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rmjohnso 02-01-2011 03:12 PM

Slackware-current (2011-01-31) - Nouveau Driver - What do people think?
 
I've just started playing with the newly incorporated nouveau driver instead of the proprietary nvidia drivers. Nouveau seems to be doing quite well for me (I don't run compiz or KDE).

I'm curious what other nvidia users think about nouveau as it is now.

henkees 02-01-2011 03:54 PM

Nouveau driver
 
The driver works, but there's no 3-d acceleration. For special graphic effects (and the better nvidia cards) you still need the driver from nvidia. So for 3-d gamers the nouveau is still sh*t.

Didier Spaier 02-01-2011 04:14 PM

Not true, gallium3D for nouveau is enabled in 'mesa' Slackware package for -current.

With a nVidia Corporation Quadro NVS 140M (rev a1) under fluxbox, glxgears gives around 540 FPS

Nouveau with gallium is certainly very far to be as fast as the proprietary driver for the gamers but otherwise it's pretty good IMHO.

I have been using Nouveau for months now, and am very satisfied.

For people wanting to compare 3D performances (Nouveau vs nVidia) Phoronix is usually the best source, see for instance here

Jebe 02-01-2011 04:51 PM

You're overselling the current status of Nouveau.

According to them:
Quote:

Current Status

Quick overview :

* KernelModeSetting (KMS) is mandatory
* Suspend and resume is working for many chips
* 2D support is in fairly good shape with EXA acceleration, Xv and Randr12 (dual-head, rotations, etc.).
* Any 3D functionality that might exist is still unsupported. Do not ask for instructions to try it. But you can read GalliumHowto in case you are brave enough.
Nouveau project website wiki.

The linked Phoronix tests are not relevant for current as they are built around the 2.6.38 kernel, which is still a release candidate, and is not representative of the 2.6.37 kernel. More noteworthy I'd think is their statements of:

Quote:

However, the bad news was that non-GeForce 8 hardware had regressed to being non-functioning. Since that article, however, using code that is some more recent I have the GeForce 9 and GeForce 200 acceleration working again. The current code though leaves a lot to be desired.
&

Quote:

Due to the brutally buggy experience with Nouveau right now and it being a while before the Linux 2.6.38 kernel and Mesa 7.11-devel will be officially released, these results comparing it to the NVIDIA 260.19.29 proprietary driver are being published as-is and without any further commentary. Once the level of support is bettered, there will be more commentary and analysis, but as of right now the Nouveau driver is being slaughtered several times over by the NVIDIA binary driver.
as a representation of the current state of things. Once 2.6.38 comes out in March(ish) the situation should dramatically improve, but 2.6.37 is not 2.6.38 and 2.6.38 is not a stable kernel currently.

disturbed1 02-01-2011 05:20 PM

Nouveau draws the display and fonts just fine with an nv440go. My Girlfriend hasn't noticed any ill effects with flash rendering. The binary blob for this GPU has suspend / hibernate issues. I wouldn't dream of running nouveau (in it's current state) on any of our 9x00 nor GT2x0 cards. We do far too much gaming, and rely on VDPAU for our MythTV frontends.
For what nouveau is capable of doing, with the resources they've been given, it's outstanding.

Didier Spaier 02-01-2011 05:37 PM

@Jebe: OK, I'm running 2.6.38-rc3 right now.

But still 3D is working, though too slow for most 3D games (as I have already stated, by the way).

We all know that gallium is *theroretically* not supported by the Nouveau developpers, but this don't prevent it to work.

In fact I recently had quick and nice support on the #nouveau channel on IRC ;)

FYI:

glxheads: exercise multiple GLX connections (any key = exit)
Usage:
glxheads xdisplayname ...
Example:
glxheads :0 mars:0 venus:1
Name: :0.0
Display: 0x805e008
Window: 0x2200002
Context: 0x8079a90
GL_VERSION: 2.1 Mesa 7.10.1-devel
GL_VENDOR: nouveau
GL_RENDERER: Gallium 0.4 on NV86

This is with the mesa package shipped with -current, with --enable-gallium-nouveau as indicated in Slackware's changelog.

allend 02-01-2011 05:39 PM

The nouveau driver is far more capable than the nv driver, which I think is the comparison point that should be used.
For high end graphics and even general desktop work, I find the proprietary nVidia driver much better but the nouveau driver does work and supports most KDE desktop effects.

On a server, using a GUI occasionally to run a file manager or web browser, I would prefer to run the nouveau driver. KMS is great in this context for fast switching between a GUI and a terminal.

mlangdn 02-01-2011 06:13 PM

I buy Nvidia cards because of Nvidia's terrific Linux support. I have no use for nouveau, and while I did try it when it was first available to -current, I quickly gave up and blacklisted nouveau within minutes.

Please don't misunderstand - I'm not bashing nouveau, nor its efforts to create a great driver. It just doesn't yet work well enough for me to consider using. I'm not a hardcore gamer, but I do play a few graphics intensive games.

rmjohnso 02-01-2011 07:53 PM

Please correct me here if I am wrong, but it seems from most of the comments that the main complaint about the nouveau driver is a lack of 3D support, which was my understanding from the beginning. I have a GeForce 8400GSm in a 4 year old Dell laptop. The card has never done well with 3D effects under compiz, KDE, or even aero under Windows, but I always installed the nvidia driver because it provided great 2D support for my card (and was brain dead easy to install).

From a purely 2D, no special effect, no gaming perspective, has anyone run into any problems or issues? Has anyone gone back to the nvidia driver for a reason other than needing 3D / gaming support?

disturbed1 02-01-2011 08:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rmjohnso (Post 4245219)
From a purely 2D, no special effect, no gaming perspective, has anyone run into any problems or issues? Has anyone gone back to the nvidia driver for a reason other than needing 3D / gaming support?

Make sure power management works with your chipset. With some chipsets (IIRC) nouveau does not support proper power management, and lead to fans being too high, not high enough, suspend, resume problems......
http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/PowerManagement

For me, in init 4, I can not always switch VTs, and either must ssh in and reboot, or hard reset. The PM functions do not work correctly. Fans do not always work at the correct levels for correct amount of time. The heat generated is much higher than that generated by the binary blob.

afreitascs 02-01-2011 09:22 PM

I'm right now using the driver with the primal time. So far this worked in kde ...

I have always used Nvidia drivers but I think maybe going forward, I will not
most need it ...

ps: do not use Linux for games.

chrisretusn 02-02-2011 01:08 AM

I've been using it for awhile now. Works good if your not in to composting, which I am not. I have it disabled.

That said, with the new 1/31/2011 -current update broke on my 64-bit machine with a GeForce 6150SE nForce 430. Was working nicely. I went back to NVidia's drivers until I can get around to TS'n why the nouveau quit working.

My 32-bit machine works just fine with this update.

mrclisdue 02-02-2011 04:05 AM

Not much to go on, but I just installed -current on a friend's pc, and with the nouveau driver window movement in fluxbox was horrible (jittery, time-consuming...delayed), though it was fine in kde.

I installed the blob, and all is well.

Just adding to the conversation; sorry I didn't investigate further to determine possible solutions....

cheers,

Didier Spaier 02-02-2011 04:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrclisdue (Post 4245579)
... with the nouveau driver window movement in fluxbox was horrible (jittery, time-consuming...delayed), though it was fine in kde.

If possible it would be interesting to investigate a little further, as one would expect the opposite.

mrclisdue 02-02-2011 09:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Didier Spaier (Post 4245585)
If possible it would be interesting to investigate a little further, as one would expect the opposite.

I'll have the pc for another day or two, so is there anything specific you'd like me to do, or point me in the right investigative direction...?

cheers,


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