Linux 5.1 Encounters "Regression Special" For Intel & VirtIO DRM Drivers

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 24 April 2019 at 06:56 AM EDT. Add A Comment
If you have been hit by a bug on Linux 5.1 where your X.Org Server would no longer start or separately where when using VirtIO DRM that XWayland and GNOME Shell would break, fixes have now landed in Linux 5.1 Git.

David Airlie sent in the DRM fixes on Wednesday as a "regression special" for the Intel i915 and VirtIO DRM drivers compared to the usual DRM fixes cadence.

The Intel change is reverting a few lines of code that was causing some nasties for a subset of users as it would break the xf86-video-modesetting driver in select configurations. No proper fix is there yet so this is a revert of an earlier 5.1 change. Airlie explained, "The first is for a fix in i915 that had unexpected side effects fallout in the userspace modesetting driver where X would no longer start. I got tired of the nitpicking and issued a large hammer on it. The driver is buggy, but blackscreen regressions are worse."

The other revert is for the VirtIO DRM driver breaking both XWayland and GNOME Shell with X11. That is another tricky bug and breaking use-cases for some users but reverting it does leave problems on its own, however, a proper solution is in the works.

Hopefully both of these Direct Rendering Manager driver problems will be properly addressed prior to the early May release of Linux 5.1.
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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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