Broadcom VC5 DRM Driver Might Soon Be On Its Way To The Mainline Linux Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 17 April 2018 at 05:55 AM EDT. 10 Comments
Eric Anholt believes he is getting quite close to the stage of merging the Broadcom VC5 DRM driver into the mainline Linux kernel tree.

As part of the VC5 open-source driver stack for supporting the next-gen Broadcom VideoCore 5 graphics hardware, there's been the VC5 Gallium3D driver that is already in mainline Mesa for OpenGL support and the VC5 DRM driver that has been outside of the kernel tree up until now. (There's also been the also out-of-tree experimental work on VC5 Vulkan support via BCMV, etc.)

Lead developer Eric Anholt though has mentioned he's getting close to merging the Direct Rendering Manager code. He's gotten the GPU scheduler -- which is making use of the AMDGPU scheduler code -- into good shape. His latest initiative has been working on client isolation support to ensure different clients interacting with the graphics processor aren't able to read/write to each other's memory, etc. Once that important security functionality is worked out, Eric's going to look at mainlining this driver.

This means that potentially for Linux 4.18 or 4.19 we might see the VC5 DRM driver merged. This comes after the driver has been in development for more than one year while so far has just been an Android TV set top box making use of these next-gen Broadcom graphics, but many are hoping for a future Raspberry Pi board making use of VideoCore V.
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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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