Atomic Mode-Setting Support For VMware's VMWGFX DRM Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 28 March 2017 at 08:17 AM EDT. Add A Comment
The latest DRM driver going atomic is VMware's vmwgfx driver used by VMware virtualized guests.

Atomic mode-setting allows setting output modes more cleanly and straight-forward by either being able to succeed or fail in one-go while also being able to test a desired mode in advance of the commit operation, reducing possible flickering situations and also being faster. Enlightenment, Weston, and other compositors already have basic support for interfacing with atomic-enabled drivers.

Intel's DRM driver is in the best shape for atomic mode-setting at the moment. Nouveau picked up atomic support in Linux 4.10, AMDGPU's atomic support will come once DC lands, and the smaller DRM drivers have also worked towards atomic mode-setting. VMWgfx is now the latest.

The patches implementing atomic mode-setting for vmwgfx can be found on the dri-devel list for review. Perhaps we'll see it merged for the Linux 4.12 kernel.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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