GNOME 43's Mutter Lands Max BPC Property Support To Deal With Monitor Issues

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 22 August 2022 at 12:30 PM EDT. 24 Comments
Earlier this summer was the patch series for GNOME's Mutter to make use of the Linux DRM/KMS "max BPC" property for the drivers exposing the maximum bits per color supported. That code has now been merged in time for next month's GNOME 43 release and in turn will help deal with some scenarios where users may encounter screen flickering, brief blackouts, and other problems related to available monitor bandwidth.

Mutter now supports the maximum bits per color property and respects that for when needing to lower display bandwidth requirements where the system (GPU) may not be able to drive particular displays out-of-the-box at the given defaults. Lowering the color depth is one of the ways to lessen the display bandwidth use rather than having to lower the resolution or refresh rate. The max BPC propety can also be used for expressing support for a higher color depth than the default. This property value can be set from user-space if needing to lower it too due to faulty cables and dongles or other hardware.

As covered in the earlier linked Phoronix article, Canonical's Daniel van Vugt has been leading the max BPC property integration work for GNOME.

GNOME 43 will hopefully lead to less monitor headaches in cases of insufficient display bandwidth.

As of this weekend, MR 2412 for supporting the "max BPC" property made it into Mutter ahead of GNOME 43.0. Look for the rollout of GNOME 43 stable on 21 September.
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