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A Preview Of Kernel-Based Mode-Setting

Michael Larabel

Published on 19 April 2008
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 4 of 4 - 9 Comments

For comparison, below is a video of switching between virtual terminals with traditional DDX mode-setting for the Intel driver.

Look at the speed of VT switching once turning to kernel-based mode-setting! Note the same mode being used between each virtual terminal and the X environment.

Kernel-based mode-setting is a great advancement for Linux and X.Org with it being a feature that delivers noticeable benefits to the end-user -- a cleaner flicker-free boot process, fast and reliable VT switching, improved suspend-and-resume support, and soon enough will be making fast-user-switching even faster. This is just the tip of the iceberg and more benefits, such as graphical diagnostic capabilities, should be able to flourish as a result of kernel-based mode-setting. However, it's not time to start celebrating yet. Kudos to Red Hat and all of the developers involved for delivering this initial support in Fedora 9, but it will be a while before more graphics drivers start switching to kernel mode-setting and this same level of support being found in other distributions. It's not a quick and straightforward port for moving the mode-setting code into the kernel, but hopefully by the end of the year this support will be in good standing. Intel's commitment though to the advancement of X.Org has led them to being the first driver working with this terrific addition. As kernel mode-setting continues to be adopted and ultimately reach the mainline Linux kernel, we'll be sure to share additional highlights.

If you have tried out Intel kernel mode-setting, be sure to share your results in the Phoronix Forums.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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