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New, Generic X.Org KMS Driver Work

X.Org

Published on 30 September 2011 04:54 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org
4 Comments

David Airlie has announced new work on the xf86-video-modesetting driver, which aims to be a generic X.Org (DDX) driver that will take advantage of the generic parts of the Linux KMS (kernel mode-setting) APIs so that any GPU should be supported.

While most hardware with kernel mode-setting support already has a matching X.Org driver that is KMS compliant or even still provides user-space mode-setting, this driver would be a simple, un-accelerated fall-back driver. It's similar to the VESA driver, but uses Linux KMS.

The features of the xf86-video-modesetting "restart" driver branch include ARGB cursor support, RandR 1.2 support, and dirty tracking ioctl support. What's changed from the original -modesetting work is that it drops all DRI2/EXA knowledge, uses the kernel dumb interface directly for buffer object creation and mapping, the mode-setting logic is derived from the Radeon driver, and probing is based upon the fbdev driver.

You can see David's email to dri-devel about this recent driver work.

While this driver is meant to be universal for hardware that has proper KMS support, there isn't any hardware acceleration. If you're looking for a universal X.Org driver with acceleration, and don't want to use the driver specifically targeted for your hardware, there is the Xorg state tracker (and now the XA state tracker too) for Gallium3D that relies upon KMS and then offers shader-based EXA/X-Video acceleration. There's also the recently announced Glamor work, which does have a generic driver for KMS environments while depending upon Mesa/EGL.

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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