Nouveau: The nVidia driver (free) that does work with 3D

3D Compiz Cube Acceleration

There are certain truths about graphics in Linux:

  • What to avoid cards or chipset ATI (although its support has improved).
  • The fact that nVidia is the most on linux
  • That its official controller is «private«
  • If we don't want to use proprietary drivers, we have to nv.
  • That nv just does what basic, it does not have advanced features or 3D.

So we are facing a problem and it is not necessary to be a fan of Free Software to understand that having a free driver gives many advantages.

Although people already counted nvThis code was written more than as free code, as obfuscated code, a code that being free is difficult to read (nVidia did) and, therefore, to improve.

Improve is the watchword

What is Free Software for? To improve, among other things, understanding that we are given permission to do so without legal retaliation. But yes nv it does not fulfill its function, it does not serve to improve.

Thinking about this the X.Org foundation y they got to work on a new driver in Spanish, which could work with graphic acceleration, to be able to use things like Compiz or games without the "necessary evil" of driver privative. They called him New.

How is nouveau?

You will assume that I have not tried it, but it is said that it really works on contemporary PCs, not on very old or too new ones.

The people of Nouveau at the moment do not clearly recommend the installation of the driver, but, curiously and the reason why I discovered its existence is that Fedora 11, which comes in May, will include nothing less than default when it detects an nVidia computer that does not correspond to problem cards. It seems that the work with the system is so good that they will also move it to Ubuntu 9.04 as an alternative.

Install noveau?

Obviously I was curious to find out if and how this can be installed.

I clarify, that although things are going well, the controller is quite experimental, only use it if you have time to play.


The instructions on your wiki for install Nouveau on Debian They are clear, the package is already prepared, but I anticipate that it is necessary to use Sid (experimental) and that is something that not everyone is willing to do. The package is this.

Install Nouveau on Ubuntu

The main thing is to uninstall the driver nvidia-glx that in Ubuntu more than in any other distro can be present on the computer.

Then add the repositories:

deb <a href=""></a> version main
deb-src <a href=""></a> version main

After installing the modules:

sudo module-assistant auto-install drm-modules

At the end you have to edit the xorg.conf modifying this:

Section "Device"
driver "nouveau"

And we should already work with a new driver.

Install Nouveau in Fedora

If you don't want to wait until May (which would be recommended), the driver, just like for Debian, It is now available although its experimental use is recommended as in all distros today.

And the corresponding edition of the Xorg.conf as always.

Install Nouveau on OpenSuSE

The repository that contains the package for OpenSuSE is a bit old, from version 10.3, the logic would lead us to think that if you use the higher versions that are being used today, you prefer the OpenSuSE Factory driver, but like all data They are quite old, it is likely (and this works for all distros) that there are problems because the driver is too young.

For them and others it is advisable to use the install by source

You have to be careful when installing because 3D acceleration is still a delicate matter, maybe not in May with Fedora, but in the present it is.

Does anyone dare to try it?

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  1.   Omar said

    I recently found out that the nv driver was obfuscated, which really left nVidia users without 100% free alternatives.

    It is very good news, that Nouveau is already landing on Fedora and Ubuntu, and that it is not something unusable yet.

    Hopefully one day we can really say that the proprietary nVidia driver is no longer necessary.

  2.   I am said

    What do you mean by obfuscated ?, is it an angry driver?

  3.   Marin said

    Does anyone know if there is a free driver with 3D support for ATI? or that they are developing it?
    Nouveau, is a great step for the free community and to finally have a free system.

    See you :)

  4.   I am said

    L0rd5had0w, no, it wasn't a joke, I was seriously asking.

    1.    f sources said

      @esty It is explained in the article anyway

  5.   L0rd5had0w said

    @esty: I think you're kidding but in case they don't know:

    Obfuscated Code is that code that, although the source code is available, has been specifically convoluted to hide its functionality (make it unintelligible). In other words, Nvdia released that code but it did it so that it could not be better because it is not understood hehehe well let's hope this project is good and they add it to more distros ...

  6.   N @ ty said

    @ffuentes: maybe I can try it,
    I always have some problem with the drivers of

  7.   N @ ty said

    … NVidia

    A mess that Blackberry.

  8.   vincegeratorix said

    weno ... the proprietary driver does not work for me due to the kernel version, and it tells me that I have to compile the kernel: '(
    I have a video tutorial on how to do it, but it gives me shusto: D
    so I freed 20gb (my 160gb hd, I only use it, my brother left, it's still sad to delete things: '(and I have 5 dvds left:' ((((
    so in those GB I was thinking of installing a virtual machine ... but then I did "free -mt" and I have a little less than 200mb of ram left with nothing open ... so with this driver maybe I can play the "shin megami tensei imagine", which is not in the cedega list: '(

    waaaaa I'm unlucky: '(….: D

    total used free shared buffers cached
    Mem: 503 494 8 0 32 157
    - / + buffers / cache: 304 198
    Swap: 1906 1 1904
    Total: 2409 495 1913

    : D and only with the iceweasel and kaffeine, terminal and 2 folders: '(

  9.   vincegeratorix said

    Sorry for another comment, I want to be notified in the mail of the comments: D
    ps: I take advantage of fixing the free -mt
    ——- total used free shared buffers cached
    Mem: 503 494 8 0 32 157
    - / + buffers / cache: 304 198
    Swap: 1906 1 1904
    Total: 2409 495 1913

  10.   vincegeratorix said

    good for me!
    Esty, is your name Esteban?
    I found out from your page Oo
    and I thought you were a woman OO
    and that your name was esty Oo
    do you like terminator? OO
    : D: D: D: D: D: D: D: D: D

  11.   L0rd5had0w said

    esty, hehehe yop I thought that if you knew, but it is better to ask than stay with the doubt lol Salu2 ...

  12.   Omar said

    @Byte Corrupt The Linux kernel has no problems with these cards.

    The problem is that there are no free drivers, for them, that is, for them to work well, you have to use proprietary drivers, which enslave the user, keeping him captive of a hardware company.

    No need for Windows sarcasm.

  13.   Omar said

    «Corrupt Byte; You are once again ironic with the "You will still remain enslaved to capitalist society and the companies that manufacture hardware"

    But hey you think as you want, but I don't think that someone who uses Opera and Windows Vista cares about their freedom.

  14.   Corrupt Byte said

    If Linux has problems with Nvidia and ATi, that's about 40% of computers.

    A serious problem, right?

  15.   Corrupt Byte said

    Oh I'm sorry, I just wanted to be simple.

    I wanted to refer to whether users who use a computer using a distribution with the Linux Kernel have performance or efficiency problems when making use of the capabilities of some hardware created by Nvidia or AMD, that is about 40% of the personal computers in the world.

    It is a serious problem, right?

    And as the article mentions, it is not only necessary free drivers, but a correct documentation of the hardware specifications so that they work 100%. Even so, you will remain enslaved to capitalist society and the companies that make hardware.

  16.   Corrupt Byte said

    I am as free as you (unless you live in North Korea). I have made the decision to use Windows because it meets my needs, which no Linux distribution has ever done. I decide to use Opera because I think it is an excellent browser, it doesn't matter if I can't see or modify its source code, because I'm more interested in the browser's features.

    And I don't care if I can see or modify the drivers I use, because I don't have that need. It Just Works.

    In Linux one has the ability to choose to modify the distribution so that it works correctly, but users do not want to make that decision, they just want the distribution to work correctly, as utopian as it sounds, it is part of the purpose of each software, it is one of the principles of usability.

    For most users, usability is more important than the "freedoms" proposed by the GNU.

  17.   psep said

    I will rate it, since a free soft user occupies the nv, I would like to see the «effects» ...

  18.   recluzo said

    my windows 7 forces me to pick cotton in the field. :(

  19.   Omar said

    @Byte Corrupt: I have heard the famous phrase before "I chose Windows", a lie, no Windows user chose it, they use it because it is what it is.

    The freedom to modify the source code, it is not necessary for one to exercise it directly, it is like the freedom of the press, and now they are going to tell me that they are all journalists: -

    Now you are not worried about the technical part either? Then your thing is even more serious. Windows back doors are huge, information goes in and out everywhere without you noticing. Now while you have to load your pc, with a program to fart such as antivirus, in GNU / Linux viruses practically do not exist, and I say practically, because theoretically there are some, but I want you to introduce me to someone who has infected the computer using GNU / LInux (Before you say that this is because there are few users, I clarify that that helps, but it also helps that you do not have as many errors as Windows).

    Maybe if Windows were better technically, you could understand that people defended it, even if its commercialization is immoral.

    Now another thing that bothers me is that most of those who defend Windows, and I'm not saying that is your case, have an unauthorized copy of it. They defend the indefensible.

    As much as Windows users may argue, proprietary software is immoral, imposing restrictions that are impossible to enforce in practice.

    For more than the w

  20.   laura077 said

    @ N @ ty ¿? Blackberry? Ein? What do you mean? I do not understand…

    My vote for the best comment:

    What do you mean by obfuscated ?, is it an angry driver?

    xDDD (yes, it seemed to me that he was a bit angry with me ...)

    For my part, I'm happy for Nouveau and I like the desktop with a nice background and NO effects, simple :)

  21.   I am said

    Omar, I use Windows, and I use it hacked, what's more, I use the Ue, so on top of hacked, tuned.
    And I defend Windows because it serves me, and it serves 90% of the world.
    And because I have it hacked ?, GO TO:

  22.   I am said

    And defending it as if it were a court, well ... some of us pirated software, other movies, other mp3s ... there is everything in the vineyard of the Lord. It is a topic that has already been talked about.

  23.   L0rd5had0w said

    @Omar: I clarify first of all that I am using Windows xq in my work They force me ... lol lol I think you are drowning in a glass of water what byte said is true and it is only his point of view, you have to learn to respect what others think that is why there is free expression of thought and not making a war on which is better all OS have their advantages and disadvantages. It is not necessary to close in the philosophy without giving room to an analysis of what others comment ... I have been a Linux user for a year and a half, I am happy with it for me it is the best that could happen to me but I do not see anything good in putting to fight on topics like this, I leave you a link from barrapunto so you can read something that Stallmal thinks

    It is not Spam I anticipate them hehehe Salu2 to all ...

  24.   vincegeratorix said

    weno… I read it and wrote it again
    «Most of those who defend windows use a pirated copy installed, programs with cracks and keygens» therefore they defend the indefensible
    if you want to defend something, do it seriously "as if you were in court" "WITH ALL OF THE LAW"

    weno, with that I do not attack anyone, I only write it by the flame

    The truth is that a few days ago I installed debian, and it works better than Ubuntu, the truth ...
    the day ubuntu does the same and works the same as debian, it will continue to use debian, unless there are no more manuals for debian, because in ubuntu "it is ready", because that day I would be disappointed and I don't know what to do ...

    It would have been different if before starting to use debian ubuntu I had already done everything and well as debian does .. there maybe it would have been different

    I don't give a damn if someone "claims" and I understand someone who feels the same about windows (although I do it to learn, and he would do it not to learn, his / her thing)
    What I do care about is that people know that "it is not the only thing" and if they know and do not want it they cannot be forced, like someone who wants to sleep in a hammock instead of a bed because they do not make the bed (I do not make the bed and sleep in it: D)
    weno end of flame now I will update to testing to see if I can use the proprietary drivers since I use a 6200 card and it is not among those of Nouveau

  25.   vincegeratorix said

    PS: I use Opera because with iceweasel I run out of the little ram I have and it remains using the swap ... it gets slow and does not open applications, the music sticks ...
    it's out of necessity :(

  26.   Omar said

    OK, great they make unauthorized copies of Windows, they don't "hack", because pirates use ships and weapons, not cd copiers.

    The term pirate has been invented by proprietary software companies and record labels, to make us believe that copying their products is wrong. None of those who copy Windows are pirates.

    But breaking a license agreement is never good, even if the agreement is abusive.

    What they get from copying Windows is having an unauthorized copy of Windows installed, which is almost as bad as having an authorized copy of Windows.

    The only way not to break the agreement, and not fall into a moral and legal dilemma, is not to use the software that imposes those unbearable conditions. Because unauthorized copies exist, because such conditions cannot be sustained in reality.

    Windows authorized or not, spies on its users, sends reports to the most incredible places, and no matter how "tuned" it is, the "back doors" of Windows are still there.

    The copy of music for private use is totally legal, I name it because someone compared the copy of software with the copy of music, also music does not send a message anywhere without my knowledge, nor does it control my computer.

    The license agreement can be broken, it is obvious, but with that all you do is have an unsupported, unauthorized product that is full of viruses (no matter how much antivirus they use).

    Authorized or not, when something breaks or they want something new, they can't ask Microsoft to fix or add it in a forum or on a mailing list, they just have to settle for what they have.

    With Free Software, when I have a problem I send a message and the community or the developers answer me and fix it, and they don't charge me anything.

    So for me the subject is closed, if you want to continue discussing, do so.

    It was a mistake on my part to start such an aggressive discussion, I admit it, because several named it.

  27.   vincegeratorix said

    the middle flame
    Well, the truth is, I also have windows
    and hacked
    Until tuned, it looks the same as the win7 (with the home screen)
    but unfortunately there it is ... and I can't use it xDDDDD
    pq failed and no matter how much I copy the damaged file it doesn't work, the worst thing is that the partition is 64 GB so it's a lot to free: D
    thank god for failing me windwos, because that way I don't have to use it, although I'm going to install it anyway, to play an online game that has me intrigued Oo

    The truth is what bothers me is the argument "if I want to use private software, I use it because nobody forces me to" and those kinds of arguments, when in truth the argument is that of the bed and the hammock, nothing more than out of habit
    I use a hammock to not make the bed, comfort
    I use a bed because otherwise my back hurts, comfort: D

    I feel comfortable, and I don't know any language, in fact I couldn't do more than hello world! in perl (with copy / paste)

    I am from Chile porsiacaso, and more than anything I advocate this phrase that you put in the link:
    "Here it is pirated in part because people do not even know that Windows is paid in some cases"
    people hacking knowing that they are doing something illegal, knowing that (for example) microsoft bought DOS, Mosaic (from which IE was based) hotmail, and many other things with dirty tricks, for example those who bought mosaic promised a percentage of IE sales, immediately included free IE, the Basic language was not created by bill, Microsoft intentionally makes office and windows incompatible when it releases a new version, which bribes countries with donations to use its software:
    here a large part of its «history»

    that people know that there are alternatives and as omar says not to use it because it is what there is, or because they do not know more, and that they find out well, the problem is that people do not want to know.
    now if you use win dps of all that, well I do not care, more than bad, my philosophy is that heaven and hell do not exist, one is left with their own guilt, do not tell someone the blame, because you will free yourself from things that you must pay, that's why the ignorant go to heaven, I want to be a bit of a devil's advocate, and make sure that there are not ignorant, is the only way to make a better world, make people feel guilty, if not then go to hell!
    PS: if you feel good using windows, in yourself you are probably ignorant and go to heaven, or, you are a "cold heart" and also go to heaven, more than bad one goes to heaven because of what one feels, no for the damage that one does to others

  28.   toxrn said

    For some people windows is just better than linux. Not for others. And that's respectable, I think it's a pretty recurring theme in LXA! Even for some, Windows is actually an alternative to Linux.

  29.   Corrupt Byte said

    Omar, your page does not load: D

    I've always found it funny that people who don't raid ships or have wooden legs are called pirates, but they call an object that is not a rodent and does not eat cheese a mouse.

  30.   Omar said

    @Byte corrupt.

    Hehe if I had missed the WordPress in the address.

    I especially apologize to you, who was the one I set sail with the most ;-)

  31.   Corrupt Byte said

    No problem, I love the debate;)

  32.   tuxlovers said

    Excuse my question, but ... What reason could nVidia have for not improving their driver?

    Because if the plate works better, people want to buy the plate because it did well

    1.    f sources said

      Actually under our logic it would be good, but these companies are not defenders of free software, they are only companies that are forced to have drivers for Linux and think that giving it to the community can harm the business. The problem is not that nVidia does not want to help Linux, the problem is that they have priorities and their priority is Windows.

  33.   Corrupt Byte said

    fsources is right, Windows is their priority, until the Linux market share increases, Nvidia will not give it much importance. Although I know that Nvidia does support scientific institutions that use Nvidia for their projects.

    The big problem is the lack of standards, Nvidia can create a functional driver in their laboratories, but where will they test it? On Debian, Ubuntu, Slakware, Fedora, Arch, Gentoo? What version of the kernel? What version of glibc and gcc ?. Even if in version N of the kernel the driver works, how do you make sure that version N + 1 does not screw it up?

  34.   rodri said

    no cove does not work XD

  35.   x11tete11x said

    @esty, reading these old comments I see that you defend windows and put this link ( Do you want to explain why the article starts like this ?: «A few days ago Ballmer said that for Microsoft Linux it is a bigger competitor than Apple»