Radeon UMS Support To Be Dropped
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 15 June 2012 at 05:44 AM EDT. 6 Comments
AMD developers are planning to remove user-space mode-setting (UMS) support from the open-source Radeon graphics driver.

Most users are now running the kernel mode-setting (KMS) support found within the Radeon DRM driver for the past few years and new hardware these days is only being enabled under the open-source Radeon Linux driver using KMS. Even the latest enterprise Linux distributions with their latest versions are using KMS graphics drivers, and with Red Hat they even have plans to ship only KMS-enabled graphics drivers. With not many people using the Radeon UMS support, developers are now planning to kill off this old support.

This news doesn't come as too much of a surprise considering that Intel and Nouveau have killed off their non-KMS support long ago and that KMS graphics drivers are the future on Linux. Of course, now this just puts additional pressure on BSD developers to get their KMS port working well for Radeon hardware...

David Airlie wrote on the mailing list, "I'm seriously thinking of resurrecting the kms killing branch, can anyone give me a reason not too, we'd fork the current master into a UMS branch and move on."

Alex Deucher of AMD expressed his support of the UMS killing and Michel Dänzer (also AMD) agreed too.

The plan is to make the Radeon driver KMS-only for the xf86-video-ati-7.0.0 release.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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