Nvidia has announced plans to open-source part of its Linux GPU drivers joining both Intel and AMD. This mark the first step toward open-source parity for Nvidia’s Linux driver packages.
“This release is a significant step toward improving the experience of using NVIDIA GPUs in Linux, for tighter integration with the OS, and for developers to debug, integrate, and contribute back. For Linux distribution providers, the open source modules increase ease of use. They also improve the out-of-the-box user experience to sign and distribute the NVIDIA GPU driver. Canonical and SUSE can immediately package the open kernel modules with Ubuntu and SUSE Linux Enterprise Distributions,” states a blog post attributed to Nvidia employees.
While Nvidia will release an open source kernel driver under a dual MIT/GPL license, the company will not release open source parts of the driver that run in userspace, including drivers for OpenSGL, Vulkan, OpenCL, and CUDA.
According to Nvidia, the drivers “will remain closed and published with pre-built binaries,” so it does not sound as if there are immediate plans to release open source versions.