Hardware News Archives
Embedded GPUs on Linux are a big mess due to their lack of fully open-source drivers, memory management complications, and other technical issues. However, there is some good news to report today and that's on the emergence of a new open-source KMS driver.
7 June 2011 - Yeah! - 1 Comment
It was back in May of 2009 that DisplayLink began providing open-source Linux support for their USB-interfaced graphics processors in the form of documentation and code. Shortly thereafter, frame-buffer and X.Org drivers for DisplayLink USB hardware arrived and it quickly matured. By early 2010 it was possible to produce interesting results with these USB graphics adapters doing things like driving nine monitors over USB from a single computer.
2 June 2011 - DisplayLink USB GPUs
Support for running Linux on new hardware -- whether it be motherboards, wireless adapters, graphics cards, or complete systems -- has largely eased up in the past few years. As can be seen from Phoronix reviews of new hardware at launch, in many cases there is Linux support available (e.g. with AMD's launch today of the FirePro V5900 and FirePro V7900 there is already Catalyst support) that continues to be refined over time whether it be in closed or open-source drivers. Even for vendors committed towards delivering open-source Linux hardware support, the path to new hardware enablement is not easy.
24 May 2011 - The Struggle - 8 Comments
For those that use the Broadcom Crystal HD adapters for video acceleration under Linux, their open-source driver has received a number of improvements just recently.
2 May 2011 - New Features - 10 Comments
Landing in the Phoronix e-mail inbox last night was a question by a reader asking how hardware vendors determine the operating systems used by their customers and their respective market-share since there isn't anything to "phone home" and report usage statistics. In other words, this reader had just purchased four desktop processors and he was wondering how to inform AMD that he's a Linux user. This is in hopes of going towards their Linux tally and eventually increasing their Linux level of support.
26 April 2011 - The Linux Market-share - 66 Comments
The major Linux power regression situation seems to only be getting worse at this point. Following the Mobile Users Beware: Linux Has Major Power Regression and The Tests Showing Ubuntu 11.04 On A Power Consumption Binge, a variety of feedback has come in. There's the usual FUD that it's "Moronix" benchmarks and the like, but the fact of the matter is it's a very real problem and it's about to bite Ubuntu 11.04 and other Linux distributions planning to ship with 2.6.38 kernel or later.
23 April 2011 - It's A Mess - 10 Comments
On Monday there was the Phoronix news item about Linaro aiming to unify Linux memory management; in particular it's for embedded ARM platforms and making the existing Linux video memory managers more compatible with that of the SoC designs and drivers. They want the memory manager to be able to share memory buffers across different devices and processes, which is something somewhat sought after already by Linux graphics developers for GEM/TTM, but this may end up leading to a new memory management fork.
21 April 2011 - A TTM Fork? - 2 Comments
Back in February the Free Software Foundation deemed creating an open-source PowerVR driver via clean-room reverse-engineering that's complete with a Gallium3D driver to be a high priority action item. More than two months after classifying it as a high-priority item -- and three months after the original proposal -- no work has been accomplished.
20 April 2011 - No Progress - 7 Comments
Last month I noted some of the problems facing embedded Linux on ARM SoCs in terms of graphics drivers with regard to the variety of memory management APIs available (for graphics there's primarily TTM and GEM within the kernel but also there's other options: HWMEM, UMP, CMA, VCM, CMEM, and PMEM). There's also other graphics driver problems in the ARM world, but the Linaro group has announced they've taken up the issue of embedded Linux memory management for graphics and other areas. They're forming a working group to hopefully work towards resolving this issue for their next six-month development cycle.
18 April 2011 - For Embedded Devices - 1 Comment
As was planned last week, LM_Sensors 3.3.0 has been released over the weekend.
28 March 2011 - New Release, Finally
Jean Delvare, the maintainer of the Linux kernel's i2c and hwmon subsystems and the usual release manager of LM_Sensors, has just called for the release of LM_Sensors 3.3.0. Jean plans to release LM_Sensors 3.3.0 so he has put forth a call for testing in the days up to the 26th of March.
16 March 2011 - Call For Release
For anyone wondering whether the Hydra and other products from LucidLogix yet work under Linux, they do not.
16 March 2011 - Does Nothing - 6 Comments
The Southern California Linux Expo is taking place this weekend in Los Angeles. Matthew Tippett and myself will be speaking there tomorrow on Making More Informed Linux Hardware Choices. This is also from which we will be launching Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 and OpenBenchmarking.org.
25 February 2011 - Making Better Linux Hardware - 1 Comment
As many Linux users know, there's a number of motherboard vendors out there who put out very poor/buggy/broken BIOS implementations for their products. For Linux users this can be particularly painful if the changes are catered to workaround issues in Windows but in turn cause a greater mess for non-Microsoft operating systems. As a step to improve the situation, assuming BIOS developers actually will use it, Intel has released a BIOS Implementation Test Suite.
25 February 2011 - Tests For Bad BIOSes - 8 Comments
While we haven't talked about Lomoco in a few years nor has there been a new release of this free software project for Logitech Mouse Control under Linux in a while, Lomoco is still being developed. Andreas Schneider is still working on Linux support for the latest Logitech mice via Lomoco.
23 February 2011 - Control Your Mice - 14 Comments
Canonical has announced this morning they have released the "world's most comprehensive, up-to-date component catalog for Linux." It's effectively a hardware database showing components they have tested. It's interesting, but of course I have more than a few comments on the matter with some constructive criticism.
10 February 2011 - But It Will Be Trumped - 8 Comments
While Intel is often looked at as being the most Linux and open-source friendly company among the major IHVs, as shown today in Intel's Linux Sandy Bridge Graphics Still Troubling, even in 2011 there are still serious Linux hardware issues to overcome. The Linux hardware support has a much better foundation than where it was at in 2004 when I founded Phoronix, and for hardware that's been in the marketplace for a few months old these problems quickly go away, but for new adopters it's the biggest challenge.
18 January 2011 - Made Easier? - 32 Comments
While the free software community was successful in coming up with open-source support for Microsoft's Kinect motion sensing device, there is better support on the way. PrimeSense, the Israeli company that developed this technology, is now putting their hardware into new devices. However, it will not be up to the community to come up with open-source drivers, but the company will be providing the support themselves.
10 January 2011 - Is Coming - 10 Comments
If the PR representative I just spoke with at CES actually knows what she's talking about when it comes to Linux, in the third quarter of this year there may be an open-source PowerVR driver for Linux.
6 January 2011 - Finally - 23 Comments
For anyone that happens to be on holiday this week (or just have excess time otherwise), there is another lively and polarized discussion that's been taking place for the past several days on the DRI mailing list. What does it involve if it's not about developer disagreements amongst themselves? Embedded GPU driver support on Linux, of course. This mailing list thread just reaffirms how the situation is a great big mess.
21 December 2010 - Poor Drivers - 10 Comments
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