Nvidia GPU hardware documents have been released on GitHub for the easier development of Open source Linux drivers, also known as NOUVEAU. Open Source software like Linux and Nvidia haven’t played nice for a long time. So,
it’s no surprise that Nvidia has been promising to release the full documentation of its GPU since 2012. That was the case until now when complete Nvidia GPU hardware documents for Linux have been released.
Nvidia GPU Hardware Documentation For Linux
For the uninitiated, the goal of the NOUVEAU is to create Nvidia GPU drivers for Linux by studying and reverse engineering Nvidia’s current proprietary drivers. The NOUVEAU development team comprises of extremely talented developers who can be majorly credited for bringing Linux gaming to the forefront of mainstream gaming.
The documents released by Nvidia are still a work in progress and still do not cover the entire line up of Nvidia GPUs. For instance, the documentations of Keplar, Volta, Pascal, and Maxwell have been published in the Github repository. However, the latest Nvidia Turing cards, which include the GTX 16xx series and the RTX series, still don’t have open-source documentation.
The entire list of documents is available here. The list of documents in the repository includes a BIOS information table, DCB, Falcon security, Memory Clock table, Memory Tweak Table and a lot more.
The documents were originally kept on Nvidia’s website. They were moved to Github for easy tracking and so the documents could get easy updates as well.
According to Phoronix, open-source documents for Nvidia Linux drivers don’t address one big issue. The issue of reclocking the GTX 9xx series GPUs is still present. The GTX 9xx series GPUs still operate at a lower clock speed instead of its original and optimal clock speed.
Nvidia Still Doing Bare Minimum For Linux Users
The Linux community, however, is still furious at Nvidia because releasing open-source GPU documents is the bare minimum that the chipmaker can do to support Linux. This is one of the reasons why most Linux users prefer AMD as their favorite GPU maker.
The recent advent of value for money graphics cards from AMD has also forced Nvidia to make consumer-friendly and ultimately community-friendly decisions.
For years, NOUVEAU developers have worked with bits and scraps from Nvidia to develop its Linux drivers. Thus, there’s no doubt that the performance of Nvidia cards on Linux will receive a significant boost. However, in my opinion, Nvidia should release the open-source documents for Turing cards as soon as possible because most of the GTX 7xx or 9xx series cards lack the performance to run modern AAA titles. Currently, only developers are making use of the Maxwell GPUs.
The open-source nature of AMD drivers sits quite well with the Linux community. However, several Linux users are nonetheless happy with this much-needed help from Nvidia.