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Oracle Solaris At Least Has Intel KMS/DRI2

Oracle

Published on 26 August 2011 01:29 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Oracle
15 Comments

In the discussion about removing old Mesa drivers, non-Linux users may be affected by dropping these drivers for vintage graphics processors. As pointed out yesterday, the Solaris and BSD graphics drivers are in a sad state. This morning a NetBSD user requested that the Matrox and Voodoo graphics drivers remain in the tree, but they'll end up being dropped regardless since they are not maintained. There's also finally a comment by an Oracle developer about Solaris graphics drivers.

Since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, they have shafted open-source communities. With Solaris/OpenSolaris, they stopped doing future developments in public as open-source, producing the bi-weekly "Nevada" development snapshots, posting details to mailing lists, etc. OpenSolaris proper has been killed off and Solaris moved back within Oracle, as a result, it's been tough to know where the progress is at today. There was a preview of Solaris 11 Express last year and that was the last time it's been highlighted in a major manner since being taken over by Oracle.

Alan Coopersmith, part of the Solaris Engineering Team for X and a long-time Sun employee (also an X.Org Foundation board member), has commented on the "death to old Mesa drivers" discussion. "Absolutely agreed there, but the only working DRM module we ship at the moment is a KMS/DRI2 version of i915, so I have no objections to losing the Mesa support for the DRI1 modules suggested."

Alan's comment is in response to the NetBSD developer saying on the list, "Keeping up with DRM in Linux is hard work. You guys are very active."

The interesting point from Alan's e-mail is that they ship KMS/DRI2 version of the Intel i915 driver. Having Intel kernel mode-setting on Solaris would mean they have ported the core KMS infrastructure and also GEM, the Graphics Execution Manager, as required for Intel graphics memory management within the kernel.

They also don't have the Nouveau or Radeon DRM/KMS drivers ported over to Solaris, which means TTM memory management also likely doesn't exist within the Solaris kernel at this point.

It also wasn't said how up-to-date the Intel DRM port is whether it's something recent with features comparable to the modern Linux kernel Intel DRM and whether it supports Intel Sandy Bridge graphics on Oracle Solaris.

So the Solaris kernel at least has Intel KMS/DRI2 graphics support, but it's too bad that's not the case for the Illumos/OpenSolaris-fork community projects. With FreeBSD now carrying proper ZFS file-system support and D-Trace capabilities within the operating system, is there any Phoronix readers still eager for Oracle Solaris?

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 .
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