Set Your Desktop Free, With Nouveau’s 3D
The nouveau project has done it! Finally, an open source 3D driver for NVIDIA video cards has arrived and will ship with Fedora 13. Let's take a look (including a few benchmarks).
What’s the Big Deal?
As long as proprietary drivers remain the de-facto, there is no pressure on NVIDIA to help or release their code. It’s true that even if the nouveau driver ends up outperforming its proprietary counterpart, NVIDIA still may not come to the party (although at that point, we might not care). However, Linux can no-longer wait for NVIDIA to open their drivers of their own volition. We cannot keep these cards a second rate citizen on the Linux landscape and without co-operation from NVIDIA, this is the only way to go about it. Hopefully, with time and exposure, the nouveau driver can gain outstanding performance and free one of the last remaining proprietary components from the desktop. Will this put pressure on NVIDIA to release their driver open source? Not likely. NVIDIA still gains far too much advantage by keeping their driver closed. They get support for brand new models, extra performance, better power management, extra features like VDPAU, and certain technology components can remain a company secret. The proprietary driver will always remain in front if nouveau remains a community project, without input from NVIDIA. If they were to embrace it, certainly that would change dramatically. As long as NVIDIA gains these benefits, they will keep their driver closed source and continue to neither help nor hinder the nouveau project. What all this does mean however, is that Linux distributions can ship a well supported, functional 3D driver for NVIDIA based systems out…
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