Hours after posting a large patch series for enabling the Nouveau kernel driver to use NVIDIA’s GSP for improving the support for RTX 20/30 series hardware and finally enabling accelerated graphics support on RTX 40 “Ada Lovelace” GPUs, the Red Hat maintainer has resigned from his duties.
Ben Skeggs at Red Hat has long been the primary Nouveau DRM kernel driver maintainer for keeping this open-source NVIDIA GPU kernel driver within the mainline kernel going… Throughout all the battles, particularly after the GTX 900 series and later has required signed firmware images for enabling any accelerated GPU support, he’s now resigning from maintaining the driver. Ben Skeggs has contributed to the Nouveau project for more than one decade — he’s earned references on Phoronix since 2008.
Ben posted a patch resigning as the Nouveau DRM kernel driver maintainer today and commented:
“I have resigned, and will no longer be taking as active a role in nouveau development.”
Skeggs posted another message confirming he is stepping away from Nouveau development:
“As you may have gathered from the MAINTAINERS patch I just sent out, I have resigned from my position at Red Hat, and will be stepping back from nouveau development.
This is a personal decision that I’ve been mulling over for a number of years now, and I feel that with GSP-RM greatly simplifying support of future HW, and the community being built around NVK, that things are in good hands and this is the right time for me to take some time away to explore other avenues.
I still have a personal system with an RTX 4070, which I’ve been using the nouveau GSP-RM code on for the past couple of weeks, so chances are I’ll be poking my nose in every so often 🙂
I wish everyone the best, and look forward to seeing the progress you all make on nouveau in the future.”
This is a major loss to Nouveau development and the open-source NVIDIA driver ecosystem at large. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out considering Ben has been the number one contributor to the Nouveau kernel driver for years while at Red Hat. Yes, there’s active work by other parties on the NVK Vulkan driver, Nouveau OpenCL compute, etc, but Skeggs has largely been leading the kernel driver portion. Hopefully at least he’ll see the Nouveau GSP firmware portion through to its eventual upstreaming in the mainline kernel for re-clocking support on RTX 20 series and newer as well as having RTX 40 series accelerated hardware support.
Stay tuned to Phoronix to see how the open-source NVIDIA Linux graphics driver development evolves from this unexpected move. For now at least those concerned about the best open-source graphics driver support on Linux the best options remain with AMD Radeon and Intel graphics hardware.