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FBDEV Is Still Alive In 2019, Picking Up A Few Minor Improvements In Linux 4.21

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  • FBDEV Is Still Alive In 2019, Picking Up A Few Minor Improvements In Linux 4.21

    Phoronix: FBDEV Is Still Alive In 2019, Picking Up A Few Minor Improvements In Linux 4.21

    It's been nearly seven years already since some kernel developers called for deprecating FBDEV drivers. FBDEV is still alive and well within the Linux kernel but at least more embedded/mobile developers are pursuing DRM/KMS drivers these days and less code targeting these frame-buffer device drivers. With Linux 4.21, FBDEV is picking up a few improvements...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...nux-4.21-FBDEV

  • #2
    Yay !

    The reality is that most arm SOCs do not have open source graphics accelerators.
    Until this changes fbdev is our savior.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Raka555 View Post
      Yay !

      The reality is that most arm SOCs do not have open source graphics accelerators.
      Until this changes fbdev is our savior.
      Note that you don't need any graphics acceleration to have a proper DRM driver for a display controller instead of a fbdev one. It just needs to implement KMS.

      Especially on SoCs, where the GPUs are typically separate IP blocks from the display controllers and require distinct drivers anyway.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by lkundrak View Post

        Note that you don't need any graphics acceleration to have a proper DRM driver for a display controller instead of a fbdev one. It just needs to implement KMS.

        Especially on SoCs, where the GPUs are typically separate IP blocks from the display controllers and require distinct drivers anyway.
        I think the point is that they almost always start out with FBDEV and get a proper KMS driver later.

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        • #5
          Still Alive after they tried to kill it? This song seems surprisingly appropriate:

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          • #6
            Right now fbdev seems to be the only way to run Plymouth successfully with AMDGPU as well-it freezes on the first sprite on AMDGPU, but if you don't install DRM drivers in the initramfs and set a framebuffer resolution on the command line (usually keep from one set for GRUB), you can run Plymouth the same way you would with binary blob UMS drivers and AMDGPU loads just fine when X starts up

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            • #7
              Little gems like this would die if they remove the fbdev.

              https://blog.littlevgl.com/2018-01-03/linux_fb
              Last edited by Raka555; 01-04-2019, 08:44 PM.

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              • #8
                IMHO deprecation and removal makes little sense, it would regress hundreds if not thousands older, vintage, etc. machines, e.g. nice vintage Unix ones, like my Sgi Octane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOQlK349vAY but also gazillion others, including embedded boards and such, ..! :-/

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                • #9
                  fbdev is still strong on many embedded device, where there is no GPU. I fully understand that DRM is the future, but I'm not sure that even a simple DRM driver is needed to speak to a SPI display controller

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