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Former Nouveau driver lead joins NVIDIA and sent a massive patch set

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Ben Skeggs, former Nouveau lead developer and former Red Hat employee has joined NVIDIA. He resigned from Nouveau development as a personal decision removing himself from the MAINTAINERS file September of last year.

After months of being radio silent in Nouveau driver development, Skeggs sent a massive 156-part patch set as a follow-up on the Noveau GSP firmware enablement work, code cleanup, ioctl-like interfaces between NVKM and the Nouveau DMS driver which will reduce driver overhead and call chain complexity.

The important part for this news is that this patch series was submitted using his new NVIDIA work email address.

Strange times indeed since, no one was expecting that Skeggs would be at NVIDIA, and due to the history involved with that company that he would also continue to contribute directly with Nouveau.

Looks like history may be repeating itself with AMD and Radeon…could this be another sign of NVIDIA opening up more?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
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I'm and enthusiast of Linux on Laptops and Secure Boot related stuff. Playing exclusively on Linux since 2013. Played on Wine on dates that trace back to 2008(Diablo 2, Lineage 2...). A troubleshooter that used to work with strace and it is now working with Kubernetes...
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25 comments
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pilk Apr 19
Really hope it is a sign of NVIDIA opening up more.
As much as I've expressed that the card I have in my system at the moment is very likely the last time I ever put an NVIDIA card in my system, it would be really nice to see NVIDIA pivot and embrace open-source drivers, as they're unfortunately still where most people look for GPUs. Even with the 40 series, somehow.


Last edited by pilk on 19 April 2024 at 3:25 am UTC
Adutchman Apr 19
Here's to a bright future for Nvidia cards on the Linux desktop!
pilk Apr 19
Quoting: AdutchmanHere's to a bright future for Nvidia cards on the Linux desktop!
Cheers. This year's proven it's closer than we once thought.
tpau Apr 19
Too bad that everyone is focussing on the GSP Cards and the rest is left behind.
A 980 is still a nice thing.
Guess the linux binary driver won't die ever.
Liam Dawe Apr 19
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: GuestThis is bad news. Can likely lead to the Noveau Driver not being developed properly anymore. Perhaps its Nvidia's way of "shutting down" development on the open source driver with seeming like it is.

Why would they send lots of patches then?

I also lean to them enabling the free driver at least for good AI performance. Don't know if they care for graphics performance here in the same way though.

To be fair this is something that companies like Microsoft are famous for. It's even got a name, "Embrace, Extend, Extinghuish"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend,_and_extinguish
But that makes literally zero sense in this context. What are they going to extinguish exactly? They're contributing to make their open source driver better - it's exactly what we want.
LoudTechie Apr 19
Quoting: TheRiddickThis MEME comes to mind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBAdbxjbTM0

Also its my understanding the open-source driver can't do CUDA, DLSS, HDR or HDMI2.1 etc... like its pretty vanilla and may NEVER see those features become a thing?

They support HDMI2.1.
Also it's 20< years not never. Patents aren't perpetual contrary to copyright and trademark.
Quoting: TheRiddickThis MEME comes to mind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBAdbxjbTM0

Also its my understanding the open-source driver can't do CUDA, DLSS, HDR or HDMI2.1 etc... like its pretty vanilla and may NEVER see those features become a thing?

They support HDMI2.1.
Also it's 20< years not never. Patents aren't perpetual contrary to copyright and trademark.
Pyretic Apr 19
Quoting: Liam DaweBut that makes literally zero sense in this context. What are they going to extinguish exactly? They're contributing to make their open source driver better - it's exactly what we want.

I think people are just confused why Nvidia has suddenly done a 180 and are worried that it's just another trick rather than some actually good news.

If it was bad news, though, why bother going through the trouble of open-sourcing stuff and then hiring developers? I think the worst thing that could happen is that Nvidia takes all the credit for providing good open-source drivers despite it actually just being the tremendous efforts of a select few.
Shmerl Apr 19
If Nvidia will start supporting Nova upstream - that would be good.
whizse Apr 19
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I still consider this a clear black swan event! Can we be sure that the real Ben Skeggs haven't been replaced by the same sort of clone that's now impersonating Avril Lavigne!!?
slaapliedje Apr 20
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: GuestThis is bad news. Can likely lead to the Noveau Driver not being developed properly anymore. Perhaps its Nvidia's way of "shutting down" development on the open source driver with seeming like it is.

Why would they send lots of patches then?

I also lean to them enabling the free driver at least for good AI performance. Don't know if they care for graphics performance here in the same way though.
Yeah, these weird conspiracy theories need to stop.
Uhm, am I remembering incorrectly here, but I thought Noveau was a more or less dead project and there was another open source driver initiative for nvidia that was coming about a while back? Like one sponsored by them?

I had to switch to AMD a while back when I ran into an nvidia specific bug that the devs refused to fix... And then for the computer the 3080 went into, I ended up getting another AMD card because it worked with passing 3d rendering to a VM better :) (I should probably write up an article on how to get FoundryVTT onto 5 screens with one computer and 5 keyboard / mice...)
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