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SimpleDRM Driver Gets A Major Rewrite

Linux Kernel

Published on 23 January 2014 10:52 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
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David Herrmann has announced his latest work on his SimpleDRM driver plan for the Linux kernel along with a new sysfb concept. These latest eleven patches are considered a "major rewrite" of the earlier SimpleDRM code.

SimpleDRM is aiming to be a rather generic and simple DRM driver for the mainline Linux kernel. SimpleDRM doesn't do hardware acceleration but can replace multiple existing frame-buffer drivers like efifb, vesafb, simplefb, and other code. This basic DRM driver can then work with the xf86-video-modesetting X.Org driver but there isn't yet any support for using this DRM driver on Wayland-based systems.

SimpleDRM has been a project of David's going back to last summer and had undergone several revisions before going through this latest major rewrite.

The new SimpleDRM sysfb work allows registering firmware-framebuffers wirth the system as platform devices so that they can be properly bounded to a single kernel driver. This sysfb implementation though can allow passing of the unaccelerated driver support over to a real hardware driver e.g. going from SimpleDRM to the i915 Intel KMS driver without a reboot.

David Herrmann has tested out the new SimpleDRM driver against a range of graphics hardware and system configurations and so far it's working great, according to his reports. The new SimpleDRM patches can be found on the dri-devel list as it's unlikely we will see the work ready and merged for the Linux 3.14 kernel.

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 .
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