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 Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. CompuLab Intense-PC2: An Excellent, Fanless, Mini PC Powered By Intel's i7 Haswell
  2. From The Atom 330 To Haswell ULT: Intel Linux Performance Benchmarks
  3. AMD Radeon R9 285 Tonga Performance On Linux
  4. Apotop Wi-Copy
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Moves Forward With Unified Linux Driver Strategy, New Kernel Driver
  2. MSI: Update Your BIOS From The Linux Desktop
  3. NVIDIA vs. AMD 2D Linux Drivers: Catalyst Is Getting Quite Good At 2D
  4. 15-Way GPU Comparison With Mesa 10.3 + Linux 3.17
Latest Linux News
  1. Phoronix Test Suite 5.4 M3 Is Another Hearty Update
  2. GParted 0.20 Improves Btrfs Support
  3. EXT4 In Linux 3.18 Has Clean-ups, Bug Fixes
  4. Emacs 24.4 Has Built-In Web Browser, Improved Multi-Monitor Support
  5. NVIDIA's NVPTX Support For GCC Is Close To Being Merged
  6. KDE's KWin On Wayland Begins Using Libinput
  7. Khronos Releases OpenVX 1.0 Specification
  8. Linux Kernel Working Towards GNU11/C11 Compatibility
  9. Ubuntu 15.04 Is Codenamed After A Monkey: Vivid Vervet
  10. Following GCC, Clang Looks To Default To C11
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  2. Users/Developers Threatening Fork Of Debian GNU/Linux
  3. HOPE: The Ease Of Python With The Speed Of C++
  4. Bye bye BSD, Hello Linux: A Sys Admin's Story
  5. NVIDIA Presents Its Driver Plans To Support Mir/Wayland & KMS On Linux
  6. AMD Is Restructuring Again, Losing 7% Of Employees
  7. Open-Source AMD Fusion E-350 Support Takes A Dive
  8. Upgrade to Kaveri, very slow VDPAU performance