Don't want to see articles from a certain category? When logged in, go to your User Settings and adjust your feed in the Content Preferences section where you can block tags!
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. See more here.

NVIDIA sneakily put out a little open source release recently, with a part of the NVAPI SDK now under the MIT license.

This was mentioned by the crew working on the DXVK translation layer in the VKx Discord, who sent along word to me as well. NVAPI is NVIDIA's core software development kit that allows direct access to NVIDIA GPUs and drivers on all Windows platforms.

Now, that doesn't sound interesting for Linux obviously but here's why this actually is important: in the NVAPI Open Source SDK, it directly mentions that the contained "nvapi.h" file that's now provided under the MIT license was done to enable "open source re-implementations of NVAPI for Windows emulation environments"—so the Wine and Proton compatibility layers are what they're getting at without naming them directly.

What's the issue with it then, why did this need to be done? Well, DXVK at times has to work around the NVAPI and it ends up spoofing an AMD GPU for some titles to do this, otherwise they just don't work on Linux with Wine / Proton. Speaking briefly to Philip Rebohle, creator of DXVK, they mentioned to me that there's going to be things that aren't possible to implement but it does now give them something to work with.

It's just another small piece of a much larger puzzle of getting Windows games running on Linux.

You can find the download here if interested. More info on the NVAPI here.

Article taken from
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
See more from me
The comments on this article are closed.
Page: 1/2»
  Go to:

redneckdrow Jul 10, 2020
B-b-b-but WINE Is Not an Emulator!

Good Lord, I hate recursive acronyms, don't you? But in the strictest sense, WINE is more of a compatibility layer; the difference between the two for an end-user is mostly splitting cat hairs.
compholio Jul 10, 2020
A few of these APIs are also used by wine-staging, as there's a bunch of features in Windows games that you cannot support without them. (PhysX in Borderlands 2 will refuse to run, for example)
Shmerl Jul 10, 2020
Quoting: GuestEverytime you think they will never properly support anything open source they do.

Mostly when they don't care. When they do, good luck waiting for them to open anything.
TheRiddick Jul 11, 2020
This is also something that is probably required to get RTX features available under Proton/Wine

Last edited by TheRiddick on 11 July 2020 at 4:12 am UTC
jens Jul 11, 2020
  • Supporter
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: GuestNVidia still suprises me from time to time o.O

Everytime you think they will never properly support anything open source they do.

Once PhysX was open sourced, their contribution to the Vulkan Ray tracing extensions and now NVAPI o.O What next their entire driver or at least proper support for Nouveau? :D

Strictly speaking they haven't open sourced NVAPI, but instead the interfaces so that NVAPI can be re-implemented within wine. I mean it's still nice, but it really is the bare minimum.

Well, this is more or less the same that AMD is doing for AMD AGS. The AGS SDK contains the headers and libraries to link against, see

So yeah, it is not making NVAPI Open Source, but still the standard way how these kind of SDK's are offered imho.

Having the headers officially available makes it much easier to provide "alternative" implementation. For AMD AGS there is already which maps the interesting AGS methods to DXVK.

I've tried a bit in the past to apply this to NVAPI and succeeded for one method. Having the headers now makes part of it much less of a Google try-and-error approach. For the curious:
Note that I do have a programming background, but not in C or C++. I'm also barely familiar with the graphics domain. I know how to spell "shader" and have a rough picture how to position the different 3D API's, but that's it ;). This repository is really just intelligent copy/paste from DXVK-AGS and several other sources, so all credits should mostly go there. It's also quite a hassle to set this up for minimal gain.

Last edited by jens on 11 July 2020 at 1:42 pm UTC
Nibelheim Jul 11, 2020
A small step for Nvidia but a big step for the implementation under Wine / Proton!
appetrosyan Jul 11, 2020
Good news. It’s never too late to become FOSS friendly.

Spoiler, click me
unless you’re Microsoft.
DMJC Jul 11, 2020
Sure this isn't aimed more at getting NVIDIA GPU emulation working in Virtual machines such as Qemu/KVM/VMWare? VMWare uses WINE's DirectX implementation to support DirectX.
Liam Dawe Jul 12, 2020
Quoting: DMJCSure this isn't aimed more at getting NVIDIA GPU emulation working in Virtual machines such as Qemu/KVM/VMWare? VMWare uses WINE's DirectX implementation to support DirectX.
No, I spoke to a few people to confirm before publishing. Including NVIDIA.
aufkrawall Jul 12, 2020
I hope this will allow to reduce the weird performance hit by DXVK in some titles. E.g. the round achievement screen in HotS runs like ~50% faster with native D3D11 on Pascal.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone! Patreon supporters can also remove all adverts and sponsors! Supporting us helps bring good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
The comments on this article are closed.