VMware Goes For Mainline Inclusion Of Its DRM
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 9 December 2009 at 10:42 PM EST. 11 Comments
VMware is preparing to propose that its "vmwgfx" DRM kernel driver be pushed into the mainline DRM tree and in turn will then be pulled into the mainline Linux kernel -- as soon as the Linux 2.6.33 kernel. VMware's Jakob Bornecrantz (formerly of Tungsten Graphics) is calling for comments on the two patches that introduce the vmwgfx C header file and then the Direct Rendering Manager code itself. This code will initially be put into the kernel's staging tree and then in a release or two should be found within the main DRM directory.

The vmwgfx DRM driver is needed for its kernel mode-setting support and use by their new Gallium3D driver. This driver targets no actual hardware but rather their SVGA interface that will allow guest operating systems running with VMware virtualization to access the GPU on the host to provide OpenGL acceleration or support in other areas where there is state tracker coverage (OpenVG, OpenGL ES, X11/X.Org, and soon OpenCL). David Airlie, who is also the mainline DRM maintainer, has also got the VMware KMS driver working with QEMU.

As the Gallium3D driver is open-source -- as is much of VMware's other graphics work since acquiring Tungsten Graphics last year -- there should not be much of an issue getting the VMware DRM driver in the mainline kernel, at least compared to VIA's battles and the Intel Poulsbo mess.

The RFC for this vmwgfx work can be found on dri-devel.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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