VIA's OpenChrome 0.3.0: "A Major Step Forward"
Written by Michael Larabel in VIA on 24 July 2012 at 06:44 AM EDT. Add A Comment
The xf86-video-openchrome DDX driver has been updated today with a version 0.3.0. Xavier Bachelot from the OpenChrome camp describes this release as "a major step forward for the openchrome driver."

OpenChrome 0.3.0 now supports most of the features needed by modern X Servers, the code has seen a major overhaul, code clean-ups, and has been tested against most of the available VIA IGPs.

OpenChrome 0.3.0 supports TTM/GEM kernel memory management (assuming you're using James Simmons' DRM/KMS driver work that isn't currently mainline), KMS kernel mode-setting support, improved RandR handling, XAA support has been removed, DGA support has been removed, support for the X.Org Server 1.13 DDX driver API changes, and code clean-ups with various bug-fixes.

Known limitations at this point include EXA compositing being disabled, dual head not working fully, and the KMS-enabled DRM module isn't yet in the upstream kernel.

Details and source download links for xf86-video-openchrome 0.3.0 is available from the mailing list announcement.

The OpenChrome driver has moved forward but it's still far from being at the same standing as the Radeon/Nouveau/Intel open-source drivers, especially with the lack of the VIA KMS code in the mainline kernel and no signs on when merging it is planned. VIA Technologies also continues to do nothing for the open-source Linux graphics community and their x86 hardware itself is rather poor by today's standards.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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