-nouveau now set as the default driver for Nvidia hardware

Rick Spencer rick.spencer at canonical.com
Fri Feb 19 21:57:24 GMT 2010

Congrats to everyone involved in this effort! I know there was some
blood, sweat, and tears shed to get here, but c'mon, this is awesome!

Cheers, Rick

On Fri, 2010-02-19 at 13:45 -0800, Bryce Harrington wrote:
> After several months working on testing and integration, last night we
> officially transitioned from -nv to -nouveau.  If you own nvidia
> hardware and are not using the proprietary drivers, you will be affected
> by this change.
> The principle reason we made this move is because -nouveau is more
> actively developed upstream than -nv, and is as good or better than -nv
> functionally.  Based on testing feedback[1], we recognize there may be
> regressions on certain hardware that used to work on -nv, but we are
> confident that overall this will give the average user better results
> than the status quo, and will only get better going forward.
> Another key reason for making this change now, is to gain Kernel
> Mode-setting (automatic screen resolution selection) support on this
> hardware.  By doing mode-setting in the kernel, it promises a smoother
> and more graphically attractive boot process.
> To achieve this, we are using nouveau code backported from the 2.6.33
> kernel via the linux-backports-modules package, as the 2.6.32 did not
> have usable nouveau KMS code.  We are still evaluating and experimenting
> with how best to integrate and support this code, so may make some
> further adjustments in coming weeks.
> Since this version of -nouveau supports only 2D, it's our expectation
> that most users will use this driver during installation, and then
> switch over to -nvidia.  To facilitate this, a major goal for us in
> Lucid is to restructure and improve the process for smoothly
> transitioning to -nvidia (and back).  To this end, we've established a
> testing community to run through this process each week[2] so we have a
> reliable measurement of our progress.
> Looking further forward, 3D functionality is under work upstream.  We've
> not tested it yet, but expect that it will take some time to be stable
> enough for real world use so are not considering it for Lucid.  But we
> will be providing it via our xorg-edgers PPA[3] at some point, and hope
> to include it in a future Ubuntu release.
> Bryce
> 1: Results of -nouveau testing:
>    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Testing/NouveauEvaluation 
> 2: Results of -nvidia testing:
>    http://qa.ubuntu.com/reports/xorg_prop_drivers/
> 3: If you don't know what xorg-edgers is, you probably shouldn't be
>    installing it!  :-)

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