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

X Server 1.11 Breaks The Video Driver ABI

X.Org

Published on 23 May 2011 02:32 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org
19 Comments

While not exactly uncommon for a major X.Org Server update, the video driver ABI for the DDX drivers will break with the forthcoming xorg-server 1.11 release. This means that for those using the proprietary graphics drivers, namely the AMD Catalyst driver, you may be stuck waiting a couple of months for support.

Committed (in this Git commit) to the xorg-server tree this afternoon is a bump to the video driver ABI (ABI_VIDEODRV_VERSION) after developers noticed the video drivers built against the ABI of X.Org Server 1.10 are now producing a segmentation fault when running the latest server code. Developers have tracked down the change causing the seg-fault and it's intentional.

While the open-source drivers are quick to adopt to major version changes of the X Server, it's with the proprietary drivers where it can be a problem, even with a small change such as this break to ABI version 11. Fortunately, at least on the NVIDIA side, they are generally quick to at least put out a beta or pre-release driver to support the new ABI version. In the case of AMD, however, that's where it usually takes a couple of months.

In fact, it's usually not until the next Ubuntu Linux release with the new xorg-server that AMD puts out a supportive driver of that kernel / xorg-server. Even then it's usually not on time to the point where AMD almost always has to pre-release Catalyst drivers to Canonical so their binary blob works in time.

In the case of Ubuntu 11.10, Canonical is planning to still ship X.Org Server 1.10 and not the forthcoming 1.11 series. This means there won't be this video ABI break to worry about this time around, but there may be kernel breaks to deal with as Ubuntu 11.10 will be shipping with the Linux 2.6.40 kernel or potentially even Linux 2.6.41.

Still, I'd not expect AMD to officially support X.Org Server 1.11 until at least this October or November. The upstream xorg-server 1.11 release is slated to occur in August. It would certainly be a pleasant surprise though to see AMD support the newest kernels and X Server releases in a more timely manner.

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. Intel Broadwell HD Graphics 5500: Windows 8.1 vs. Linux
  2. Linux Benchmarks Of NVIDIA's Early 2015 GeForce Line-Up
  3. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960: A Great $200 GPU For Linux Gamers
  4. Disk Encryption Tests On Fedora 21
  5. Xonotic 0.8 Performance With The Open-Source AMD/NVIDIA Gallium3D Drivers
  6. Many Linux Desktop 2D Benchmarks Of NVIDIA vs. AMD Drivers
Latest Linux News
  1. BPF Backend Merged Into LLVM To Make Use Of New Kernel Functionality
  2. Dying Light Is Headed To Linux, SteamOS
  3. Wayland 1.6.1 & Weston 1.6.1 Released
  4. Mesa 10.4.3 Brings A Bunch Of Fixes For The Direct3D "Nine" Support
  5. Intel Has A Few More Graphics Changes For The Linux 3.20 Kernel
  6. Gummiboot Gains PE File Searching Support To Find Linux Kernels
  7. Wine 1.7.35 Starts Working On OpenGL Core Context Support
  8. X.Org Server 1.17 Pre-Release "TimTam" Is Out
  9. Faster VP9 Decoding Is On The Horizon
  10. GNOME 3.15.4 Brings Latest Features For GNOME 3.16
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Windows 10 To Be A Free Upgrade: What Linux Users Need To Know
  2. CoreOS Moves From Btrfs To EXT4 + OverlayFS
  3. Google Admin Encourages Trying Btrfs, Not ZFS On Linux
  4. TraceFS: The Newest Linux File-System
  5. Asynchronous Device/Driver Probing For The Linux Kernel
  6. LZHAM 1.0 Isn't Too Far Away For Compression Of Interest To Game Developers
  7. Mozilla's Servo Still On Track For 2015 Alpha Release
  8. Systemd-Import Expands Its Container Capabilities