Open and Closed Source: New Drivers by ATI and Nvidia

Sep 19, 2007

AMD has put its money where its mouth is, and published the first free Linux drivers for its ATI R500 and R600 graphics cards in collaboration with Novell. After a lengthy break, Nvidia has also released a new version of its proprietary graphics driver.

The developers describe the quality of the first free ATI driver as "Alpha". The next steps on the roadmap include support for RandR 1.2, video overlay, 2D graphics acceleration and adding more hardware. The drivers are available as prebuilt installation package for Fedora, Mandriva and various Suse distributions. Users with other GNU/Linux systems can download the driver source code from the Git archive and build a driver themselves.

Things have also been happening down at Nvidia's HQ. The vendor has just released an updated version of its closed source driver which includes support for Quadro graphics chips and Geforce 8 cards. Add a larger number of bugfixes and improved support for the current version 7.3 and kernel 2.6.23. Other changes and enhancements are available from the vendor's website. Drivers for Linux and Solaris are available for downloading now. Users with FreeBSD will have to wait, though.

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