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Old 03-28-2010, 07:01 AM
Sven Joachim
Default Bug#558788: add nouveau in squeeze, please

On 2010-03-28 00:23 +0100, Adrian Glaubitz wrote:

> Hi,
> there are a few problems which will probably prevent nouveau
> from being added to Squeeze:
> First, Squeeze is certainly going to be shipped with 2.6.32
> since it is a kernel with long-term support from upstream.
> Since Debian puts a strong emphasis on stability and long-term
> stable support, it is very likely that it will be shipped with
> 2.6.32. The problem now is that nouveau modesetting and drm
> support is not in 2.6.32 but it was first introduced with
> 2.6.33. Thus, in order to use nouveau together with Squeeze,
> the nouveau drm and modesetting code will have to be backported
> from 2.6.33 which Ubuntu did for their due 10.04 release.

This has already been done in the latest linux-2.6 upload to sid.

> Secondly, even if the nouveau code gets backported to 2.6.32,
> there is still the problem that the nouveau xorg driver has
> received significant changes in the drm API which are incompatible
> to all drm code prior to 2.6.34.

These changes have been reverted in the latest upload of libdrm to
experimental, and libdrm-nouveau1 2.4.18-4 works fine with both vanilla
2.6.33 and Debian 2.6.32 from sid.

> Thus, the current upstream
> nouveau version cannot be used without a lot of efforts of
> backporting or people will have to stick to the current version
> of nouveau from experimental which, however, still needs the
> backporting of the drm code from 2.6.32 to 2.6.33.

Not true. I am working on an xserver-xorg-video-nouveau package that is
based on the same upstream snapshot as the version in Ubuntu 10.04, and
while it needs some polishing (especially adding a README.Debian
explaining the requirements and how to set it up), it is already working
well for me. Hopefully it can be uploaded to experimental in the next
couple of days.

> My suggestion therefore is to drop nouveau for Squeeze and
> rather wait until 2.6.34 is released and makes it into unstable.
> At this point, the kernel will provide all necessary drm and
> modesetting code in a hopefully mature state.

The real problem is that if we put nouveau into squeeze with 2.6.33 DRM
and make it the default driver for Nvidia GPUs, people are locked into
the Squeeze kernel. This is why I personally would not support this¹,
but if the Debian kernel team and the X strike force are willing to deal
with the "I upgraded my kernel and now X doesn't start!!!" flow of bugs,
it might be possible.

The other problem is that with 2.6.33 DRM, most GPUs need firmware of an
uncertain legal state to provide any 2D acceleration. If this cannot be
distributed by Debian, there needs to be another way for users to obtain
it easily. I hacked together a short script that fetches and installs
it from an upstream tarball², but it might of course disappear from
there at any time.


¹ http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=568168#63
² http://people.freedesktop.org/~pq/nouveau-drm/

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