The Work-In-Progress Rust-Written Apple DRM Driver Manages To Start Wayland's Weston

Written by Michael Larabel in Apple on 28 September 2022 at 08:46 AM EDT. 26 Comments
APPLE --
Last week the Rust-written Apple Direct Rendering manager (DRM) Linux driver for supporting Apple M1/M2 graphics managed to rendered its first cube. Asahi Linux contributor Asahi Lina today is back at it and working on getting more of this experimental kernel driver working for the Linux desktop.

After passing the initial spinning cube milestone this past weekend, Asahi Lina has been working on bringing up more of this reverse-engineered kernel DRM/KMS driver. The actual display output still isn't working yet (Update: as of today, the display output is now working too!) but today took to livestreaming while working to bring up an actual Linux desktop on this first Rust DRM driver.


Asahi Lina shows off Weston with the in-development DRM kernel driver.


The KDE Plasma desktop isn't yet working on this driver but at least as of today the milestone was crossed of being able to start Wayland's Weston reference compositor.


Asahi Lina also showed off the current state of starting the X.Org Server with the driver.

It's exciting to see the good and dedicated progress being made on bringing up this Apple DRM driver for Linux as well as the user-space work happening with the Mesa "AGX" driver for OpenGL support. Granted, it will still be some months and into 2023 before there is likely nice upstream support for end-users. The current target has been around OpenGL ~2.1 by year's end with the already mainlined Mesa code while getting this Rust DRM kernel driver mature and mainlined will likely take much longer. In any event, this effort is moving forward for those interested in running Linux on Apple M1/M2 hardware.


Besides the big graphics undertaking, the feature support Wiki for Asahi Linux outlines the progress on other ongoing hardware driver work like Thunderbolt, video encode/decode, neural engines, microphones, internal speakers, web camera, and other work-in-progress items for modern Macs.
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