Thursday, July 12, 2007

Nouveau Driver 2D performance exceeds Nvidia driver

Source: Nouveau 2D progress

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Richard Hughes has just published results from the gtkperf performance test.


Nouveau: 24.86 seconds
NV: 40.78 seconds

Which is a 64% improvement over the existing Nvidia sponsored nv driver.

This is a very limited 2D only test and does not represent 3D performance but it does show that the developers are making good progress.

The Nouveau driver is quickly gaining support within the various distros. Fedora 7 shipped with an alpha version of the driver and Ubuntu has committed to assisting and supporting the project.

Nouveau Driver Homepage

To better show the improvements here is a benchmark comparing the free NV driver to the closed source Nvidia driver: NVIDIA Xserver driver Benchmark
In this benchmark (using a GeForce2 MX) the closed source Nvidia driver has a performance gain of 36% over the free NV driver. As Nouveau driver had a 64% improvement it even exceeds the Nvidia driver.

These figures should not really be treated as equal as they are using completely different Nvidia drivers. (6xxx series to hopefully the new 9x or 10x drivers.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Full OpenGL 3D Acceleration for Xen/Vmware/Kvm

Source: Thoughts on the Virtualization area.

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With all the news about Vmware Fusion and Parallels upcoming 3D acceleration capabilities there hasn't been much about the free software projects work in this area.

Introducing VMGL, which provides OpenGL Hardware 3D Acceleration for Virtual Machines. It is a program that you install in both the host and guest and allows for virtualizing the OpenGL functions. When tested in xen with Quake 3 & Unreal Tournament 2004 it provides for up to 87% of the performance of the native implementation. It has been tested under vmware and xen but it should work under any of the other virtualization solutions out there. (kvm, qemu, virtual box)

This is major news for the virtualization field as 3D acceleration has been the one area where there has not been much progress. As this is a generic solution released under a BSD licence it can be incorporated into any of the current virtualization solutions. Also it is gpu independent and will work with any OpenGL accelerator.

Promo movie:

VMGL Homepage
Xen summit Slides

New SSL secured Apt in works for Debian/Ubuntu

As part of the new Gusty 7.10 release of Ubuntu, Apt has be upgraded to the latest 0.7.x series slated for Lenny. Some of the benefits of this new apt have already been seen in Ubuntu. The automatic dependency removal, the unattended upgrades, and the dpkg breaks field.

One upgrade in this latest series is the addition of a https transport method. This transport method should help to further increase apt's security.

Already with Etch (and many past releases of Ubuntu) secure apt has been included. Secure apt includes cryptological signed packages. These signed packages ensure that they are the ones the developers compiled, ensuring security. This was a major step forward in apt security.

The addition of the apt-transport-https package allows for ssl secured communication between the webserver and the apt client. Now with secure apt ensuring that the packages are what they say they are, and https secured communication, the entire debian/ubuntu package stack is more secure.

Secure Apt
Apt 0.7.0 Changes
Debian: apt-transport-https
Ubuntu: apt-transport-https goes live


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Today marks the launch of the corporate site for the openmoko project. If you didn't know already the openmoko is a new cell phone designed from the ground up in an open manner. All the hardware is designed in an open manner and the software on the phone itself is gnu/linux.

Previously only the community oriented site was live but this did not allow actual purchase of the Neo1973 phone. (The first phone openmoko will run on) Today anyone can go to the store and purchase a Neo1973 phone running openmoko. The phone is initially aimed at developers and is not quite ready for mass consumption.

The Neo Base model retails for $300 US, and the Neo Advanced is $450 US. They are not tied to any network and will function on any GSM provider.

This hopefully will provide some competition to Apple's latest creation, the iPhone.

Related: - Development Site
- - Wiki
- - Planet
- - Mailing List
- - Getting Started with your Neo1973