Snapdragon DRM/KMS Driver Still Forthcoming
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 19 August 2013 at 12:26 AM EDT. 5 Comments
The Qualcomm Snapdragon DRM/KMS graphics driver for the Linux kernel is still being revised and looks like it's being taken serious enough that it will be mainlined in due time.

This Snapdragon DRM driver isn't being written by Qualcomm themselves but rather Rob Clark, the independent Linux graphics contributor now employed by Red Hat who for more than the past year has been working on Freedreno: his pet project to reverse-engineer Qualcomm's Adreno graphics cores on their SoCs and to provide a fully open-source 2D/3D driver.

Freedreno originally focused on bringing up a Gallium3D driver but for more than the past month has been a work-in-progress kernel driver in compliance with the kernel's DRM and KMS interfaces. Published this weekend is now the third revision to these patches.

Besides the kernel driver itself, Rob has also pushed a libdrm branch where this Freedreno DRM library will work either atop this "MSM" DRM driver or with Qualcomm's Android KGSL+FBDEV drivers for the kernel. Rob has also updated his xf86-video-freedreno driver to work in this new KMS configuration.

The third revision of the kernel driver brings some fixes plus prep work for adding DSI panel support. Hopefully the driver will be in a state for merging in the next kernel release cycle or two, which will be quite useful given Qualcomm's increasing ARM market-share in popular tablets/phones.

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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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