1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Ubuntu Still Figuring Out How To Handle Hybrid Graphics

Ubuntu

Published on 15 May 2013 04:27 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu
16 Comments

While NVIDIA Optimus and other multi-GPU/hybrid laptop graphics systems have been available for years, in the Linux world support for these capabilities is still in the early stages.

For open-source graphics drivers materializing last year and earlier in the year was the PRIME support in conjunction with DMA-BUF for buffer sharing between drivers/hardware. Released last month was then a new NVIDIA binary Linux graphics driver that supports NVIDIA Optimus and RandR 1.4 at long last. On the AMD side for hybrid graphics, the Catalyst driver has its own way of handling Intel+AMD mixed configurations.

Discussed earlier today during the virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit was a session on eveloping a hybrid graphics support strategy planning, something that's been talked about at many UDS events going back years.

The X.Org Server and Linux kernel found already within Ubuntu 13.10 has the necessary patches for basic hybrid graphics support, there's now support within Lightdm, and the GNOME Settings Daemon still needs to learn about the RandR providers support. Another item still left to do is updating the Ubuntu xrandr packaging to version 1.4.0.

Some other upstream happenings include synchronization and fencing support for DMA-BUF likely coming in the Linux 3.11 kernel and TTM and other improvements coming to the Linux 3.12 kernel. There's also some other outstanding X.Org server patches left for upstreaming.

While the X.Org support is there for Hybrid Graphics, their own Mir Display Server doesn't yet support hybrid graphics or multiple GPUs and it likely will not do so for quite some time.

Long story short, largely thanks to the upstream Linux developers and the work by NVIDIA's Unix driver team, hybrid graphics support for Linux is slowly but surely coming together. For Ubuntu 13.10 it appears the support will be in mostly good standing aside from some kinks to work out and waiting on Mir support.


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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Even With Re-Clocking, Nouveau Remains Behind NVIDIA's Proprietary Linux Driver
  2. The Power Consumption & Efficiency Of Open-Source GPU Drivers
  3. AMD R600g/RadeonSI Performance On Linux 3.16 With Mesa 10.3-devel
  4. Intel Pentium G3258 On Linux
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Catalyst 14.6 Does Slightly Better With APITest OpenGL Tests
  2. Updated Source Engine Benchmarks On The Latest AMD/NVIDIA Linux Drivers
  3. Nouveau vs. Radeon vs. Intel Tests On Linux 3.16, Mesa 10.3-devel
  4. KVM Benchmarks On Ubuntu 14.10
Latest Linux News
  1. Builder: A New Development IDE Being Built For GNOME
  2. GDB 7.8 Betters Python Scripting, Adds Guile Support
  3. GNOME's GTK+ Is Still Striving For A Scene Graph, Canvas API
  4. Unreal Tournament Looks Great For Team Deathmatch
  5. LibreOffice 4.3 Released With Many Exciting Changes
  6. GNOME/GTK On Wayland Gains Focus At GUADEC
  7. GNOME Stakeholders Take Issue With Groupon Over their Gnome
  8. GStreamer VA-API Plug-In Update Adds New Features
  9. Qt 5.4 Going Into Feature Freeze Next Week With Exciting Changes
  10. OpenSUSE Factory Turns Into Rolling Release Distribution
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Grand Theft Auto Running On Direct3D Natively On Linux Shows Gallium3D Potential
  2. Open-source drivers on ATI R7 260X
  3. AMD Athlon 5350 APU On Linux
  4. Debian + radeonsi
  5. Linus Torvalds On GCC 4.9: Pure & Utter Crap
  6. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  7. List of Linux friendly Kickstarter projects
  8. Porting Mesa to the Playstation 2