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

Having Linux Support For Your Hardware At Launch

Hardware

Published on 24 May 2011 01:38 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
8 Comments

Support for running Linux on new hardware -- whether it be motherboards, wireless adapters, graphics cards, or complete systems -- has largely eased up in the past few years. As can be seen from Phoronix reviews of new hardware at launch, in many cases there is Linux support available (e.g. with AMD's launch today of the FirePro V5900 and FirePro V7900 there is already Catalyst support) that continues to be refined over time whether it be in closed or open-source drivers. Even for vendors committed towards delivering open-source Linux hardware support, the path to new hardware enablement is not easy.

Matthew Tippett, the former lead of ATI/AMD Linux GPG (Graphics Product Group) engineering and now involved with the Phoronix Test Suite and its interests, has written about at-launch Linux hardware enablement. Over his many years at ATI/AMD he drove the overhauling of the Catalyst Linux stack to the point that it went from taking many months (or even over a year) for new ASICs to be supported under Linux to ultimately delivering same-day Linux support within their proprietary driver.

This article offers Matthew's unique perspective that IHVs (Independent Hardware Vendors) face in providing broad Linux support at the time of the product's launch. The article considers the aim of enablement, critical user scenarios, solutions, open issues, and conclusions.
The Linux market presents some unique challenges to Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) in bringing their products to market with broad support available at the time of launch. Independent of idealogical or pragmatic rationale, both Open Source and proprietary drivers are constrained by similar mechanics. This article provides a broad outline of the mechanics and considerations that are needed for delivering hardware support at-launch.

The article can be read at Use-Cases.org. Along the same lines, it's also worth reading The Challenge In Delivering Open-Source GPU Drivers from this past January. [The aim is similar, back in January I had originally asked Matthew to write this Linux hardware enablement paper when discussing Sandy Bridge Linux support with Intel in private following their SNB challenges.]

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. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
  2. Sumo's Omni Gets Reloaded
  3. AMD A10-7800 & A6-7400K APUs Run Great On Linux
  4. Radeon Gallium3D Is Running Increasingly Well Against AMD's Catalyst Driver
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Intel Sandy Bridge Gets A Surprise Boost From Linux 3.17
  2. Open-Source Radeon Graphics Have Some Improvements On Linux 3.17
  3. CPUFreq Scaling Tests With AMD's Kaveri On Linux 3.16
  4. Enabling HyperZ Is Still An Easy Way For Faster RadeonSI Performance
Latest Linux News
  1. NVIDIA Releases CUDA 6.5 As A Huge Update
  2. GNOME 3.14 Beta Makes GLSL Optional, Supports Wayland Gesture/Touch Events
  3. KDE Software Compilation 4.14 Released
  4. The Many Things You Can Build With A Raspberry Pi
  5. AMD's Catalyst Linux Driver Preparing For A World Without An X Server?
  6. Khronos Publishes Its Slides About OpenGL-Next
  7. Proposed: A Tainted Performance State For The Linux Kernel
  8. Systemd 216 Piles On More Features, Aims For New User-Space VT
  9. LXQt 0.8 Is Being Released Soon
  10. Linux 3.17 Lands Memfd, A KDBUS Prerequisite
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Remote gui not accessible in Phoronix Test Suite 5.2
  2. The dangers of Linux kernel development
  3. Dead Island for Linux (?)
  4. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  5. AMD Offers Mantle For OpenGL-Next, Pushes Mantle To Workstations
  6. Next-Gen OpenGL To Be Announced Next Month
  7. OpenGL 4.5 Released With New Features
  8. Updated graphics drivers for Ubuntu 12.04 Precise LTS