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

KMS Drivers Break The Console In FreeBSD 10

BSD

Published on 06 January 2014 01:13 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD
9 Comments

While FreeBSD 10.0 is exciting for finally having an AMD Radeon DRM/KMS driver as one of the major features of the new OS, the quality isn't yet on par with the open-source graphics support found on Linux from where the code was originally ported.

Developers, power-users, and anyone else reliant on a virtual terminal/console beware: with FreeBSD 10.0 the KMS drivers will break your ability to VT switch. The console driver currently in use within the freeBSD world doesn't work in conjunction with kernel mode-setting drivers. Once an X.Org Server has started, it's then impossible to switch to the console -- or to even have a console back when closing the X.Org Server -- if using the Intel or AMD Radeon KMS drivers.

The problem has been corrected within FreeBSD HEAD, which is aligned for FreeBSD 11-CURRENT. The problem was fixed by writing a new VT console driver (the "Newcons" project). However, this won't benefit users of FreeBSD 10.0 and can only hope that it will be back-ported to a FreeBSD 10.x point release rather than waiting some years for FreeBSD 11.0.

There's also other shortcomings of the KMS/DRM drivers that were ported from Linux along with the Mesa user-space and X.Org DDX drivers. The console failure details were shared in this mailing list thread while other graphics driver details in the FreeBSD world can be found from their Wiki.

For FreeBSD desktop users dependent upon a decent experience, I continue to recommend NVIDIA graphics hardware with their binary GPU driver as the only real choice for end-users. The DRM/KMS drivers aren't up to scratch yet on FreeBSD and there's no other major GPU vendor offering up official support to BSD users besides NVIDIA.

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. A Walkthrough Of The New 32 System Open-Source Linux Benchmarking Test Farm
  2. Habey MITX-6771: Mini-ITX Board With Quad-Core J1900 Bay Trail
  3. OCZ Vector 150 SSD On Linux
  4. Noctua i4 CPU Cooler: Great For Cooling High-End LGA-2011v3 CPUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. 17-Way Linux Graphics Card Comparison With Civilization Beyond Earth
  2. AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver
  3. 12-Way AMD Catalyst 14.12 vs. NVIDIA 346 Series Linux GPU Comparison
  4. AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver Brings Mixed Results For Linux Users
Latest Linux News
  1. Server-Side XCB Is Being Discussed For The X.Org Server
  2. Adreno A4xx Rendering With Freedreno Takes Shape
  3. Linux 3.19-rc1 Kernel Released Ahead Of Schedule
  4. Civilization: Beyond Earth Linux GPU/Driver Benchmarks
  5. X.Org Server 1.16.3 Released To Fix Security Issues
  6. Linux 3.19 Merge Window Closes Ahead Of Schedule
  7. MIPS R6 Architecture Now Supported By GCC
  8. LowRISC To Feature Tagged Memory & Minion Cores
  9. Intel Skylake Audio Support For Linux 3.19
  10. After 10+ Years, NetworkManager Reaches v1.0
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Speeding up systemd networking service
  2. Need some hand holding with upgrading xserver
  3. FPS capped on Linux (AMD fglrx drivers)
  4. Are there an app using HSA ?
  5. The New SuperTuxKart Looks Better, But Can Cause GPU/Driver Problems
  6. XLennart: A Game For Systemd Haters With Nothing Better To Do
  7. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  8. Debian init discussion in Phoenix Wright format