QXL/SPICE KMS Driver May Finally Be Developed
Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 31 January 2013 at 09:52 AM EST. 3 Comments
Red Hat may finally get to developing a KMS/DRM driver for QXL/SPICE to be used in conjunction with QXL for virtualization. This is a stepping-stone to eventually supporting SPICE 3D for allowing Red Hat virtual machines to tap hardware graphics acceleration support.

There's been a QXL X.Org driver that can do UXA, but there hasn't been any KMS driver to date. A kernel mode-setting driver for use with Red Hat's Linux virtualization platform will eventually be mandated for supporting Wayland along with other KMS-mandating environments like Plymouth. A proper DRM driver is also a prerequisite for enabling 3D acceleration support with SPICE.

Back in 2011 I wrote a bit more about the situation in Finally It Comes: A KMS Driver For QEMU-KVM, but that earlier driver was just a KMS driver for the default virtual Cirrus graphics adapter used by QEMU. Last year there was also talk of SPICE On KVM/QEMU Works Towards Gallium3D, but nothing materialized in 2012.

There was a proposal to work on the QXL/SPICE KMS driver for Fedora 18, but that was staved off to Fedora 19. "The current spice GPU driver for Linux guests is an X.org only driver. A kernel modesetting driver needs to be developed along with a new X.org driver that runs on top of it. Additionally the kernel driver will allow it to work with the modesetting DDX driver. The new ioctl interface the driver will expose will allow updating the qxl DDX driver to work on it. The new driver needs to support all revisions of the qxl device."

More details on the QXL/SPICE KMS plans can be found from the Fedora Project Wiki.
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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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