While the Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau DRM drivers are now mature with kernel mode-setting -- and the Intel Poulsbo KMS driver is even getting ready to leave the staging area
-- there's still one fairly common name missing from the desktop Linux KMS scene: VIA Technologies. While VIA defenestrated their open-source efforts
and completely blew their TODO list
, James Simmons, an independent developer, has basically been the community VIA development source.
There's been some work by the OLPC engineers on a new VIA UMS driver
and some dabbling by the OpenChrome developers on their own X.Org driver, among a couple of other individuals, but James Simmons has been effectively the only one working on kernel mode-setting support for the VIA DRM.
He's been making some nice progress on the VIA KMS support and it's nearly done
after starting work on it more than six months ago
. Today he's written a new status update to the OpenChrome mailing list
In today's message, James says that he has expanded the VGA/analog support for the VIA CX700M hardware with dual VGA outputs, fixed a kernel module issue, and now has LVDS being detected and nearly functioning. The LVDS display is still blank, but it's nearly working. Simmons has also begun on basic PCI Express TTM handling code, but neither that, nor the LVDS code has yet been committed to his VIA DRM kernel repository.
After the LVDS is working and other code fixed up, James still has to make the OpenChrome DDX driver play with the KMS driver so that it respects the mode-setting being done within the kernel when running an X.Org Server. Needless to say, the VIA kernel mode-setting code still will not be ready for the mainline Linux 3.1 kernel.
It's nice to see though that James is still committed to the VIA kernel mode-setting support upbringing. James was the developer who last year wrote the 3Dfx Linux kernel mode-setting driver
, but it was never merged into the mainline tree.