Multi-Stream Transport 4K Monitors To Become Better Supported On Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 17 December 2014 at 09:46 AM EST. 9 Comments
For a number of months David Airlie at Red Hat has been working on DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (DP MST) handling for Linux. Keith Packard over at Intel is now playing with DP MST too for bettering modern 4K display support on Linux within X.Org Server based environments.

Within the Linux 3.17 kernel and newer, the DP MST support is coming together on the kernel-side but from user-space there's ongoing work still being done. Keith Packard in looking to improve the DP MST support for 4K displays that consist of two panels, is adding a "Monitor" data type to RandR 1.5. GNOME relies upon the RandR data while KDE is using the (correct) Xinerama data for configuring the display. The Monitors protocol addition to RandR will make it on par to the Xinerama handling of these MST-based displays.

Keith has separate branches right now of the RandR protocol, libXrandr, xrandr, and the X.Org Server for supporting this Monitors addition to fix things up. For the full, lengthy explanation about the work Keith is doing, stop by his blog.

For those looking for an affordable but nice office 4K monitor that works fine under Linux, checkout the Acer B286HK 28-inch 4K DP/HDMI/DVI monitor. This happens to be the monitor I use on my main office system and is a bargain with sales putting it around $350 USD.
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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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