The DRM Changes Coming With The Linux 4.19 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 25 July 2018 at 05:00 AM EDT. Add A Comment
With the cutoff of new feature material to DRM-Next ahead of the Linux 4.19 cycle coming to an end, here is an overview of the prominent Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) changes on the plate for this next kernel version.

If you are behind in your Phoronix reading, the DRM highlights for Linux 4.19 largely include:

- The Virtual Kernel Mode-Setting driver is merged. VKMS is a work-in-progress driver but it's a nice start for headless systems and other interesting use-cases.

- JPEG VCN engine support for "Video Core Next" (VCN) as currently featured with Raven Ridge hardware.

- Initial PowerPlay support for AMDGPU Sea Islands "CIK" GCN 1.1 hardware, another step towards getting AMDGPU DRM enabled by default over Radeon DRM for these second-generation GCN GPUs.

- AMDGPU "stutter" mode support for Raven Ridge APUs. The stutter mode is a power-saving feature around the display FIFO and its memory handling.

- Various power management improvements including Raven Ridge "GFXOFF" support for being able to turn off the graphics engine in these APUs when it isn't needed. There are also some other Raven/DCN display-related improvements too.

- Intel GVT vGPU huge-page support for guest VMs.

- GTT read-only pages support and (separately) Display Stream Compression support for Intel "Gen 11" Icelake graphics hardware. Icelake graphics support has continued to be improved upon for the Linux 4.19 kernel and is starting to get into shape well ahead of the launch for these CPUs succeeding Cannonlake.

- Intel Broxton GVT-g support.

- Intel PSR fixes for Panel Self Refresh support along with a variety of other fixes like eDP, faster GPU idle detection, and GPU reset fixes.

- The open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver doesn't have many changes but there are some DisplayPort MST fixes as well as some fixes around re-clocking for PRIME laptops.

- HDMI CEC support for capable DisplayPort/USB-C to HDMI adapters.

Linux 4.19 kernel development will officially kick off in August with the opening of the merge window following the Linux 4.18 stable kernel in the next two or so weeks.
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Michael Larabel

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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