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. AMD Radeon R9 290: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Drivers
  2. AMD Radeon R9 290 Open-Source Driver Works, But Has A Ways To Go
  3. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
  4. Sumo's Omni Gets Reloaded
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Preview: OS X 10.10 Yosemite vs. Ubuntu Linux GPU Performance
  2. Radeon Graphics Yield Mixed Results With Linux 3.17 Kernel
  3. AMD's RadeonSI Driver Sped Up A Lot This Summer
  4. Intel's Latest Linux Graphics Code Competes Against OS X 10.9
Latest Linux News
  1. MenuetOS Updated With SMP Threads & Onscreen Keyboard
  2. Mesa Has A New Release Manager
  3. Enlightenment E19 Lands Its New Wayland Compositor Code
  4. Nouveau Turns Into A Mess In Latest Linux 3.17 + Mesa 10.3-dev Tests
  5. New GCC 5.0 Changes, Command-Line Options That Landed So Far
  6. SteamOS Update 133 Has Better Intel Performance, VA-API
  7. DRM Graphics Changes For Linux 3.18 Might End Up Being Smaller
  8. Ioquake3 Works On Finally Switching Over To SDL2
  9. Linux 3.17-rc2 Release Celebrates 23 Years Of Linux
  10. Leadwerks Launches On Steam For Linux
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. AMD Releases UVD Video Decode Support For R600 GPUs
  2. Users defect to Linux as OpenBSD removes Lynx from base system
  3. Chinese People Try To Patent Wine On ARM
  4. American Citizens running AMOK for food stamps
  5. "The World's Most Highly-Assured OS" Kernel Open-Sourced
  6. What Linux Distribution Should Be Benchmarked The Most?
  7. New generation ultra-thin gaming notebook-MSI GS702PE Stealth all around review
  8. Canonical Joined The Khronos Group To Help Mir/Wayland Drivers