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Bugs Source Development Translation Team

Nouveau: Accelerated Open Source driver for nVidia cards

About Nouveau

The nouveau project aims to build high-quality, free/libre software drivers for nVidia cards. “Nouveau” [nuvo] is the French word for “new”.

If you have questions or problems, please have a look at pages TroubleShooting, Bugs and FAQ before contacting us.

Most development talk occurs in the #nouveau IRC channel on freenode. Raw logs and edited summaries (the so-called TiNDCs, or The irregular Nouveau Development Companions) can be found on the IRC chat logs page.

We also use several mailing lists: bugzilla reports, patches, discussion and announcements are sent to the nouveau list, and changes to the Nouveau DDX and some development tools (e.g., rules-ng and renouveau) and hardware documentation are reported to the CVS commits list. The dri-devel and mesa-dev lists are also important; see DRI mailing lists for their descriptions, and please notice the difference between end-user support lists and developer lists.

We are also interested in what is said about the project, so links are collected in the page InThePress.

The Nouveau driver suite consists of three major parts: the kernel modules (DRM), the X driver (DDX), and the 3D driver (in Mesa, optional). In addition, libdrm with Nouveau support is required. You can find all these in Source page.

Current Status

Quick overview:

  • KernelModeSetting (KMS) is mandatory
  • Suspend and resume is working for many chips
  • 2D support is in very good shape with EXA acceleration, Xv and Randr12 (dual-head, rotations, etc.). To understand how multiple monitors work in X, see MultiMonitorDesktop.
  • For some Fermi cards, like the NVD9, check the firmware status as it is required for acceleration.
  • Some 3D acceleration exists. Read MesaDrivers carefully.
  • Nvidia Optimus support is not implemented yet, you may not be able to use the Nvidia GPU at all on Optimus laptops. See the status matrix for functionality supported on each chipset.

Each card specific status here (very incomplete)

Users can help the development by installing Nouveau and trying to use it for regular desktop activities including web surfing, watching videos, 2D games (not using OpenGL). Use dual-head, try tv-out. Any encountered problems should be found in the bugzilla or in this wiki. If not, submit a report, please. Accelerated OpenGL, although progressing, is not yet supported.

Also, specific testing requests may be found in the TestersWanted page.

If you have nVidia hardware you don't need, donating it could be helpful!


For developers and advanced users, we have instructions on compiling and using nouveau.

Getting Involved

You want to involve in Nouveau development? We have simple tasks for to begin with on the pathscale wiki.

As you can see, there is a lot of work for people not willing to write code! Please show-up on IRC and ask the possible mentor how to get started.


  • 17.12.2012 posted by mupuf : Thermal + fan management has been merged to Nouveau's DRM tree. Documentation is here and my call for testing is here.

  • 18.6.2012 posted by mupuf : Three months ago, Nouveau was out of staging. Following this, libdrm was rewritten and released as "stable". Mesa drivers then were rebased on top of it and are being stabilized for Mesa 8.1. The last missing piece to be released as stable was xf86-video-nouveau, the nouveau DDX. Consider it done since yesterday, Ben Skeggs released the version 1.0 of the DDX.

  • 30.3.2012 posted by calim : Initial acceleration support for Kepler has been committed. External firmware is still required for now. The DDX also requires the new libdrm, which will be merged soon.

  • 29.3.2012 posted by shinpei : An open-source CUDA driver and runtime (but not compiler) is now available with Gdev.

  • 22.3.2012 posted by shinpei : Nouveau is leaving staging! That is, Nouveau will be part of the mainline Linux kernel.

  • 17.1.2012 posted by lynxeye : We are at FOSDEM 2012. There will be an presentation about nouveau and a few devs can be found in the X.Org DevRoom to answer your questions. Here are the slides.

This wiki is undergoing conversion. If you have a fd.o shell account, you can help!