This Week: Kernel Mode-Setting, Wayland
This week at Phoronix a lot of the stores pertained to kernel mode-setting with it being that time of the quarter where the kernel merge window is about to open so it's time to push forth new features and other new code into the Linux kernel. The Linux 2.6.31 kernel was released this week and thus the focus is now turning to the Linux 2.6.32 kernel that will make it out later this year.
We first learned this week that ATI R600/700 kernel mode-setting would be merged into the Linux kernel along with the DRM components for providing R600/700 3D support and other new kernel features for ATI Radeon hardware. We also learned of the initial structure for ATI KMS power management support. ATI wasn't the only driver with improving KMS support this week but Intel's stack continues to mature too.
There's also new and updated drivers for Linux 2.6.32 outside of the 3D graphics arena. Since yesterday there has also been a heated discussion over the importance of the Wayland Display Server.
Outside of the mode-setting world but still with Linux graphics, work on Mesa 7.7 is underway with new OpenGL extensions and other work hitting the master branch of Mesa Git Master. This week also encountered a new bug-fix ATI DDX driver release that brings a few fixes along with X.Org 7.5 compatibility. For those wanting to try out the latest Linux graphics bits, there is a Fedora graphics LiveCD for testing that was spun for the ATI / Nouveau / Intel test days this week for the forthcoming release of Fedora 12.
While there was the xf86-video-ati driver update, AMD released Catalyst 9.9 for Linux that unfortunately just brought bug-fixes and still no end-user support for XvBA. AMD also demoed a 24 monitor setup on Linux that uses their new Eyefinity technology and will work with their forthcoming ATI Radeon HD 5800 series (RV880) graphics cards and a Catalyst driver release due out later this year or next.
With all of the work that Red Hat's Peter Hutterer has been putting into X.Org 7.5 / X Server 1.7, we gave him a shout out with the various roles he's taking care of to benefit the X.Org community. One of the items Peter took care of this week was creating a X.Org 7.5 Super Module that is a Git repository containing all of the X.Org 7.5 packages.
On the gaming side of things, we provided an update on Unigine's Linux game, which sadly is not in a good state at the moment (it's delayed). For those living on the bleeding edge of Linux desktops, the release candidate for GNOME 2.28 was released.
On the hardware side of Phoronix the embargo lifted on Intel's Lynnfield CPUs and the P55 Chipset, which we were fortunate to have early access too. Unfortunately, there are a few performance problems on Linux and some other quirks. We provided an overview of the Intel P55 Chipset and Intel Core i5 750 / Core i7 870 benchmarks from Ubuntu 9.10.
This coming week your's truly will be leaving for Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, so there may be fewer news items, but in my absence there are planned BFS scheduler benchmarks, Linux 2.6.31 KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) benchmarks, a 802.11g USB 2.0 WiFi adapter review, a look at the new home / SWAP encryption implementation in Ubuntu 9.10, and some other articles.
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