The Big DRM Pull Request For Linux 4.17: 144,461 Insertions, 38,059 Deletions

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 29 March 2018 at 06:26 AM EDT. 13 Comments
While the Linux 4.16.0 kernel hasn't even been released yet, Direct Rendering Manager subsystem maintainer David Airlie has already sent in his big feature pull request for Linux 4.17 since he will be going on holidays the next few weeks.

As we've been covering the past few weeks, there are many changes that accumulated in the DRM-Next tree for Linux 4.17 that makes it quite big with 144k lines of new code while seeing just 38k lines of code removed, or a net addition to the kernel of more than one hundred thousand lines of code this time around... But fortunately a good chunk of that is the auto-generated header files for AMD Vega 12 GPU support.

The exciting DRM changes for Linux 4.17 come down to:

- Arguably most notable is AMDGPU enabling DC support by default on all supported GPUs, which means this newer display code providing HDMI/DP audio, eventually FreeSync, atomic mode-setting, HDMI 2.0, and more. Up until now since it was added to 4.15, it was only on by default for Vega/Raven unless booting with amdgpu.dc=1. There are various DC improvements and fixes as part of this pull.

- Support for the yet-to-be-released AMD Vega 12 GPU is now found in the AMDGPU DRM driver.

- AMDGPU also has WattMan power management features and other PowerPlay/PM options and improvements.

- The AMDKFD code for the kernel-side compute bits now has the discrete GPU support in decent standing at least for Polaris and Fiji GPUs. There is now support for GPUVM, KFD, PCI-E atomics, and other improvements to AMDKFD. At least for the mentioned Fiji/Polaris GPUs, the ROCm/OpenCL stack should begin to work off the mainline kernel! I'll be trying shortly. Some older GPUs may also have luck but unfortunately no Vega compute off the mainline kernel quite yet.

- The VGA_Switcheroo improvements now using device links.

- Over within the Intel DRM driver there is now Cannonlake support enabled by default for these upcoming "Gen 10" graphics rather than being hidden behind an alpha hardware support flag.

- The Intel DRM driver has also been working on prepping the enablement of Intel Icelake "Gen 11" graphics though will likely be a few more kernel releases before that code is squared away.

- The Intel DRM driver also now has the controversial HDCP support for content protection but will not restrict any of the user's rights as it stands now unless a user ends up finding some HDCP-enabled media player software coming to the Linux desktop.

- Etnaviv now makes use of the AMDGPU's scheduler.

- Various minor improvements to VMWGFX, VC4, Sun4i, OMAPDRM, MSM, and the other smaller drivers.

There is not any Nouveau improvements as part of this Linux 4.17 pull request due to Nouveau DRM maintainer Ben Skeggs recently being out of the office. The complete list of the big DRM change-set for the 4.17 kernel can be found via the dri-devel list.
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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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