1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

2008 Linux Graphics Survey Results

Michael Larabel

Published on 22 December 2008
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 6 - 33 Comments

Last week our annual Linux Graphics Survey ended. There were over 14,000 submissions this year to the eleven questions we asked pertaining to X.Org, Linux desktop usage, and graphics hardware. In this article are all of the results from this year's survey.

The first question we had asked were which of the listed X.Org areas are you most interested in as an end-user.

By far the area that most users are interested in is kernel mode-setting. For those who have yet to familiarize themselves with kernel mode-setting, it involves moving all of the mode-setting handling from the X.Org DDX driver and into the Linux kernel. The benefits of this include a flicker-free boot process since the GPU only needs to set its mode once, fast VT switching, the possibility of having graphical failure messages (think the Windows Blue Screen of Death on Windows), and ultimately should lead to a more robust environment.

Kernel-based mode-setting isn't even entering the mainline kernel until Linux 2.6.29 but it has been shipping as a preview feature in Fedora for a while (A Preview of KMS). Red Hat has already developed Plymouth, which is a replacement for the Red Hat Graphical Boot (RHGB) program that relies upon kernel mode-setting for providing a pleasant boot experience with a number of other advantages too. Another project coming about is Wayland, which also leverages kernel mode-setting to provide a mini display server with an integrated compositing manager.

Kernel mode-setting should really start to come into play next year when it enters the mainline Linux kernel and begins appearing in other distributions as a stable feature. There are already plans for Ubuntu 9.10 to adopt Plymouth. In the Linux 2.6.29 kernel there will be KMS support for Intel graphics while the ATI KMS support will go mainline later on. The Nouveau KMS support is still in development and the binary-only X.Org graphics drivers currently aren't able to take advantage of this technology.

Following KMS, the second area with the most interest is seeing video improvements to X.Org and then DRI2 in a close third. When it comes to video playback improvements, the leading open-source solution right now is through XvMC, or X-Video Motion Compensation. XvMC though is of limited use these days and is not supported by all X.Org drivers. At this time XvMC only is able to offload MPEG-2 decoding to the GPU, but there has been talk of extending XvMC though that yet hasn't amounted to anything. Intel has also been behind the VA-API (Video Acceleration API), but that too has appeared stagnant.

The closed-source X.Org drivers have really been leading the pact when it comes to video playback acceleration with the recently introduced VDPAU (Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix) by NVIDIA and the XvBA (X-Video Bitstream Acceleration) that soon will be introduced by AMD in their Linux driver. VDPAU is a poster-child for great GPU video decoding with its support for H.264, WMV3, MPEG-2, and VC-1 formats and support for decoding, post-processing, compositing, and displaying compressed/uncompressed video streams. With a $20 CPU and $30 GPU we were even able to play HD videos on Linux with VDPAU while compiling the Linux kernel simultaneously.

At just over 20% interest, the Direct Rendering Infrastructure 2 with respondents. The design of DRI2 was hashed out at the X.Org Developers' Summit in 2007 and was close to being introduced in early 2008. DRI2 was made available in March of 2008 and was slated for introduction with X Server 1.5 / X.Org 7.4, but an invasive redesign to DRI2 caused the support to be dropped. DRI2 went through more revisions (one and two) and finally is being officially introduced with X Server 1.6 next month. DRI2 Direct Rendering is popular with users as it completes the puzzle in being able to have direct rendering to redirected windows in a composited environment.

Generating less interest among users was Gallium3D, Multi-Pointer X, and X Input 2. Gallium3D is the new 3D graphics architecture being developed by Tungsten Graphics (now owned by VMware) and Multi-Pointer X is the technology that allows for multiple input devices (such as having many keyboard and mice attached to one X Server) that is now postponed for introduction until X Server 1.7.

<< Previous Page
1
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Scythe Mugen MAX
  2. Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E On Linux
  3. Intel 80GB 530 Series M.2 SSD On Linux
  4. With A New Motherboard, The Core i7 5960X Haswell-E Lights Up
Latest Linux Articles
  1. A Tour Of The New Phoronix Office
  2. 7-Way Linux Desktop Gaming Comparison On Ubuntu 14.10
  3. Intel P-State vs. CPUFreq Benchmarks On The i7-5960X
  4. RadeonSI GLAMOR Benchmarks With X.Org Server 1.16
Latest Linux News
  1. X.Org Server 1.16.1 Released
  2. Mesa Gets Closer To Having OpenGL 4.0 Tessellation Support
  3. Uselessd: A Stripped Down Version Of Systemd
  4. F2FS Tools Gain FSCK Support
  5. FreeBSD 10.1 Has The New VT Driver, Hardware Improvements
  6. AntiMicro 2.6 Yields Greater Compatibility For Gamepads On Linux
  7. OpenGL 3.3 / GLSL 3.30 Lands For Intel Sandy Bridge On Mesa
  8. AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver Sees Some Improvements
  9. Mesa 10.3 Released With The Latest Open-Source GPU Driver Improvements
  10. GNOME 3.13.92 Officially Released
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. ASRock AM1H-ITX: One Of The Best AM1 Mini-ITX Motherboards
  2. Wasteland 2 Officially Launched Today, Including For Linux Gamers
  3. Can Linux kill a motherboard?
  4. X.Org Women Outreach Program Only Turns Up Two Applicants So Far
  5. New stress testing utility for GPU's
  6. Stop grabbing my keyboard :(
  7. New Group Calls For Boycotting Systemd
  8. SSD seems slow