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.org

VIA's Open Linux Graphics Driver Has Been Defenestrated

VIA

Published on 06 January 2011 04:11 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in VIA
40 Comments

For those that were hoping that VIA Technologies would pull through in providing their open-source graphics driver support like they had promised with kernel mode-setting, a Gallium3D driver, and being Linux friendly, kiss those thoughts goodbye as they've been basically thrown out the window. Sadly, it's not happening. I had a very productive conversation with VIA's Stewart Haston, who is their international marketing specialist, and their Linux outlook is extremely dark.

Stewart was showing off the new dual-core VIA Nano X2 CPU (under Windows), but he saw my badge and was extremely upfront about VIA's Linux matters. In fact, he can't really object to the recent Phoronix VIA articles. VIA Technologies as a company has shrunk and they simply don't have the resources or need to follow through with their once hopeful Linux support. About the only official Linux support that we may see out of VIA going forward is if any of their embedded customers specifically need support for Linux in a given configuration. Some of their motherboard chipsets and CPUs may work fine with Linux, fortunately, but in terms of graphics enablement, there won't be much to see.

Stewart did mention that Bruce Chang is still with the company (he's the one that's basically been the face of VIA's Linux strategy since it was announced in 2008) but he said that he's basically "thrown in the towel" and it's not really clear that there is any strategy left.

This though shouldn't come as a huge surprise since we've said that the Linux support is basically dead and what's left of the VIA Linux community is fragmented. There has though been some interesting community work in recent days in particular with kernel mode-setting and GEM/TTM support being written by a student developer, but without VIA's support for either code or documentation on new hardware and for features currently undocumented on existing ASICs, this support won't exactly be able to grow going forward.

If there is some good news out of the situation, VIA has promised that he will get VIA Taiwan to answer some questions. So if any of you have any questions left about VIA's remaining thoughts on Linux, pleas for them to open-source their S3 Graphics driver, ideas for how they can provide better Linux support without allocating any additional resources, or anything else to say, use the comment link below so we can get this Q&A going.

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 Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Scythe Mugen MAX
  2. Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E On Linux
  3. Intel 80GB 530 Series M.2 SSD On Linux
  4. With A New Motherboard, The Core i7 5960X Haswell-E Lights Up
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive NVIDIA/AMD Benchmarks On Linux
  2. Running Fedora 20 On Intel's Core i7 Haswell-E Platform
  3. A Tour Of The New Phoronix Office
  4. 7-Way Linux Desktop Gaming Comparison On Ubuntu 14.10
Latest Linux News
  1. The Features Coming For Fedora 21
  2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Starts Rolling Out To Linux Users
  3. The Gestures Support Of GNOME 3.14
  4. Linux 3.17 Has Basic Support For The Xbox One Controller
  5. openSUSE 13.2 Beta Still Using Btrfs By Default, & KDE Plasma 5 For Testing
  6. GTK+ 3.14 Brings Much Better Wayland Support, Multi-Touch, New Theme
  7. DisplayPort Comes To USB's Type-C Connector
  8. NSS Updated On Ubuntu 12.04/14.04 To Allow Netflix Support
  9. Linux 3.17-rc6 Released; Linux 3.17 Final Might Come In One Week
  10. X.Org Server 1.16.1 Released
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. X.Org Women Outreach Program Only Turns Up Two Applicants So Far
  2. Uselessd: A Stripped Down Version Of Systemd
  3. State of Nouveau now and in the near future?
  4. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  5. Wasteland 2 Officially Launched Today, Including For Linux Gamers
  6. NVIDIA GTX 770/780 -works ?
  7. New stress testing utility for GPU's
  8. How to get Catalyst 14.4 working on Ubuntu 14.04