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Open source NVIDIA Vulkan driver NVK hits Vulkan 1.0 conformance

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A big step for the in-development open source NVIDIA Vulkan driver NVK, as Collabora have announced how it's hit Vulkan 1.0 conformance. Side-note: This is not coming from NVIDIA directly but people working on Mesa drivers.

What does this mean? As explained by developer Faith Ekstrand on the Collabora blog: "Practically, it means that we can pass the entire Vulkan conformance test suite. From the Khronos perspective, it means that NVK now meets the bar required to claim to support the Vulkan API officially. (There are some legal implications to this which matter to the Mesa project, but most users don't care about them.) From the perspective of users, it means the driver should pretty much work on Turing and later GPUs. There will still be bugs, of course, but those bugs are likely to be app-specific. Most stuff should just work."

This is after merging in their new back-end compiler which was required but there's still a lot of work ahead. As Ekstrand goes on to explain heading into 2024 they're actually not far off being able to advertise Vulkan 1.3 but they need to do plenty of compiler work to get there. Plus there's others working on getting Maxwell GPUs supported and once the compiler is a little more "feature-complete" they can then start "taking deep dives into apps, working on app-specific bug fixing as well as performance improvements".

Still experimental but it seems like open source NVIDIA drivers will get quite exciting through next year.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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6 comments

dziadulewicz Nov 21, 2023
The sooner we get rid of Nouveau the better. Or better if Nvidia would start providing open drivers. Why in the world must the damned drivers be closed in this day and age! Opening up would lessen Nvidias own work as an additional benefit. But no.
hummer010 Nov 21, 2023
I'm pretty excited about this. I have a Maxwell GPU that supports manual re-clocking, so the clock speed isn't an issue. Nouveau performance is ... reasonable, except running Vulkan, where it's terrible. With more and more games running Vulkan, whether natively, or via DXVK, it was getting pretty limiting running Nouveau. I'm back to the proprietary driver for now.
Ehvis Nov 21, 2023
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Quoting: dziadulewiczWhy in the world must the damned drivers be closed in this day and age!

Because of Windows. Nvidia's market dominance over competitors was in no small part due to software support. And while the core driver might not be as critical (since they are opening up portions of that), it's probably tied into the rest as well. This is not about Linux, it's about everything that nvidia supplies that makes them stand out.
dziadulewicz Nov 21, 2023
Quoting: Ehvis
Quoting: dziadulewiczWhy in the world must the damned drivers be closed in this day and age!

Because of Windows. Nvidia's market dominance over competitors was in no small part due to software support. And while the core driver might not be as critical (since they are opening up portions of that), it's probably tied into the rest as well. This is not about Linux, it's about everything that nvidia supplies that makes them stand out.

How about just no. AMD and Intel provide open drivers. It is only a matter of time when these kind of things open up at Nvidia too, this model is past. There is no excuse, really.
Shmerl Nov 22, 2023
Quoting: dziadulewiczThe sooner we get rid of Nouveau the better. Or better if Nvidia would start providing open drivers. Why in the world must the damned drivers be closed in this day and age! Opening up would lessen Nvidias own work as an additional benefit. But no.

Why should we get rid of nouveau? Rather, Nvidia should support nouveau like AMD supports amdgpu.
hardpenguin Nov 23, 2023
QuoteStill experimental but it seems like open source NVIDIA drivers will get quite exciting through next year.
Ditching their current closed-source drivers and supporting Mesa would be such a great move by NVIDIA... Boy can dream :(
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