This update to an open-source NVIDIA driver means you can play more games on Linux

An NVIDIA RTX 2060 graphics card next to a Linux penguin mascot against a blue background, illustrating the synergy between Linux gaming and NVIDIA driver support.

You can trust PC GuideOur team of experts use a combination of independent consumer research, in-depth testing where appropriate – which will be flagged as such, and market analysis when recommending products, software and services. Find out how we test here.

Last Updated on

Driver support on Linux has been an ongoing battle, but a victory has been won. A big update has come for Linux gamers in the form of Mesa’s NVK Vulkan driver. The open-source driver just received a big update that allows users on Linux to run a good amount of Steam games that were previously unplayable.

The latest update for NVK announced the merge of sparse memory support, a feature required to run plenty of newer games on Steam Play. It’s required specifically for games running under DXVK and VKD3D-Proton. As posted, the update has been “tested and currently passes all of the relevant Vk sparse residency API CTS tests.” This is a huge update for open-source drivers receiving more game support, and making gaming easier under Linux.

You can play more games on Linux now with the NVK open-source driver update

The merge is still in its earliest stages, meaning the actual performance of the games that have been introduced to Linux is still untested. More than that, no one has yet reported that any previously unplayable games are now functional with the update. There is still much work to be done with the update. But, having sparse memory support at all is already a huge step for NVK.

The Mesa 3D Graphics Library aims to let users enjoy mainstream graphics drivers such as AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA as open-source. This allows Linux users to enjoy the best hardware even without the official support of the company. Open-source drivers have long been a point of contention for many companies, but with the latest NVK update, there is hope.

Only time will tell what good this update will do for the Linux gaming community. As previously stated, there are no known games that users have reported are now able to function with the update. That doesn’t even begin to cover the performance of those games on Linux. But, with more time and effort, we could see the rise of more powerful alternatives to standard GPUs.

Annie is a journalist focusing on the latest technology news and deals. At PC Guide, Annie covers the latest bundle deals and news from the world of tech, with a particular focus on GPU and CPU news.