Red Hat Replaces RHGB With Plymouth
One of the features that was introduced with Fedora 9 was support for Kernel-based Mode-Setting, which at the time is limited to Intel's X driver. However, later this year with Fedora 10 we will see greater kernel mode-setting adoption with the likely integration of the Nouveau KMS and possible support on the ATI Radeon side. With the greater adoption of kernel-based mode-setting combined with the rewrite of the GDM (GNOME Display Manager), Red Hat is preparing to take better advantage of these latest desktop Linux technologies.
Providing a graphical boot process going back to the old Red Hat Linux days has been rhgb, or Red Hat Graphical Boot. The Red Hat Graphical Boot process uses an X server to display information about services starting, etc. However, this Red Hat project is in the process of being discontinued. The successor to RHGB is called Plymouth, which is being engineered by Red Hat's Ray Strode.
Plymouth takes advantage of kernel mode-setting and will even be able to provide a graphically-rich experience earlier in the boot process for Fedora and eventually Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The latest release of Plymouth (v0.5) had occurred just a week ago and Red Hat engineers are now preparing to ship Plymouth starting with Fedora 10 Alpha. The release of Fedora 10 Alpha is tentatively planned for the end of July, while the final release is scheduled for October 28.
More on this enhanced start-up process for Fedora 10 can be found on the Fedora Wiki. Additionally, Red Hat's Jeremy Katz has written a blog post reiterating these improvements and mentioned he has integrated Plymouth into Fedora's Live media.
Interested users, however, aren't yet able to (easily) test Red Hat's Plymouth. Kernel-based mode-setting currently is broken in Fedora Rawhide due to Intel's GEM (Graphics Execution Manager) not yet being found within this development repository. GEM is Intel's replacement for the TTM memory manager and Intel recently switched from TTM to GEM in master. Once this prerequisite is cleared up, Plymouth can enter the limelight.
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