VIA KMS Linux Driver Still Far From Being Ready
Written by Michael Larabel in VIA on 7 June 2011 at 09:50 AM EDT. Add A Comment
In the KMS (kernel mode-setting) world there is not only news today to report on a new open-source Freescale KMS driver, but on the state of VIA's kernel mode-setting driver. VIA Technologies may have killed off their open-source strategy, but for the past number of months there's been a developer writing a VIA KMS/TTM DRM driver that would work with the OpenChrome user-space X.Org driver.

The last time really mentioning this VIA KMS work by James Simmons was back in March when the driver was working on the VIA OLPC notebook, but there's been not much more since then nor was there any news when it came time for the Linux 3.0 kernel merge window to be opened and the code could have been pushed.

Following a user inquiry on the OpenChrome mailing list, James Simmons has provided an update on the driver. Simply put, lots of work on this code is left before it will be merged into the Linux 3.x kernel tree. "Going mainline will not be for a while. The main line driver has been in a state of decay for some time. The driver we work on is currently growing since it attempts covers several generations of VIA hardware. So alot of work needs to be done. KMS is being implemented but it's currently turned off by default. Unfortunely turning on KMS gives you the black screen of death. PLL needs to be programmed as well as the display fifo. TTM is mostly implemented. Fencing needs to be done. I plan to finish the TTM layer soon and start working on the xorg driver to use this layer."

James also confirms he hasn't been doing any VIA Mesa work nor hooking in the previous VIA Mesa/DRM work done before by Thomas Hellström, a Tungsten / VMware developer.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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