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posted by hubie on Thursday May 12, @10:17PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the better-very-late-than-never dept.

NVIDIA Transitioning To Official, Open-Source Linux GPU Kernel Driver

The day has finally come: NVIDIA is publishing their Linux GPU kernel modules as open-source! To much excitement and a sign of the times, the embargo has just expired on this super-exciting milestone that many of us have been hoping to see for many years. Over the past two decades NVIDIA has offered great Linux driver support with their proprietary driver stack, but with the success of AMD's open-source driver effort going on for more than a decade, many have been calling for NVIDIA to open up their drivers. Their user-space software is remaining closed-source but as of today they have formally opened up their Linux GPU kernel modules and will be maintaining it moving forward. Here's the scoop on this landmark open-source decision at NVIDIA.

Many have been wondering in recent years what sort of NVIDIA open-source play the company has been working on... Going back to the end of 2019 have been signals of some sort of open-source driver effort and various rumblings have continued since that point. Last month I also pointed out a new open-source kernel driver appearing as part of the NVIDIA Tegra sources. Well, now the embargo has just expired and the lid can be lifted - NVIDIA is providing a fully open-source kernel driver solution for their graphics offerings. This isn't limited to just Tegra or so but spans not only their desktop graphics but is already production-ready for data center GPU usage.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Nvidia Releases Security Update for Out-of-Support GPUs 8 comments

https://www.ghacks.net/2022/05/17/nvidia-releases-security-update-for-out-of-support-gpus/

Nvidia published a security bulletin on May 16, 2022 in which it informs customers about a new software security update for the Nvidia GPU display driver. The update patches security issues in earlier driver versions that can lead to "denial of service, information disclosure, or data tampering".

[...] In this particular case, Nvidia released security updates for Kepler-series graphics adapters that it no longer supports officially with Game Ready Drivers.

The company retired most products belonging to the GTX 600 and GTX 700 Kepler series in 2021. The first Kepler-based video cards were released in 2012 by Nvidia.

"Windows and Linux versions of the drivers are affected according to the security bulletin."

[...] The security bulletin lists a total of ten vulnerabilities in Nvidia GPU display drivers. Most are vulnerabilities in the kernel mode layer on Windows and Linux devices, while some address security issues in the DirectX11 user mode driver on Windows, or a vulnerability in the ECC layer.

Open source drivers and now legacy support? What's going on here?


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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @10:49PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @10:49PM (#1244607)

    Only Turing and newer GPUs will be supported by this open-source kernel driver.
    Still with Linus on these guys... ,,|,,

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @11:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @11:27PM (#1244609)

      Came here to ask that, and it was already answered! Thank you.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by JustNiz on Friday May 13, @02:18PM

      by JustNiz (1573) on Friday May 13, @02:18PM (#1244732)

      So basically this driver will support every nvidia GPU even as far back as early 2018. Got it thanks.

  • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @11:30PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @11:30PM (#1244610)

    Amazing. Some of the most important gaming news, especially for the PC, and SN drops the ball and doesn't cover it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @11:42PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @11:42PM (#1244611)

      So did you submit a story or nah?

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @11:45PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 12, @11:45PM (#1244612)

        https://soylentnews.org/submit.pl?op=viewsub&subid=55177¬e=&title=The+Truth+About+DNF+Scott+Miller%2C+Apogee+(Founder)+-+Following+the+Duke+Nukem+2001+Leak! [soylentnews.org]

        Perhaps the mods/editor were waiting for a better story? This one only covers one guy's opinions.

        Many game "news" sites still say it's coming out in June when it came out just a few days ago!

        All you have to do is search for it on YouTube and there are many videos where people are shown playing it.

        Always bet on Duke.

        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday May 13, @12:33PM (3 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 13, @12:33PM (#1244714) Journal

          Perhaps if you wait until that story hits its release time - it is hardly a time critical, must post now item is it? Surprised you didn't submit it as Breaking News.

          We also like our weekends - you know, so we can spend time with our families etc. We are looking at least one day ahead for processing stories.

          --
          We are always looking for new staff in different areas - please volunteer if you have some spare time and wish to help
          • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @12:56PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @12:56PM (#1244719)

            There's more than a touch of irony in wanting Duke Nukem news to come out in a timely manner. SN should post teaser stories every couple of days and finally post the story with about half of the sentences removed. :P

            • (Score: 3, Funny) by Freeman on Friday May 13, @01:58PM

              by Freeman (732) on Friday May 13, @01:58PM (#1244727) Journal

              Wait, Duke Nukem, could actually string together whole sentences?!? What classic Victorian mod did I miss? Forsooth, madame, your knockers are quite bulbous!

              --
              Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @05:37AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @05:37AM (#1244905)

            We also like our weekends - you know, so we can spend time with our families etc.

            What's a weekend? What's a family?

            But then, I !)@(#*$&

            NO CARRIER

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday May 13, @12:35PM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 13, @12:35PM (#1244715) Journal

      And this isn't the thread to discuss it it in.

      --
      We are always looking for new staff in different areas - please volunteer if you have some spare time and wish to help
    • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Friday May 13, @06:56PM (2 children)

      by isostatic (365) on Friday May 13, @06:56PM (#1244801) Journal

      Meh, wake me when Daikatana's is released

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @01:29AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14, @01:29AM (#1244857)

        Personally, I'm still waiting for that last Commander Keen episode.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, @02:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, @02:03PM (#1245110)

        In fact there are releases for *3* versions of it... Beta 0.98, 1.0 and 1.02 if I remember correctly.

        It's part of a mega-torrent from.... AlphaArchive.net? ~30-50 gigs of source code and ~2TB of rare alpha and debug releases of games including the 40 gig Halo 5 Forge package. Besides being a trove of source code it has a lot of releases that could be combined with Ghidra to aid reverse engineering efforts for some rare or hard to debug games.

        The torrent also included the Xbox360-based Star Wars: Battlefront 3 demo(the one with the crazy fight atop the debris inside cloud city just before LucasGames got shut down), and the original Xbox-based Starcraft: Ghost, among many others.

        It's been an amazing year for access to source code. Even that Nvidia release was sufficient to compile the 550 drivers, and could provide the code needed to make a functionally correct Cuda to Everybody Else cross-compiler.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by soylentnewsfan1 on Thursday May 12, @11:59PM (4 children)

    by soylentnewsfan1 (6684) on Thursday May 12, @11:59PM (#1244616)

    >The GSP is binary-only firmware loaded at run-time. The open-source kernel driver explicitly depends upon the GSP-supported graphics processors. The GSP is a RISC-V based block that succeeded their earlier Falcon micro-controller on earlier NVIDIA GPUs.

    I don't think loading megabytes of opaque propriety binary blobs that could do anything was what Richard Stallman meant by Open Source, while the article seems very enthusiastic I wonder if this will actually be a net positive or not, I saw some very pessimistic comments over at hacker news.

    • (Score: 2) by bussdriver on Friday May 13, @12:35AM (2 children)

      by bussdriver (6876) on Friday May 13, @12:35AM (#1244623)

      Does this mean they are actually downgrading their efforts? The open source one is good enough now they can add a few problem bits and ditch their fine tuned ported binary blob? Then they can half-ass their open source efforts?

      • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @12:53AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @12:53AM (#1244632)

        Don't worry, the open source community will find and fix any errors and add support for future cards... just as soon as they finish writing a Code of Conduct and reviewing the code for inappropriate pronouns.

        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @08:32AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @08:32AM (#1244692)

          Actually the FOSS GPU driver community seems to be a haven for transgender ladies.

          And doing a fine job of it without your snide remarks.

          Thanks Emma, thanks Alyssa.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @04:03AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @04:03AM (#1244669)

      Everyone has proprietary firmware. Your average PC has :
      Proprietary GPU firmware
      Proprietary CPU microcode
      Proprietary BIOS code
      A blob within a blob in the form of AGESA if you use AMD
      Whatever the IME/PSP is doing
      Proprietary firmware on all your peripherals : disk/SSDs, monitors, whatever else you have

      If you want a totally open platform you have to use RISC-V and even then it's not really guaranteed.

      This is still inadequate, but not because it has a firmware blob, but because it doesn't include any user space stuff. You will still need a proprietary X driver, just not a proprietary kernel module. And it's a long way from being integrated into the kernel like the AMD driver is.

      It's a step in the right direction, but only a step, when they have a mile to go.

      For most users the only visible difference will be that their kernel is tainted with an out of tree module instead of a proprietary module.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @02:24AM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @02:24AM (#1244648)

    Over the past two decades NVIDIA has offered great Linux driver support with their proprietary driver stack...

    Their linux driver worked pretty good, though closed-sourced, binary packages.

    BTW, is AMD/ATI driver really fully open sourced?

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @04:08AM (10 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @04:08AM (#1244671)

      AMD has a proprietary firmware blob for the GPU, but the software that runs on the CPU is 100% free. Everything you need for AMD is included with Xorg and the Linux kernel under a free license.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @04:52AM (9 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @04:52AM (#1244676)

        AMD has a proprietary firmware blob for the GPU, but the software that runs on the CPU is 100% free.

        Say what? Can you rephrase that in English?

        • (Score: 2) by turgid on Friday May 13, @07:16AM (6 children)

          by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 13, @07:16AM (#1244688) Journal

          The GPU side is closed-source. The CPU side is Open Source. The problem with AMD's special driver is it's tied to particular versions of particular distros. No Slackware support.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @08:19AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @08:19AM (#1244691)

            What? This only applies to the proprietary driver, which nobody uses. AMD only keeps it around for specific workstation users. That's why it is only for Redhat and Ubuntu. All home users and 99% of professional users use the free driver that works everywhere.

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by higuita on Friday May 13, @02:17PM (4 children)

            by higuita (2465) on Friday May 13, @02:17PM (#1244731)

            what?! where did you get that info?

            i use slackware and i DO PLAY a lot in my AMD R480 card, without any problem... and i do use always the latest stable kernel and slackware -current, so not even a problem with upgrades to some random mix of kernel and mesa

            • (Score: 1) by higuita on Friday May 13, @02:20PM (3 children)

              by higuita (2465) on Friday May 13, @02:20PM (#1244733)

              are you talking about the AMD close driver? if yes, unless you have really some reason to run it, you should use the open source drivers, they are better, faster and really plug and play. Even AMD recommends that. The close drivers exist only for some specific reasons (certification needs, brand new hardware, complete opencl support and any new feature not yet ported to the open source drivers)

              • (Score: 2) by turgid on Friday May 13, @02:58PM (2 children)

                by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 13, @02:58PM (#1244749) Journal

                Complete OpenCL support. Right, I can understand why, but that restricts me to precisely two Linux distros. At least nVidia's driver will install on almost any distro, including the one that I use, Slackware.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @03:54PM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @03:54PM (#1244769)

                  There are many guides for installing the proprietary GPU driver on unsupported distros.

                  There is also ROCm, which provides open source opencl support for many of AMD's GPUs.

        • (Score: 1) by higuita on Friday May 13, @02:15PM (1 child)

          by higuita (2465) on Friday May 13, @02:15PM (#1244730)

          yes, in AMD, almost everything is fully open source

          you have kernel, user space totally open source (opengl, opencl and vulkan, while opengl and vulkan are using the latest standards and good performance, opencl is not yet there, something work, others do not)
          so you if you have a modern linux distro, you plug your amd card and boot and everything should work fine without any change or action from the user.

          you DO NOT NEED the close source AMD driver, unless you have a just released hardware, or need certified opengl drivers (medical and some CAD usage) or full openCL support or some new feature that opensource drivers (mesa) do not have yet... so even by AMD recommendation, you should use open source drivers and from the previous list, only certification and some parts of opencl (that few people use, so the development is slower) isn't usually solved a few months later if you can wait

          The AMD GPU firmware is not opensource, but almost no hardware firmware is open source... bit AMD firmware (and almost all other firmware) are between 2k and 250k, not almost 40MB as this nvidia "firmware"

          Just to compare, some wifi and gpu firmware on my current computer:

          $ ls -lh /lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac4366c-pcie.bin /lib/firmware/nvidia/470.103.01/gsp.bin /lib/firmware/rtw89/rtw8852a_fw.bin /lib/firmware/i915/icl_guc_33.0.0.bin /lib/firmware/radeon/kaveri_uvd.bin

          -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1,1M mar 10 07:05 /lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac4366c-pcie.bin
          -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 377K mar 10 07:05 /lib/firmware/i915/icl_guc_33.0.0.bin
          -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 35M jan 6 12:15 /lib/firmware/nvidia/470.103.01/gsp.bin
          -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 228K mar 10 07:05 /lib/firmware/radeon/kaveri_uvd.bin
          -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1,4M mar 10 07:05 /lib/firmware/rtw89/rtw8852a_fw.bin

          $ find /lib/firmware/ -size +5M -ls
            -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 5652688 mar 10 07:05 /lib/firmware/qcom/sdm845/modem.mbn
            -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 10420560 mar 10 07:05 /lib/firmware/qcom/sdm845/adsp.mbn
            -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 20434408 mar 10 07:05 /lib/firmware/liquidio/lio_23xx_vsw.bin
            -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 6683216 mar 10 07:05 /lib/firmware/netronome/flower/nic_AMDA0058.nffw
            -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 36011968 jan 6 12:15 /lib/firmware/nvidia/470.103.01/gsp.bin

          So yes, nvidia firmware is by far the largest one

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @03:57PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, @03:57PM (#1244771)

            For the most part you don't need the proprietary driver even for new hardware. Usually the kernel support is released at the same time as the hardware, or even a little earlier.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by ilsa on Friday May 13, @12:43PM (5 children)

    by ilsa (6082) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 13, @12:43PM (#1244718)

    I question this "great support" Nvidia has provided. Last I checked, the functionality of the linux driver is WAAAY behind that of Windows.

    I would go so far as to say they sabotaged Linux's ability to expand into Laptops by intentionally omitting Optimus support. Having to kill your X session just to switch between graphics chips is flat out unacceptable, especially when Windows has been doing it successfully for a decade.

    • (Score: 2) by JustNiz on Friday May 13, @02:22PM (1 child)

      by JustNiz (1573) on Friday May 13, @02:22PM (#1244734)

      >> Having to kill your X session

      erm nope. Lots of options documented here:

      https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/NVIDIA_Optimus [archlinux.org]

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by ilsa on Friday May 13, @03:23PM

        by ilsa (6082) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 13, @03:23PM (#1244759)

        erm yup.

        I've already gone down this road. Unless something has changed since I gave up a couple years ago, their Optimus support is woefully incomplete. There are several different ways in which Optimus can be implemented in hardware, but the linux driver only supports one of them.

        I tried putting linux on my gigabyte laptop so I know first hand what kind of a shitshow the Optimus support is.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by higuita on Friday May 13, @02:24PM (1 child)

      by higuita (2465) on Friday May 13, @02:24PM (#1244735)

      whatever nvidia and nvidia fans say, the optimus support is a joke... it can work, but is a pain... and if you change ANYTHING, it will fail and lock your computer

      Maybe this open source drive can improve it, but without the user space open too, i really do not believe it

      • (Score: 2) by ilsa on Friday May 13, @03:28PM

        by ilsa (6082) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 13, @03:28PM (#1244761)

        And that's assuming you can even make it work in the first place.

        When I was setting up linux on my gigabyte laptop, I found out the hard way that there are actually multiple ways in which Optimus can be implemented at the hardware level. The windows drivers supports them all. The linux driver supports one, and that isn't the one gigabyte used, so my only choice was to do the switch hardware and restart my X session.

        Needless to say that completely defeated the point of using a laptop, cause the nvidia chip wipes out my battery in 1 hr.

    • (Score: 2) by loonycyborg on Friday May 13, @10:00PM

      by loonycyborg (6905) on Friday May 13, @10:00PM (#1244824)

      Their linux driver seems to be aimed mostly at workstations.

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