The nVidia “nouveau” driver

I’m using an “old” laptop with an nvidia geforce7 mainly as media center connected on my TV. Getting TV-Out working with the nvidia card always was a pain, had to install proprietary driver, pasting chrunks of settings found on random forums to xorg.conf, and repeat until it decide to work. Had to restart X server each time I want to switch from LCD to TV screen.

Recently I upgraded it (actually made fresh install) to Ubuntu Lucid, was prepared to spent hours to get the tvout working again… But I got totally impressed by the new “nouveau” driver installed by default now, TV-Out was working out of the box, I can setup it easily with gnome-display-properties, even the fn+F7 key binding was working to switch display between LCD-only, TV-only or clone TV-LCD.

So I decided to share this good news, thanks to all devs that made that possible! OpenSource: 1, nVidia: 0.

11 thoughts on “The nVidia “nouveau” driver”

  1. It doesn’t appear that Canonical has any developers working on this driver. It would be nice to have that. Red Hat has and Fedora 13 will have experimental 3D support via this driver as one of the benefits.

  2. Apart from of course 3D acceleration, I had a similar experience with my laptop. Out of the box, KMS for a beautiful full resolution boot and very fast 2D acceleration with my 8800M GT. If I didn’t need 3D it’d certainly be my choice.

  3. free software: 1, nvidia: 2

    after all, the nouveau guys are doing free labour for nvidia, who can sit back and enjoy the increased graphics card sales

  4. good for you… for my card (9500gt) the tvout is not supported at all with nouveau.

  5. Unfortunately you can’t hold this failing entirely against nvidia – they do a very good job of supporting linux and we shouldn’t forget that. Their hands are tied, though, as they can’t link against certain GPL symbols in the kernel and continually have to reinvent the wheel to get functionality to work. So, in a way, you can see why their driver doesn’t integrate as completely as one might hope but you can sort of understand why.

    Still, it is very good news for the nouveau team and congratulations to them :D

  6. I really hope NVIDIA sees the light here and throws their weight behind nouveau. There is some precedent, after all, with the forcedeth driver.

  7. “Unfortunately you can’t hold this failing entirely against nvidia ”

    Oh yes, I can. They are the ones insisting on keeping their driver proprietary and violating the GPL license by sleazy methods

  8. I like where the nouveau driver is going, the day I can use it for comparable 3D the proprietary one is going straight in the bin!

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