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Numerous Linux/X11 Display Drivers Can No Longer Even Properly Build

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  • Numerous Linux/X11 Display Drivers Can No Longer Even Properly Build

    Phoronix: Numerous Linux/X11 Display Drivers Can No Longer Even Properly Build

    While many Linux enthusiasts like to cite Linux's stellar support for older hardware platforms, in reality that isn't always the case. For instance with many old X.Org user-space mode-setting drivers for powering old graphics cards at least for display purposes, they can no longer even build with with modern toolchains / software components. Given the lack of bug reports around such issues, there are very likely few users trying some of these vintage hardware combinations...

  • #2
    Not surprising. I would expect that anybody who had a SavageXP or a Volari got rid of those years ago.

    No users + no developers = broken code. It's a digital ghost town.


    • #3
      I think it is very cool if the modern kernel runs with very old hardware. As long as the fixes are not too complicated, I am in favor of supporting these drivers.

      But it surprises me, that seemingly up until now there was no CI to build all the drivers with all their options continuously? Seems like a low-hanging fruit to catch such simple issues.


      • #4
        My Matrox cards all seem to still work, so there's that.


        • #5
          Feels like a wonderful opportunity for some spring cleaning! If it's been broken since 2012 (or the likes of it), archive and let somebody un-archive if they want.

          I thought issues like these were found daily by building the kernel with all configuration flags enabled?


          • #6
            Originally posted by leech View Post
            My Matrox cards all seem to still work, so there's that.
            Matrox has a KMS driver. Ditto for Cirrus Logic 6446 for Qemu and Xen virtual video, but probably won't work on real hardware.


            • #7
              Hot News 2022: Xorg has unmaintained code.

              For a project that is largely abandoned, that's not surprising.


              • #8
                Well that kinda sucks.
                I know, we had this once in a while and there was a build fix. But it still sucks, esp. for SiS and Geode. Geode is a nice machine and I have some, and SiS ... well, it was often a bit special and the German developer of the driver suddenly disappeared, but SiS chips are still on many mainboards. And often you simply don't want to be headless on these things, but not install a full-featured power hungry dGPU.
                XGI chips ... did these ever have a real driver? Maybe some DDX, yes. But iirc. Michael wrote in the early days of Phoronix that these things weren't getting to fly at all.

                Matrox cards were quite popular, might have KMS and are still around and making a few cards iirc., so these are supposed to be acceptably supported. As far as I know, they use AMD chips these days, anyway.

                I wonder what's up with openchrome, didn't see many new messages on the mailing lists. But then, Kevin was mostly alone doing all the work and also taking care of the basics of some other drivers.
                Stop TCPA, stupid software patents and corrupt politicians!


                • #9
                  People who run Linux on 20 years old computers can install Linux from 10 years ago.
                  It is unrealistic to expect latest version to work, since developers could not test it, even if it would be compiling properly.


                  • #10
                    Time to clean these outdated and broken code from Linux.