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  • The State of Kernel Mode-Setting

    Phoronix: The State of Kernel Mode-Setting

    Earlier this year Fedora 9 was the first distribution providing kernel-based mode-setting (or KMS for short). At the time there was only a kernel mode-setting driver for Intel hardware and it ended up being disabled by default. We had provided a preview of kernel-based mode-setting that showed how the system display looked when it came to the flicker-free boot experience, fast and clean VT switching, and the technical advantages this method provides over the graphics mode-setting within an X.Org DDX driver. With months having passed since our first article and Red Hat engineers working aggressively on KMS improvements for Fedora 10, we are providing another look at this technology and some of the recent advancements.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=12907

  • #2
    so, just to clarify, which kernel fb driver do we need to use on ati hardware for modesetting? radeonfb?

    and which branch contains the most recent modesetting code? i'd like to test it out myself.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
      so, just to clarify, which kernel fb driver do we need to use on ati hardware for modesetting? radeonfb?

      and which branch contains the most recent modesetting code? i'd like to test it out myself.
      its not an fb driver, its a drm driver option.

      All the code is currently on the drm-rawhide branch of my drm-2.6 repo on kernel.org.

      http://airlied.livejournal.com/62269.html

      contains some info, or just play with Fedora.

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      • #4
        so we do not need any fb driver at all to have higher resolution console?

        one more question - if i understood correcly, kernel modesetting will choose the native resolution for the display. can it somehow be overridden to use a lower res? fonts get pretty small on 1280x1024 on 17" lcd - i usually pick 1024x768 because it's easier to read.

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        • #5
          fonts get pretty small on 1280x1024 on 17" lcd - i usually pick 1024x768 because it's easier to read.
          Strange tactic.. Lower res. in LCD produces blured image, don't you feel so? I'd better choose playing around DPI.. ;-)

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          • #6
            I assume this will be available on *BSD drm too (at a later date, of course)?

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            • #7
              I am interested in the memory manager part. If I get a ATI 1950 512MB card, will it access full memory (as opposed to being restricted to 256 MB currently) on F10?

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              • #8
                Strange tactic.. Lower res. in LCD produces blured image, don't you feel so? I'd better choose playing around DPI.. ;-)
                i'm not talking about X. i usually picked bigger console fonts to compensate. but there is a limit to this solution.

                sooner or later this will make fonts way too tiny.

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                • #9
                  KMS is pretty neat, but I'm thoroughly unimpressed with plymouth. It is just a bootsplash no different to any other (i.e. not any more "beautiful" than current solutions). They could do so much more with it than just having a squiggly line.
                  Last edited by _txf_; 10-01-2008, 10:27 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Does anyone know if there ever will be KMS for older 2d-only drivers/graphics cards? It would be pretty nice to have no flicker and fast vt switching on my (crappy) laptop too (and on all computers where you use free drivers, even if you don't get any 3d).

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                    • #11
                      it probably will come to all supported cards eventually.

                      it's not like their drivers are unmaintained, you know.

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                      • #12
                        So how do we install this stuff on our own systems? We need to install a kernel module and a new driver then? Some places where we can download this software and install it on our own Linux systems would be nice.

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                        • #13
                          Check out Dave's blog at :

                          http://airlied.livejournal.com

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                            Check out Dave's blog at :

                            http://airlied.livejournal.com
                            It requires Fedora? He says that's step number one. I can't install Linux software even though I'm using Linux? Well that blows. Guess Linux still needs some standardization/modularity improvements to undo all this distro lock-in crap.

                            Thanks any way though.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Yfrwlf View Post
                              It requires Fedora? He says that's step number one. I can't install Linux software even though I'm using Linux? Well that blows. Guess Linux still needs some standardization/modularity improvements to undo all this distro lock-in crap.

                              Thanks any way though.
                              Get over yourself, really. The instructions say that because that's what Dave uses and it's the easiest way to say "get all the latest stuff you need" that he knows works.

                              Obviously it works just fine on other distros. You just have to know how to grab the latest X and kernel and stuff for your distro, because Dave doesn't. Any "in development" version of your distro (e.g., Intrepid repos for Ubuntu) should be equivalent to "install Fedora Rawhide."

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