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Nouveau support

  • Last modified: [[Date(2007-01-03T21:49:05Z)]
  • Owners: DaveJones, AdamJackson, RichardHughes
  • Targeted release: Fedora 7

Current status

This is as complete as it's going to get for F7.

A snapshot of the nouveau driver is currently enabled in Fedora rawhide. 2D rendering mostly works, but is very slow. 3D does not presently work.

Usage cases/rationale

Laertes wants to use 3D desktop effects on his new nVidia card with Fedora out of the box. It does not work. He is sad.

Ulysses sees people using undebuggable and unsupportable binary-only drivers on Fedora to use 3D desktop effects on new nVidia cards, and knows that without open driver support, this situation will never change and users will always be screwed. He is sad.


Requires adding DRM support to the kernel, Mesa support for 3D, and the driver itself.

Test Plan

Get a nVidia card. Test 2D rendering speed and initial 3D glxgears. Ultimately test with OpenGL screensavers and compiz.

Provide data to nouveau project for cards that are missing CtxInit for 3D support.

Does 2D rendering work?

Officially: No.

Unofficially: 2D works mostly as well as the nv driver.

If you have a PCI-e card then it will be very slow rendering, even compared to nv due to the slow video to system memory copies. This will be fixed as soon as the TTM memory manager is integrated into XOrg. This will happen quite soon.

Until then, you might be able to speed up 2D rendering by an order of magnitude using Option "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy" in the Device section of xorg.conf

Does 3D rendering work?

Officially: No.

Unofficially: 3D might work depending on your card type and lots of other things. At the moment the rawhide dri (mesa) is version 6.5.2. This means the nouveau_dri module is not installed and so no 3D operations will be accelerated.

If you install an unofficial mesa snapshot from here , some simple 3D applications might work, for instance glxgears works at about 300fps on a GeForce Go 7300.


You can tell if you are using DRI using glxinfo | grep direct.

For some very new cards, an updated DRM snapshot will be required. Fedora already patches in the latest nouveau drm functionality into the kernel SRPM, and the patch will be updated as new cards are supported.

Texture mapping will also not work (requries TTM), so don't expect you can run any OpenGL games just yet.

Please don't file bugs in the fedora bugzilla if you are using unofficial or snapshot packages.

Does compiz or beryl work yet? (or other 3D desktop effects)

Official and Unofficial answer: No.

Support for this sort of 3D operation is blocked by TTM and texture support. Don't expect compiz to work at all until at least 2007Q4.

Does any games work yet?

Officially: No.

Unofficially: Quake III is the next major milestone. Expect hardware accelerated textures 2007Q3.


For 2D there are no other packages required. If 3D is being tested, the utopia RPMS's should be used.

Unofficial packages

The above mentioned repository installs git snapshots of libdrm and mesa, so please do not report any bugs to . If you want to use the original libdrm and mesa, download the original packages and type:

rpm -Uvh --oldpackage libdrm-<numbers>.rpm libdrm-devel-<numbers>.rpm mesa-lib-*-<numbers>.rpm