Intel GPU Driver Tries To Rip Out FBDEV Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 17 June 2013 at 04:18 PM EDT. 54 Comments
Intel's Daniel Vetter is attempting for the Intel DRM graphics driver to remove support for its FBDEV frame-buffer layer with a new patch-set entitled "fbdev no more!", but will this finally usher in the killing of the Linux kernel's FBDEV subsystem?

Going back to last year there's been a call out to deprecate the Linux kernel's FBDEV layer. David Herrmann, among other Linux developers, have been working on projects like KMSCON to have a KMS/DRM-based terminal console from user-space, new KMS drivers, and other related initiatives in an attempt to kill FBDEV.

Daniel Vetter wrote in a new patch series that he was looking into "the locking mess in our fbdev support and cried." Rather than trying to fix the mess, the Intel Open-Source Technology Center employee just wants to gut all of the FBDEV code from their driver. "So I've decided to instead rip it all out. It seems to work."

These patches seem to have issues with Fedora's Plymouth boot splash screen for now and there might be some gripes about killing off FBDEV support when KMSCON isn't yet widespread and Linux distributions in general really aren't ready yet. "So just a small step here really, but imo into the right direction. Now, please bring on the flames!"

In an effort to modernize and clean-up the Linux kernel, hopefully the FBDEV support will be killed off in the not too distant future, but for now we will need to wait and see.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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