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Intel, NVIDIA Kernel Mode-Setting In Fedora 11

Nouveau

Published on 27 February 2009 11:06 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau
3 Comments

Just three days ago we shared that Nouveau will become the default NVIDIA driver in Fedora 11 to replace the obfuscated xf86-video-nv mess. Now proposed for Fedora 11 is to also integrate the Nouveau kernel mode-setting driver.

The Nouveau kernel mode-setting support is still very experimental as their API isn't even finalized and it will not enter the mainline Linux kernel in time for Fedora 11. Red Hat though will patch the Linux 2.6.29 kernel to introduce this Nouveau KMS support for those who wish to use it instead of the DDX mode-setting within the X Server. The nouveau.modeset=1 string will need to be added to GRUB in order to enable kernel mode-setting on NVIDIA hardware using this community open-source driver in Fedora 11. By Fedora 12, hopefully we will see the Nouveau KMS support enter the mainline kernel, but that still would be cutting it close. This feature proposal can be found on the Fedora Wiki.

Enabled by default on Fedora 11 will be Intel kernel mode-setting (along with the ATI kernel mode-setting that can already be found in Fedora 10). More on this is also available from the Fedora Wiki. ATI kernel mode-setting has been enabled since Fedora 10, but in Leonidas the support will be extended to support KMS on ATI R100/200 hardware.

Kernel mode-setting allows for a nice, flicker-free boot process with the Plymouth project, fast VT switching, improved suspend and resume support, and other benefits. Kernel mode-setting is also a prerequisite for running the Wayland Display Server.

Ubuntu will not be enabling any kernel mode-setting bits until the Ubuntu 9.10 release, the Karmic Koala. Intel kernel mode-setting support entered the mainline Linux kernel with version 2.6.29, but the forthcoming 9.04 release is shipping with Linux 2.6.28. In time for Ubuntu 9.10 we will hopefully see some level of ATI kernel mode-setting support enter the mainline tree. Ubuntu 9.10 is also set to replace USplash with Plymouth.

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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