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The Fallback Mode-Setting Driver Is Improved

X.Org

Published on 24 February 2012 07:10 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org
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One week after the release of the new X.Org mode-setting driver there's another release with more changes.

Last week David Airlie announced the release of xf86-video-modesetting as a generic, un-accelerated DDX driver that in theory should work with any hardware that's being handled by a Linux KMS (kernel mode-setting) driver. The xf86-video-modesetting driver just relies upon the generic KMS interface with the kernel to allow X.Org to work atop it.

The xf86-video-modesetting driver just provides a shadow frame-buffer (ShadowFB), but over xf86-video-fbdev/xf86-video-vesa or alternatives, thanks to its KMS poking there is RandR support for this X.Org driver. Likewise, this driver supports driving multiple monitors. David developed this driver when working on GPU hot-plugging support and other work going back to last year.

The xf86-video-modesetting driver could be looked at as similar to the Gallium3D Xorg state tracker in Mesa that's designed to work with any KMS-enabled hardware, but that does provide accelerated support. David Airlie said in our forums that he isn't too interested in adding acceleration support to xf86-video-modesetting and that for his purposes this driver is effectively feature complete.

As far as the xf86-video-modesetting 0.2.0 release, it has a few fixes plus some build system clean-ups. The release announcement can be read on the mailing list.

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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