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A Guide To How Graphics Cards Work

X.Org

Published on 21 January 2011 03:00 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org
2 Comments

This entry on the X.Org Wiki isn't brand new, but for those that have yet to see it, there is a development guide to how graphics cards work on this Wiki page. There was just a trivial update to the guide today and I had then realized it hasn't been mentioned before on Phoronix.

This technical guide is intended for those interested in getting into graphics driver development with Linux / X.Org. The key sections include the video RAM, display control (CRTCs, PLLs, outputs), the 2D engine (solid, blit, Xorg acceleration), 3D engine (overview and buffers), the overlay, hardware sprites, PCI, AGP, PCI Express, and apertures coverage. There are also driver examples by referencing functions within the open-source X.Org drivers.

Beyond the X.Org guide, there's also been other documentation in the past that's been scattered around the web in hopes of easing the process in getting into open-source GPU driver development on Linux. There's also this Radeon driver guide by Alex Deucher and this DRM development documentation covering DRI2, KMS (kernel mode-setting), GEM (Graphics Execution Manager), etc.

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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