Nouveau: a 2.6.33 surprise
Linus has released the 2.6.33-rc1 prepatch, closing the merge window for this development cycle. This kernel has a few features which will shake things up, with dynamic tracing being near the top as far as I am concerned. But, perhaps, the most interesting addition is one that almost nobody expected: a reverse-engineered driver for NVIDIA graphics chipsets called “Nouveau.”
Once upon a time, finding hardware which worked with Linux could be a real challenge, especially for certain classes of machines, like laptop computers. We had especially severe problems with 3D graphics as the result of two separate problems: development on the X Window System went into hibernation for many years, and graphics vendors had little interest in helping the community to develop free drivers for their products.