Mesa’s NVK Open-Source Vulkan Driver for NVIDIA Hardware Achieves Stability

Collabora has updated that their NVK open-source Vulkan graphics driver for NVIDIA hardware in the Mesa graphics stack is now stable and ready for widespread use, no longer being considered experimental.

As Faith Ekstrand of Collabora describes in a blog post, a new merge request was accepted into the Mesa graphics stack that removes NVK’s non-conformant implementation warnings and updates the Meson configuration option from ‘nouveau-experimental’ to ‘nouveau.’ This development marks the NVK driver as stable.

The NVK technology was first announced in October 2022 to serve as a drop-in replacement for the open-source Nouveau driver for NVIDIA graphics cards. Since the announcement, Collabora has been diligently working to ready NVK for prime time. The driver will be included as a stable component in the upcoming Mesa 24.1 graphics stack.

Although the newly released Mesa 24.0 graphics stack includes the NVK driver, it is in an experimental state. Currently, not all Linux distributions have adopted the Mesa 24 graphics stack. With the expected release of Mesa 24.1 in the coming months, NVK’s wide-scale debut will require a bit of patience.

Also today, Collabora announced that NVK is now a Vulkan 1.3 conformant on Turing (NVIDIA RTX 2000 and NVIDIA GTX 1600 series), Ampere (NVIDIA RTX 3000 series), and Ada (NVIDIA RTX 4000 series) GPUs.

“Not only have we jumped forward three Vulkan versions, but the new test runs were done with the GSP firmware enabled and includes Ampere and Ada GPUs. Also, unlike the initial 1.0 run, there are no hacks this time. Every test we passed in those conformance test runs also passes on upstream Mesa,” said Faith Ekstrand

Performance-wise, Collabora says that while many video games are running at 60 FPS or better on recent NVIDIA GPUs, they’re still working on improving the performance of the Vulkan driver, which will be done regularly with new Mesa graphics stack releases from now on, so make sure that you keep your Linux PCs up to date at all times for a better gaming experience.

Image credits: Collabora

Last updated 1 hour ago