NVIDIA Releases Open-Source GPU Kernel Modules

Started by Stefan, May 11, 2022, 11:20:08 PM

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NVIDIA is now publishing Linux GPU kernel modules as open source with dual GPL/MIT license, starting with the R515 driver release. You can find the source code for these kernel modules in the NVIDIA Open GPU Kernel Modules repo on GitHub. 

Source: https://developer.nvidia.com/blog/nvidia-releases-open-source-gpu-kernel-modules/


QuoteFirst of all, what is in this new driver?

What has been released is an out of tree source code kernel driver which has been tested to support CUDA usecases on datacenter GPUs. There is code in there to support display, but it is not complete or fully tested yet. Also this is only the kernel part, a big part of a modern graphics driver are to be found in the firmware and userspace components and those are still closed source. But it does mean we have a NVidia kernel driver now that will start being able to consume the GPL-only APIs in the linux kernel, although this initial release doesn't consume any APIs the old driver wasn't already using. The driver also only supports NVidia Turing chip GPUs and newer, which means it is not targeting GPUs from before 2018. So for the average Linux desktop user, while this is a great first step and hopefully a sign of what is to come, it is not something you are going to start using tomorrow.

What does it mean for Nouveau?

Along with that evolution we hope to work with NVidia engineers to refactor the userspace bits of Mesa that are now targeting just Nouveau to be able to interact with this new kernel driver and also work so that the binary driver and Nouveau can share the same firmware. This has clear advantages for both the open source community and the binary driver. For the open source community it means that we will now have a kernel driver and firmware that allows things changing the clocking of the GPU to provide the kind of performance people expect from the NVidia graphics card and it means that we will have an open source driver that will have access to the firmware and kernel updates from day one for new generations of NVidia hardware.

- https://blogs.gnome.org/uraeus/2022/05/11/why-is-the-open-source-driver-release-from-nvidia-so-important-for-linux/