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Kernel Log: progress with free graphics drivers, three new stable kernels

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A new version of the nv driver supports later NVIDIA GPUs. Drivers giving 3D support for later Radeon GPUs are making progress, and so is code for running the X server without root rights. The kernel developers have now issued new stable kernel versions and no longer support the 2.6.29 series.

Not much has been heard in recent months about the open-source graphics driver for NVIDIA GPUs, properly known as "xf86-video-nv" but usually shortened to just "nv". Recently, however, NVIDIA man Aaron Plattner released version 2.1.14. Although innovations are few, some of the changes mean that the driver now handles a great many later graphic chips that were previously only supported by the Nouveau driver or the proprietary NVIDIA driver. These include various GeForce 7950 cards, the GeForce models 285 and 295, and many other graphics cards in the 9000 series.

Kernel status

At the end of last week, the minders of the Linux Stable Series released versions, and, as usual advising users of previous versions to update, but without stating explicitly whether these new versions eliminate security bugs.
The updated kernels in the 27 and 29 series differ from their predecessors with 30 to 40 patches. Greg Kroah-Hartman emphasises in his email on that this is to be the last version in the 29 series. In the 2.6.30-stable review email, he apologises for the late appearance of the first stable version for Linux version 2.6.30, which was released four weeks ago. With more than a hundred changes, is quite comprehensive.

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