NVIDIA “AltMode” Open-Source Driver Heading To Mainline Kernel With Linux 5.2


There’s a new open-source NVIDIA driver heading to the mainline kernel with Linux 5.2, but don’t get too excited.

The NVIDIA AltMode driver queued up for entrance into the Linux 5.2 kernel is for handling VirtualLink devices with the newest RTX Turing graphics cards that have a USB Type-C connector.

Previously we’ve seen NVIDIA post a new i2c driver for the USB-C connections on their newest Turing graphics cards while this latest addition is a simple driver for enabling the Type-C Alternate Mode for VirtualLink devices.

With this new code by NVIDIA is now support for VirtualLink devices on Linux 5.2+.

This was queued in the USB-next code-base following patches by Intel for UCSI DisplayPort Alternate Mode Support across a few commits also destined for Linux 5.2.

NVIDIA supplied a larger code contribution as well of firmware flashing support for their Type-C controller in order to perform firmware upgrades under Linux.

While their USB Type-C/VirtualLink code bits are open-source, there are signed firmware blobs involved in bringing up their USB controller support.

Valve’s upcoming “Index” VR headset might be among the first VR HMDs supporting a VirtualLink interface.