Just shy of a month ago was when NVIDIA last released a proprietary Linux driver, at which point they also released a second driver that was their OpenGL 4.1 preview driver. This Saturday though NVIDIA has provided a new driver release, which is tagged as the 256.52 pre-release. This new Linux driver release isn’t overly exciting, but it does carry some prominent fixes that will please some NVIDIA customers.
The NVIDIA Linux 256.52 driver does not provide OpenGL 4.1 support, does not provide OpenCL 1.1 support (their early OpenCL 1.1 Linux drivers available to developers are in the 258.xx release stream), and does not offer CoolBits overclocking for GeForce GTX 400 series “Fermi” hardware.
What this driver update though does provide is a fix that previously prevented XvMC (X-Video Motion Compensation) from initializing (but if there’s anyone still using XvMC in NVIDIA’s binary driver, you should really update your application and driver to utilize the much superior VDPAU API), support for the xorg-server 8 video ABI used by X.Org Server 1.9, a bug that caused extremely slow OpenGL rendering when on X screens other than screen zero when a compositing manager was in use, stability problems on select GPUs such as the GeForce GT 240, a slow kernel virtual address space leak with OpenGL/CUDA/VDPAU applications, and lastly is a bug-fix for hangs when using two or more VDPAU applications simultaneously.
The NVIDIA 256.52 pre-release driver for Linux x86/x86_64 platforms can be downloaded at NvNews.net. If you missed it, earlier this week we delivered our first NVIDIA “Fermi” Linux benchmarks in this NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 review.