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Punting GPU Drivers From The Initramfs Due To Ever Increasing Firmware Bloat

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  • Punting GPU Drivers From The Initramfs Due To Ever Increasing Firmware Bloat

    Phoronix: Punting GPU Drivers From The Initramfs Due To Ever Increasing Firmware Bloat

    For now Fedora / Red Hat is not making any immediate changes, but the ever increasing sizes of required GPU firmware files is causing Linux distribution vendors to re-think including GPU kernel graphics drivers as part of the initramfs...

    Phoronix, Linux Hardware Reviews, Linux hardware benchmarks, Linux server benchmarks, Linux benchmarking, Desktop Linux, Linux performance, Open Source graphics, Linux How To, Ubuntu benchmarks, Ubuntu hardware, Phoronix Test Suite

  • #2
    Fedora is valiantly fighting with their decision of disabling the simple framebuffer:

    # CONFIG_FB_SIMPLE is not set
    Last edited by avis; 01 May 2024, 07:00 AM.

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    • #3
      Hopefully they don't go with efifb, there are issues to no end with that. I have seen many reports of efifb not only running the screen at non-native resolution, but even out of the monitor's sync range, and also problems with handover.
      CONFIG_SYSFB_SIMPLEFB is much less problematic in my experience. If the system shows the BIOS screen at correct resolution then it does also in Linux.

      That being said, I fail to see why they don't explore options how drivers could remain inside the initramfs but firmware outside? Like put all the firmware files in a squashfs in the EFI system partition and mount that before loading kernel modules.

      Or implement delayed firmware loading in the DRM drivers, because firmware is mostly not needed for modesetting.

      Originally posted by avis View Post
      Fedora is valiantly fighting with their decision of disabling the simple framebuffer:

      # CONFIG_FB_SIMPLE is not set
      I don't think simplefb is a good idea. simpledrm is better in every way.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by chithanh View Post
        That being said, I fail to see why they don't explore options how drivers could remain inside the initramfs but firmware outside? Like put all the firmware files in a squashfs in the EFI system partition and mount that before loading kernel modules.

        while this can work, i think they are trying a different in a different way, because doing that can allow new technology to be developed, something more straight forward or secure or faster or better in every way,

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        • #5
          I honestly don't understand, why do we need an initramfs again? For most generic setups (i.e. no network boot or fde) building the filesystem in kernel seems to be enough? ChromeOS doesn't use an initramfs either.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Vermilion View Post
            I honestly don't understand, why do we need an initramfs again? For most generic setups (i.e. no network boot or fde) building the filesystem in kernel seems to be enough? ChromeOS doesn't use an initramfs either.
            Why would they need initramfs if their hardware is known before boot time and doesn't change?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nuc!eoN View Post

              Why would they need initramfs if their hardware is known before boot time and doesn't change?
              ChromeOS Flex doesn't know what the hardware is beforehand. It just works on generic x86 PCs.

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              • #8
                How long before a "universal" graphics driver is shoehorned into systemd?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by WonkoTheSaneUK View Post
                  How long before a "universal" graphics driver is shoehorned into systemd?
                  Graphics driver is never something systemd should or will do. Only mesa is expected to do this.

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                  • #10
                    I wonder why Linux firmware is getting bigger each year...

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