveau is implemented as a module and is licensed under the MIT license. It originally used the Direct Rendering Infrastructure (DRI) of Mesa 3D for rendering 3D computer graphics, which allows to accelerate 3D drawing using the graphics processing unit (GPU) directly from the 3D application; but in February 2008 the work on DRI support ceased and moved on to the new Gallium3D.
The nouveau driver has been used as the default open-source driver for Nvidia cards in the Fedora 11 and openSUSE 11.3 distributions of GNU/Linux. It is included in the repository of Ubuntu 9.04 and made default in Ubuntu 10.04. It is also included in Debian. The drivers included in these operating systems, however, do not allow hardware acceleration of 3D operations.
Fedora 13 (May 2010) allows installing the mesa-dri-drivers-experimental package, which activates experimental hardware acceleration for 3d graphics, which was not activated without this package.
3D acceleration has been included in the libgl1-mesa-dri-experimental package since Ubuntu 10.10.
On 26 March 2012, the nouveau driver was marked as stable and promoted from the staging area of the Linux kernel.
REnouveau (Reverse Engineering for nouveau) is a program licensed under the GNU GPL (using SDL) that collects data for most of nouveau's reverse engineering work. Users with the proprietary NVIDIA drivers can help the development of nouveau by providing information about the hardware of their NVIDIA cards through REnouveau. REnouveau works by copying the current graphics card MMIO register space, drawing some graphics and taking another copy of the MMIO, and outputting the difference to a text file. It runs about six dozen different tests which the user of the computer then makes a tar.bz2 archive of and submits by e-mail, after which it is automatically transferred to the project's FTP servers for the developers to analyze.
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- "nouveau Wiki". 7 July 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
- "The state of Nouveau, part I". LWN.net. 15 February 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2009.
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- "Nouveau Companion 36 - The irregular Nouveau-Development companion". 7 March 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2008.
- Michael Larabel (29 March 2009). "Testing Out The Nouveau Driver On Fedora 11". Phoronix.
- "Product highlights for openSUSE 11.3 version". openSUSE. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
- Michael Larabel (9 December 2010). "Ubuntu 9.04 To Get Nouveau Driver". Phoronix.
- "Bug #454821: Bugs: "xserver-xorg-video-nv" package: Ubuntu". Retrieved 24 February 2010.
- Debian (11 February 2011). "Nouveau nVidia drivers now available in Debian experimental".
- "Nouveau To Go Into Linux 2.6.33 Kernel!". Phoronix. 11 December 2009.
- Sam Spilsbury, head maintainer of Compiz (21 May 2010). "Beware the benchmarks.". "Our recommendation: Use nouveau."
- Jonathan Corbet (23 March 2012). "The Nouveau driver graduates from staging". LWN.net.
- "MmioTrace (Memory Mapped I/O Trace)". nouveau Wiki.
- "Valgrind-mmt". nouveau Wiki.
- "REnouveau (Reverse Engineering for nouveau)". nouveau Wiki.