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What is NVIDIA and Nouveau?

asked 2018-06-25 11:39:23 -0500

yesiamabdul gravatar image

I was browsing and somehow I came across these two words, NVIDIA and Nouveau.

I did browse and the answers were not proper and I don't know what they are.

So, what is NVIDIA and Nouvea? Why should I care about these?

If you know any links or resources please write down them in the comments.

Appreciate your help very much.

Great day.


It's good to be a part of this community. Great thing is that I'd have answers in the end.

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2 Answers

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answered 2018-06-25 12:01:04 -0500

clnetbox gravatar image

updated 2018-06-26 04:26:04 -0500

Both are drivers for NVIDIA Graphics Processing Units.
nouveau are the already installed open source drivers.
These drivers are sufficient for "normal" desktop usage.

The nvidia drivers are the 'proprietary drivers' alternative.
They can be installed when higher performance is required.
A good example would be "hard gaming" or heavy 3D tasks.

Of course it is only relevant when you have a NVIDIA GPU.
A lot of low-budget and mid-range machines ship without it.
I have tried to explain it as short as possible - hope it helps.

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I understood. It's clear and to the point. Thank you very much.

yesiamabdul gravatar imageyesiamabdul ( 2018-06-25 21:31:56 -0500 )edit

You're welcome @Abdul :) I'm glad that you find it to be useful.

clnetbox gravatar imageclnetbox ( 2018-06-26 02:44:15 -0500 )edit

answered 2018-06-25 11:57:10 -0500

muep gravatar image

NVIDIA of course is a well-known manufacturer of GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). Most personal computers have some kind of GPU which is then involved producing the graphics you see on screen. In order for the operating system to work with a specific kind of GPU, you need drivers that need to be suitable both for the GPU and the operating system. For use of GPUs made by NVIDIA on Fedora, there are two easily available sets of drivers:

  • Drivers made by NVIDIA, often just called nvidia. These are available free of charge to users, but they are not FOSS (Free, Open-Source Software).
  • Drivers made by the free software community, called nouveau

As far as I know, only one of these drivers can be active at any time.

Since Fedora has a focus on providing free software, the nouveau driver is what is included and used by default. The nvidia driver can provide better performance and more features. This driver can be installed by users who need either of those. If the default setup seems to work good enough, though, it is not necessary to switch drivers.

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It's helpful.

yesiamabdul gravatar imageyesiamabdul ( 2018-06-25 21:32:26 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2018-06-25 11:39:23 -0500

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Last updated: Jun 26 '18