Intel's Linux 5.1 Graphics Driver Will Have Fastboot By Default, More Icelake Bits

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 2 February 2019 at 09:32 AM EST. 2 Comments
Intel's open-source Linux graphics driver team has sent out another feature batch of changes for queuing in DRM-Next ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.1 kernel cycle.

Already on the plate for Linux 5.1 as it pertains to the Intel Direct Rendering Manager / Kernel Mode-Setting (DRM/KMS) driver is more Icelake additions/fixes, frame-buffer compression for 5K displays with Gen10 Cannonlake and newer, new Icelake PCI IDs, and other low-level code improvements.

Friday's pull request to DRM-Next has the recently covered Coffeelake support for GVT-g for allowing Coffeelake CPUs to have their graphics processor exposed to guest KVM/Xen VMs.

But besides the GVT Coffeelake support, arguably most exciting with this latest batch of code is the long-awaited enabling by default of Fastboot, the feature that allows for the Intel driver to avoid unnecessary mode-sets at boot time in order to deliver a more polished boot experience, which pairs nicely with improvements made within the kernel, Plymouth, and GDM. This is how Fedora Linux now finally delivers a beautiful boot experience.

As expected out of these queued Intel Fastboot patches, the support is enabled by default for Skylake and newer Intel graphics as well as Valleyview and Cherry Trail Atom hardware. Fastboot isn't being enabled by default on older hardware as there still are some hardware combinations with the driver where it can cause mode-setting problems. Those with other hardware though can try enabling Fastboot for their systems with the i915.fastboot=1 kernel module parameter.

Other work as part of the latest pull request are continued execlist improvements, Icelake fixes around display and clocks, fixes for TV mode-setting, GPU reset improvements, and other low-level code improvements and robustness enhancements.

We're still seeing Icelake/Gen11 work with almost each pull request, but for the most part the Intel Icelake Linux graphics support appears largely squared away and should be in good shape, which given that these new Intel processors are not shipping until later in the year will allow for more polishing and getting this code downstream into the various Linux distributions so the support ideally will be there out-of-the-box when these long-awaited processors begin to ship.

There's still potentially one more week's worth of Intel driver code changes that could come before the cut-off of new material into DRM-Next for the Linux 5.1 merge window.
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