Nvidia Drops Linux Support For GeForce G8x, G9x, and GT2xx graphics cards
Nvidia has announced that they are dropping support for the their legacy 340.* graphics driver. That ends official Linux support for Tesla family G8x, G9x, and GT2xx graphics cards. Those with a laptop or desktop with an affected GPU can keep on using the final 340.108 release with kernel versions up to 5.4 and Xorg versions up to 1.20. No-no upgrading to newer versions of those if you are using a no longer supported GPU and you do not want to replace fully functional hardware due to a lack of driver support.
written by 林慧 (Wai Lin). published 2020-01-31 - last edited 2020-02-01
Nvidia ended support for their 304.* graphics driver for NV4x G7X series cards a while ago. Now it's the 340.* drivers series turn to die.
The cards Nvidia is dropping support for are mostly very old. The G8X series was released in 2006 and the G9X and the GeForce GTX 2XX series were released in 2008. That does not mean all the graphics cards and machines who are no longer supported are that old. As an example, the 2010 MacBook used the the GeForce 330M (NVA5/GT216).
The affected graphics cards and chips that are no longer supported by Nvidia are:
|Code name||Official Name|
|NV84 (G84)||GeForce 8600 (GT, GTS, M GT, M GS), 8700M GT, GeForce 9500M GS, 9650M GS
Quadro FX (370, 570, 570M, 1600M, 1700), NVS 320M
|NV86 (G86)||GeForce 8300 GS, 8400 (GS, M G, M GS, M GT), 8500 GT, GeForce 9300M G
Quadro FX 360M, NVS (130M, 135M, 140M, 290)
|NV92 (G92)||GeForce 8800 (GT, GS, GTS 512, M GTS, M GTX), GeForce 9600 GSO, 9800 (GT, GTX, GTX+, GX2, M GT, M GTX), GeForce GTS 150(M), GTS 160M, GTS 240, GTS 250, GTX (260M, 280M, 285M), GT (330, 340), Quadro FX (2800M, 3600M, 3700, 3700M, 3800M, 4700 X2), VX 200|
|NV94 (G94)||GeForce 9600 (GSO 512, GT, S), 9700M GTS, 9800M GTS, GeForce G 110M, GT 130(M), GT 140
Quadro FX (1800, 2700M)
|NV96 (G96)||GeForce 9400 GT, 9500 (GT, M G), 9600 (M GS, M GT), 9650M GT, 9700M GT
GeForce G 102M, GT 120, Quadro FX (380, 580, 770M, 1700M)
|NV98 (G98)||GeForce 8400 GS, GeForce 9200M GS, 9300 (GE, GS, M GS) GeForce G 100, G 105M, Quadro FX (370 LP, 370M), NVS (150M, 160M, 295, 420, 450)|
|NVA0 (GT200)||GeForce GTX (260, 275, 280, 285, 295), Quadro CX, FX (3800, 4800, 5800)|
|NVA3 (GT215)||GeForce GT (240, 320, 335M), GTS (250M, 260M, 350M, 360M), Quadro FX 1800M|
|NVA5 (GT216)||GeForce GT (220, 230M, 240M, 325M, 330M), 315 Quadro 400, FX 880M, NVS 5100M|
|NVA8 (GT218)||GeForce 8400 GS, ION 2, GeForce 205, 210, G 210M, 305M, 310(M), 405, Quadro FX (380 LP, 380M), NVS (300, 2100M, 3100M),|
|NVAA (MCP77/MCP78)||GeForce 8100, 8200, 8300 mGPU / nForce 700a series, 8200M G,|
|NVAC (MCP79/MCP7A)||ION, GeForce 9300, 9400 mGPU / nForce 700i series, 8200M G, 9100M, 9400M (G),|
|NVAF (MCP89)||GeForce 320M|
Those who have any of these very old Nvidia graphics cards will still be able to use them on GNU/Linux machines with the free Nouveau driver. It works and it has many, but not all, features implemented but it lacks proper power management which means that high-end cards end up running at their lowest possible clock speeds. This is why most Linux users stuck with Nvidia hardware go with the proprietary binary blob driver from Nvidia.
The final Linux 340.* driver, version 340.108, supports X.Org 1.20 and Linux kernels up to 5.4. The newly released 5.5 kernel is NOT supported. Those who are using the 340.* driver will have to use a LTS distribution with an older kernel or switch to the free nouveau driver or buy new hardware which is not more than a decade old. Buying new hardware is not always an option and it may not be as easy as buying a new graphics card. The 2010 MacBook Pro has a GeForce GT 330M GPU which relies on the now dead 340.* Nvidia driver. You can't just buy a modern GPU for that machine, you would have to replace the entire machine. That is a wasteful thing to do if the hardware works and the lack of driver support is the only issue with it.
The updated "Support timeframes for Unix legacy GPU releases" page on Nvidia's website states that the 390.* driver for GF1xx "Fermi" graphics cards (GeForce 400, GeForce 500) will get releases for new Linux kernels and X server versions until the end of 2022.