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X.Org's S3 Graphics Driver Sees First Release In Seven Years - Still Pre-1.0

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  • X.Org's S3 Graphics Driver Sees First Release In Seven Years - Still Pre-1.0

    Phoronix: X.Org's S3 Graphics Driver Sees First Release In Seven Years - Still Pre-1.0

    S3 Graphics drivers are still alive and well on Linux, well, sort of. On Thursday was the first new open-source xf86-video-s3 driver update in seven years...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...6-video-s3-0.7

  • #2
    This is pretty good. Even old hardware is getting support with free software long after it's been deprecated.

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    • #3
      I love this more than I probably should :P

      There's something really nice about seeing old hardware kept useful/usable by Open Source software/drivers.

      Even this minor maintenance work is important. Without it, you'd get bit-rot and then within just years, the driver can end up failing to build on newer stacks and eventually it can get kicked out of its parent source tree.

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      • #4
        I have a Thinkpad T23 with an S3 Savage chip. Interestingly it is still in use for hardware debugging because it has a native serial port and a really nice keyboard. However I haven't run X11 on it in about 10 years!

        If the new driver work can allow for KMS and a high resolution console from boot, I might actually upgrade it from Debian Etch XD.

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        • #5
          Alright, time to dust off the old S3 Virge DX

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          • #6
            Ah yes, the old S3 chips, it was the first card I bought for my own PC, because the support in XFree86 for S3 was so good. It was a PCI based Diamond Stealth 64 Video VRAM 2000 , With the S3 Vision 968 chip... we're talking 1995..

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            • #7
              Originally posted by devius View Post
              Alright, time to dust off the old S3 Virge DX
              been there, done that, wrote bare metal 3d code from scratch, for fun and education: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjdyd3xcDVY

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
                I have a Thinkpad T23 with an S3 Savage chip. Interestingly it is still in use for hardware debugging because it has a native serial port and a really nice keyboard. However I haven't run X11 on it in about 10 years!

                If the new driver work can allow for KMS and a high resolution console from boot, I might actually upgrade it from Debian Etch XD.
                yeah, the annoyances of modern thin & ultralight :-/ btw. I think your savage needs another driver: https://t2sde.org/packages/xf86-video-savage

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
                  I have a Thinkpad T23 with an S3 Savage chip. Interestingly it is still in use for hardware debugging because it has a native serial port and a really nice keyboard. However I haven't run X11 on it in about 10 years!

                  If the new driver work can allow for KMS and a high resolution console from boot, I might actually upgrade it from Debian Etch XD.
                  This is really awesome if it works for you. The old Thinkpad hardware is awesome and if you have some good uses for it, that's just really nice to hear

                  I have a Core2 Duo era Thinkpad with Intel HD3000 graphics. It's very old by modern standards but makes for a perfect general use system thanks to GNU/Linux. I've since bumped it up to 8 GB of RAM and an SSD and it feels more responsive than some brand new Windows 10 systems I've briefly played on.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DoMiNeLa10 View Post
                    This is pretty good. Even old hardware is getting support with free software long after it's been deprecated.
                    Originally posted by cybertraveler View Post
                    There's something really nice about seeing old hardware kept useful/usable by Open Source software/drivers.
                    Chrome9 HD (VX900 - Device Id: 7122 ~ 2010) and Chrome 640/645 (VX11 - Device Id: 3a01 ~ 2012) are fully supported on Windows by proprietary drivers.
                    https://www.catalog.update.microsoft...3-efcbef77ca68
                    https://www.catalog.update.microsoft...e-9f28f3f02dea
                    https://www.catalog.update.microsoft...3-48979525c9e4
                    On the other hand, Chrome 600 series is not supported by open source drivers at all, and OpenChrome for Chrome9 supports only basic 2D mode, without 3D acceleration. What's worse, MPEG4 decoding and dual head (multi-monitor support) are not implemented.
                    Open source is so awesome!
                    And if you think that this is because of a lack of documentation, you are simply wrong. It was released many years ago.
                    https://www.x.org/docs/via/OGPM_Chro...tI_Core_2D.pdf
                    https://www.x.org/docs/via/OGPM_Chro...I_3D_Video.pdf

                    See also:
                    Freedreno vs proprietary drivers
                    Lima vs proprietary drivers

                    I'm not saying that open source model is completely useless, but without vendor involvement, the results are always terrible, at least when it comes to complex hardware, like GPUs.

                    I have huge respect for Kevin Brace, but the truth is that just one hobbyist developer is not enough to develop such a driver. He hardly manages to adapt the code to modern Linux (kernel and X.Org), but that's all. There was no 3D acceleration for Chrome9 a decade ago, and today it still does not exist.

                    Of course, this driver (xf86-video-s3) is mainly about ViRGE and Savage GPUs, and as you can guess, they are almost unusable on the modern desktop. It is kind of equivalent of Intel740 (i740), when it comes to Intel chips, so it is really ancient hardware.
                    For the Unichrome-Chrome9 GPUs there is another driver - xf86-video-openchrome.
                    Last edited by the_scx; 07-26-2019, 05:37 PM.

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