An Updated ATI Kernel Mode-Setting Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 29 July 2009 at 09:01 AM EDT. 54 Comments
The Linux 2.6.31 kernel will be released within the next month or so and one of the new features in this release is the long-awaited integration of the TTM memory manager and then appearing as a staging driver in this kernel is an ATI kernel mode-setting driver. This KMS driver doesn't yet support the newer R600/R700 GPUs, but it does support the R500 series and will be used by default in the forthcoming release of Fedora 12.

While the Linux 2.6.31-rc5 kernel should be released at any point now and the development is quickly winding down on this kernel, David Airlie is trying to push in a significant ATI KMS driver update into this kernel. David has asked Linus to pull in his latest set of patches, which contain a number of bug-fixes and code cleanups (along with a few additions like color tiling support) to both the ATI KMS code as well as the TTM memory manager. The ATI kernel mode-setting driver is just appearing within the staging area of the Linux 2.6.31 kernel, but still Linus may reject this latest pull request. There are 36 code commits that David is trying to get pulled into the 2.6.31 kernel, but Linus often has had problems with David's pull requests so late in the development cycles along with other differences in not seeing eye-to-eye.

The mailing list message surrounding this updated kernel mode-setting driver can be found on dri-devel.

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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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