Lima DRM Driver Strikes Version Two For Mali 400/450 Open-Source Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Arm on 27 February 2019 at 01:41 AM EST. 20 Comments
While the Mali 400/450 series era hardware is now 7~11 years old, the revived Lima DRM driver is still being pursued for mainlining in the Linux kernel to offer up open-source support for these once popular Arm graphics generations.

Independent developer Qiang Yu is still working on the Lima DRM driver where Luc Verhaegen left it off several years ago. Qiang Yu believes the code is now ready for mainlining in the Linux kernel while in user-space he has also been nursing a Lima Mesa driver into shape. The Mali 400/450 series hardware is capable of OpenGL ES 2.0.

Version two of the Lima DRM driver was published on Monday and amounts to just over four thousand lines of new code for enabling Mali 400/450 support kernel-side. With Arm still not supporting open-source graphics drivers, this driver was written done via the reverse-engineering done over the years by Luc and other developers.

Of the Mesa Lima code being spearheaded by Qiang Yu, he says the code is still in development and not yet ready for daily usage, but can run some tests like GLMark2 and KMS Cube as well as single full-screen applications like Kodi-GBM.

The second revision to the Lima DRM patches is based against the latest Linux 5.0 kernel state and is available for review on dri-devel.

As the Linux 5.1 cycle is kicking off this weekend and this driver still being reviewed, it's looking like Lima won't be merged for this upcoming kernel cycle, but stay tuned and we'll certainly report when the driver is merged.
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