Mode-Setting Driver Can Now Be An Output Slave
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 14 September 2012 at 07:29 AM EDT. Add A Comment
X.Org
The xf86-video-modesetting v0.5.0 driver was released on Thursday with a few important changes.

This updated X.Org video driver, which is used in cases where a kernel mode-setting (KMS) driver is available on the system but not any hardware-specific X.Org (DDX) driver, is a relatively minor update but some changes that will affect users. The xf86-video-modesetting driver is like a VESA driver for the KMS-enabled world. Among the DRM/KMS drivers lacking a DDX driver -- where xf86-video-modesetting is most useful -- include the DisplayLink KMS USB setup, a virtual QEMU KMS driver based on Cirrus, Matrox MGA, and ASpeed.

Changes by David Airlie of Red Hat to the xf86-video-modesetting 0.5.0 release add in the platform bus support and output slave support, which is part of the ongoing DRI2 PRIME work. In the context of this generic mode-setting driver, the output slave support could allow this updated mode-setting driver to be used in conjunction with the DisplayLink KMS driver where the USB graphics adapter is displaying a window that's been rendered by another GPU that's playing in the PRIME-enabled world.

Basically, hot-plug the USB GPU with the different DisplayLink adapters being USB-based (and working fairly well based upon my testing so far of a Plugable.com devices) while letting another GPU (Intel / Radeon / Nouveau are the other driver players right now with this new X.Org technology) take care of the actual rendering prior to being offloaded to the USB-based display.

The output slave concept in an X.Org world was talked about last year in X.Org Server GPU Hot-Plugging Moves Along but only now is coming to mainline fruition. But if this output slave support doesn't interest you, there isn't much to see out of the xf86-video-modesetting 0.5.0 update. The release announcement is on xorg-announce.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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