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VMware Goes For Mainline Inclusion Of Its DRM

Linux Kernel

Published on 09 December 2009 10:42 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
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.

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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