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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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kokoko3k Apr 20
Quoting: LoudTechie
Quoting: ShabbyXAre we no longer too few to ignore? :)
I blame AI.
All those AI training servers run Linux and NIVIDIA is raking in big bucks, because of them.
A better driver might just what keeps in front of the competition.

AFAIK, that's a compute/CUDA territory where Nvidia driver have no problems and no matches.

Instead, I think it all comes to the need for Nvidia to (finally) better integrate with the Linux driver subsystem which would in turn imply being more open.

Maybe there's nothing to blame, let's hope for good.
LoudTechie Apr 20
Quoting: slaapliedje
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...)

They still have six people in their team and are actively pushing and comitting. Nvidia indeed maintains their own(less popular one) and since it's Mit licensed they can use parts of it if they think it's useful.
Not everyone feels comfortable relying on the goodwill of a company that in the past has actively hampered such open source efforts and Nouveau is simply the oldest most entrenched project.
slaapliedje Apr 21
Quoting: LoudTechie
Quoting: slaapliedje
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...)

They still have six people in their team and are actively pushing and comitting. Nvidia indeed maintains their own(less popular one) and since it's Mit licensed they can use parts of it if they think it's useful.
Not everyone feels comfortable relying on the goodwill of a company that in the past has actively hampered such open source efforts and Nouveau is simply the oldest most entrenched project.
The history of 3d acceleration on Linux / Unix is pretty interesting, as I believe the original stuff was called Utah-GLX and mostly only worked on nvidia cards. It wasn't until a decent amount later that nvidia closed up their stuff. A lot of the original work on Mesa started on an Amiga...

Granted, back then I hated nvidia hardware because it sucked at 2d and the screens were always blurry, so I used my beloved Matrox cards, and they were awesome for Linux... until the Parhelia, still was good, but they only released a binary driver for it :(

Now that I've shown my oldness... At least it seems we're getting some progress on the Nvidia side... I still hate that we're still mostly a duopoly if you want decent performance. I would love for a third or fourth party to spring up, but at the same time I don't want Intel to really leap forward into the GPU market... like any body else, please???
tuubi Apr 21
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Quoting: slaapliedjeA lot of the original work on Mesa started on an Amiga...
Are you sure? I don't remember this being the case, and I don't see any mention of Amiga on the project's history page.

EDIT: Found this, written by Mesa's original author here:
QuoteMesa was originally designed for Unix/X11 systems and is still best supported on those systems. All you need is an ANSI C compiler and the X development environment to use Mesa.

Others have contributed drivers for the Amiga, Apple Macintosh, BeOS, NeXT, OS/2, MS-DOS, VMS, and Windows 95/NT. See the README file included with the Mesa distribution for more details.


Last edited by tuubi on 21 April 2024 at 7:27 am UTC
slaapliedje Apr 21
Quoting: tuubi
Quoting: slaapliedjeA lot of the original work on Mesa started on an Amiga...
Are you sure? I don't remember this being the case, and I don't see any mention of Amiga on the project's history page.

EDIT: Found this, written by Mesa's original author here:
QuoteMesa was originally designed for Unix/X11 systems and is still best supported on those systems. All you need is an ANSI C compiler and the X development environment to use Mesa.

Others have contributed drivers for the Amiga, Apple Macintosh, BeOS, NeXT, OS/2, MS-DOS, VMS, and Windows 95/NT. See the README file included with the Mesa distribution for more details.

https://www.cs.nmsu.edu/~joshagam/archive/cs574/1-mesa.html

QuoteThe first attempt at bringing OpenGL to Linux was in the form of Mesa, a software-only OpenGL implementation originally written on the Amiga. Its creator, Brian Paul, needed to use OpenGL on platforms which didn't have ARB members or any commercial OpenGL support, and so he implemented a Free version on his own.

The story I'd read (ages ago) was that he wanted to implement a free version of OpenGL for other Unix systems, as he worked at SGI back then. But didn't have a Unix box at home to work on, so he started writing a software version on the Amiga. Kind of weird that the site doesn't mention that. I'd have to go digging again to see if I can find the full story about it, but it was something along those lines.

Vim is another one that started on the Amiga. Then again, when you start looking at the history of software, you see things like Logic started on the Atari ST, and was later bought by Apple... which they now call Logic Pro... because everything Apple makes needs to be marked with 'Pro.'


Last edited by slaapliedje on 21 April 2024 at 5:46 pm UTC
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