VIA OpenChrome KMS Support Might Be Revived With Mainline Ambitions
Written by Michael Larabel in VIA on 12 December 2015 at 08:38 AM EST. 2 Comments
VIA --
While it's becoming increasingly harder to find VIA x86 hardware out in the wild and it's been a long while since last writing anything about VIA x86 Linux support, an independent developer is hoping to revive the OpenChrome VIA kernel mode-setting driver and ideally wants to see it mainlined in the Linux kernel.

For years James Simmons was the sole, independent developer hacking away on a VIA DRM/KMS driver that he hoped to one day get mainline. The last significant work done by Simmons was over the holidays of last year and then he also started work on an OpenChrome Gallium3D driver. In January we learned more about James' OpenChrome plans but since then it's been silent once again.

Another developer, Mario Rugiero, is hoping to step up where James left off and try to get his DRM code into shape for merging. One of the reasons why mainlining the OpenChrome KMS/DRM driver wasn't pursued so aggressively before is that they were waiting for their OpenChrome 3.0 DDX to be adopted by Linux distributions, which adds in the interfaces needed for compatibility with KMS. Well, that's all out in the package archives now and there hasn't been anything holding the DRM driver back besides the lack of developers working to finish things up and let the code go through the review process.

Per this mailing list thread, Mario is hoping he'll be able to step up and see the OpenChrome KMS driver revised and through the review process on its way to mainline.

On a related note, the OpenChrome driver is in tough shape since it currently only handles DRI1 rendering and upstream X.Org develoeprs want to strip away DRI1. Thus OpenChrome is in a hard place and needs to move on to at least DRI2 support, but no one has stepped up.
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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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