Freedreno Encouraging Users To Switch To Modesetting X.Org Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 16 November 2016 at 09:00 PM EST. 11 Comments
The days of the xf86-video-freedreno DDX driver are numbered, at least for end-user relevance.

Rob Clark, the lead developer of the Freedreno driver as an open-source, reverse-engineered driver for Qualcomm Adreno hardware, is now encouraging users to use xf86-video-modesetting over xf86-video-freedreno. Of course, still using the MSM DRM driver from Freedreno as well as its Gallium3D driver.

Using xf86-video-modesetting yields more features over xf86-video-freedreno with supporting DRI3, X-Video, and more. This mode-setting driver is the generic DDX driver that makes use of the system's underlying DRM/KMS driver and provides for hardware acceleration via the system's OpenGL driver. This generic DDX driver also performs better than the xf86-video-freedreno DDX, according to Rob Clark.

Rob is encouraging distribution vendors shipping the xf86-video-freedreno driver to abandon it if they are shipping a modern X.Org Server and Mesa. But he's not ending the development of the Freedreno DDX entirely, rather, he says it's useful in bringing up new Adreno hardware support since this driver can do DRI2 and pure software fallbacks. But that's about it for the future of this X.Org driver.

Rob made these comments on his blog. Of course, it's not really a big surprise as many users have been switching to xf86-video-modesetting. Debian/Ubuntu in fact uses xf86-video-modesetting over xf86-video-intel and many AMD and Nouveau users also find good results in using this generic DDX driver with the DRM/KMS and Mesa/Gallium3D drivers doing all the heavy-lifting.
Related News
About The Author
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

Popular News This Week