VIA Kernel Mode-Setting Still Being Toyed With
Written by Michael Larabel in VIA on 16 February 2013 at 10:16 AM EST. 2 Comments
Kernel mode-setting support for VIA's cruddy and aging graphics hardware continues to be worked on as a hobby project, but don't expect it to be merged for the Linux 3.9 kernel.

James Simmons continues to be the lone developer left that's actually working on the VIA KMS support for Linux. He's been working on this support now for over two years after previously he was the developer that did the 3Dfx / Voodoo KMS driver that never went mainline.

Last summer there was a VIA KMS goal and was marked by the OpenChrome 0.3.0 DDX release that is compatible with the VIA KMS interfaces and its TTM/GEM interfaces. James wanted this supported X.Org driver out there for a while before pushing his KMS driver into the kernel. The driver has been out there for over a half-year, but there's still no signs of the improved VIA Linux graphics support being merged soon.

It wasn't ready for Linux 3.8 and now for the upcoming Linux 3.9 merge window it still doesn't look baked. The basic VIA KMS support appears in good shape and is still being developed.

The progress made this month with VIA KMS by Simmons is that earlier this month he began the fence handling support for the kernel driver.

This morning James went ahead and re-based his driver atop DRM-Next per this mailing list message so at least the driver is staying compatible with the latest upstream code.

Kudos to James Simmons for continuing to work on this VIA KMS driver basically by himself and still going after it for two years time. Hopefully it will finally see the mainline Linux kernel in the not too distant future.
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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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