VIA OpenChrome Driver Has A Roadmap, But Only One Developer

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 27 May 2016 at 07:31 AM EDT. 7 Comments
The OpenChrome project has long aspired to having a mainline DRM/KMS driver but that original developer since left. These days OpenChrome is down to basically one developer left working on this open-source driver for VIA x86 graphics hardware.

That developer, who recently took care of managing the OpenChrome 0.4 DDX release, recently took to a FD.o bug report and wrote about the state/roadmap for the driver:
At this point, there is nothing newsworthy to write about OpenChrome. Whether you or other people like it or not, OpenChrome development lags other more developed graphics device driver stacks by a huge margin. Effectively, I am the only person working on OpenChrome at this point (Frank is taking a break from the development.), and since the code itself has many problems, it takes tremendous amount of time to figure out why stuff goes wrong. In terms of the development roadmap, it is something like this.

1. Stablize OpenChrome UMS code

- Fix screen resolution change bug (a regression that happened between Version 0.3.2 and 0.3.3)
- Add external TMDS transmitter (VT1632A) support for DVI
- Add dynamic IGA1 / IGA2 allocation within OpenChrome
- Fix TV out support
- Fix ACPI S3 State resume bug with several devices

2. Port OpenChrome UMS code to the newer DRM that supports KMS

3. Add DisplayPort and HDMI support to OpenChrome UMS code

4. Add 2D and video acceleration support when the newer DRM is used

5. Work on developing the 3D device driver stack

Some of these items in the roadmap can be done in parallel with other items (i.e., 3D stack), but since I am the only one actively working on developing OpenChrome, inevitably, they will be done sequentially.
It will be interesting to see if a mainline DRM/KMS OpenChrome driver and a 3D driver still materialize for antiquated VIA Chrome hardware. If you want to get involved in OpenChrome development, stop by their project site and mailing 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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