The VIA OpenChrome DRM Still Might Be Kicking In 2015

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 3 January 2015 at 01:57 PM EST. 5 Comments
There hasn't been much to report on in months for the OpenChrome DRM driver as there simply hasn't been any new public patches to comment on. While it sort of looked like this VIA DRM Linux driver was dead, it seems work is possibly getting resurrected on this open-source driver.

After years of covering VIA on Linux, my most recent article to date on VIA/OpenChrome was last May with OpenChrome: There's Apparently Not Much Left. Surprisingly, the lead (and pretty much only) developer of the VIA OpenChrome DRM/KMS driver, James Simmons, has landed a few new patches in recent days.

At the end of December were three new commits to the out-of-tree OpenChrome DRM driver that were doing basic maintenance tasks on the code. Then landing today was another fix with James Simmons addressing his OpenChrome DRM driver to work against the latest drm-next code.

I haven't heard anything more from Simmons so this could just be some infrequent holiday hacking or perhaps he's finally trying to get work on the OpenChrome DRM driver finished up so that it could be mainlined for the unfortunate souls still stuck with VIA x86 hardware. The open-source VIA Linux story has been a long and tiresome journey for its users with VIA Corporation having various failed open-source attempts/bluffs over the years and leaving much of the actual coding work up to the community while James Simmons was the one that stepped up and did a majority of the DRM/KMS driver work from 2011~2013. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.
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Michael Larabel

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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