1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

DRI2 Sync + Swap Extensions Near Reality

X.Org

Published on 30 October 2009 11:13 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org
17 Comments

When running a modern Linux graphics driver stack in a composited environment there is a lot less tearing -- particularly with regard to video playback, but OpenGL applications too -- now than there was in the past, but there is still room for improvement. One of the ways to improve this is by properly controlling the display of buffers with how often the swaps occur and to sync them with the monitor's refresh rate or the rate at which the compositor is running. Unfortunately, the X Server and open-source graphics stack have lacked such functionality even though some OpenGL/GLX extensions for this support have been around for years. Intel's Jesse Barnes though has been working on proper DRI2 support for synchronization and swapping.

Jesse has added support to Mesa and the X Server that will allow for the appropriate OpenGL/GLX extensions that expose syncing and frame counting capabilities (SGI_swap_control, SGI_video_sync, SGIX_swap_barrier, etc). This code though is currently housed in his personal Git repositories as the patches await review and feedback (mailing list message). This DRI2 synchronization and buffer swaps code is also dependent upon revisions to dri2proto and libdrm along with the latest DRM code that will eventually be pushed into the Linux 2.6.33 kernel due to its vblank event support.

Besides cutting down on tearing and other visual defects, proper synchronization of swaps can provide a smoother experience with a consistent frame-rate and can enhance the performance of some applications. More information on the technical end of this support can be found on the composite swaps Wiki page. This support isn't yet living in Git master, but it's surely on its way, which will benefit Linux desktop users.

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 .
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Radeon Linux Benchmarks: Catalyst 15.3 Beta vs. Linux 4.0 + Mesa 10.6-devel
  2. Trying Out The Modern Linux Desktops With 4 Monitors + AMD/NVIDIA Graphics
  3. Turning A Basement Into A Big Linux Server Room
  4. NVIDIA's $1000+ GeForce GTX TITAN X Delivers Maximum Linux Performance
  5. OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 15.04 vs. Fedora 21 Tests: Linux Sweeps The Board
  6. The New Place Where Linux Code Is Constantly Being Benchmarked
Latest Linux News
  1. Debian 8.0 Jessie Gets A Release Date
  2. Firefox 37 Coming Today With Heartbeat, HTTPS Bing
  3. OpenIndiana 2015.03 Updates Its Solaris/Illumos Environment
  4. GNOME 3.16 SDK Runtime Now Available
  5. Initial Intel Braxton Support Might Come To Linux 4.1
  6. Why KDE's KWin Doesn't Integrate Weston/QtCompositor For Wayland Support
  7. Clang Now Supports Targeting The NaCl OS
  8. PC-BSD Updates Its Lumina Desktop (v0.8.3)
  9. Fedora 22 Alpha Now Available For AArch64 & PowerPC64
  10. Systemd Developers Did NOT Fork The Linux Kernel
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. The Big Features Of The Linux 4.0 Kernel
  2. Improved OpenCL Support For Blender's Cycles Renderer
  3. Open-Source Driver Fans Will Love NVIDIA's New OpenGL Demo
  4. Allwinner Continues Jerking Around The Open-Source Community
  5. GNOME 3.16 Released: It's Their Best Release Yet
  6. Ubuntu 15.04 Final Beta Released
  7. Nuclide: Facebook's New Unified IDE
  8. LibreOffice Online: A Cloud Version Of LibreOffice