DragonFlyBSD Updates Its Radeon/TTM Driver Code Against Linux 3.18 Bits

Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 4 May 2019 at 12:00 AM EDT. 2 Comments
The Radeon (and Intel) graphics driver support on DragonFlyBSD has improved a lot compared to where it was at many years ago, but it remains a perpetual catch-up game with the porting of this driver code from Linux to their BSD kernel.

Like other BSDs, DragonFlyBSD continues re-basing their Radeon and Intel driver code against what's in the mainline Linux kernel given that's where the vendors are working on the open-source graphics support without any catered driver to the BSDs, with the exception being NVIDIA and their binary driver being offered with official FreeBSD support. But due to the changes needed when re-basing the code in adapting to the latest interface changes, it's quite a burden to maintain. While the Linux 5.1 kernel is expected to be out this weekend, DragonFlyBSD is generally playing with late 3.x Linux kernels and early 4.x bits.

Back in 2017 there was an update of the Radeon code against Linux 4.7 but that was later reverted in September 2017 over causing issues with some Radeon setups at the time.

With the NVIDIA binary driver exception, generally for the BSDs, the older GPUs are a better bet.

After not seeing much work last year or this year so far for the Radeon porting to DragonFlyBSD, as of Friday the Radeon and TTM memory management code was updated to Linux 3.18. Yes, the kernel that was released at the end of 2014.

For what it's worth though, most of the Intel/Radeon Linux DRM porting to DragonFlyBSD is being done solely by Fran├žois Tigeot. So he does deserve applause for his work in this space, but for those expecting up-to-date AMD Radeon GPU support on DragonFlyBSD, don't hold your breath.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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