AMD Introduces New Hotplug Driver Option For The X.Org Server

Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 17 November 2022 at 06:30 AM EST. 7 Comments
Currently when hot-plugging a new GPU to a running X.Org Server, the generic xf86-video-modesetting DDX driver ends up being utilized. However, a new "HotplugDriver" xorg.conf option has been introduced by AMD to allow users to specify their desired DDX driver. In turn this makes it possible for those hot-plugging hardware like AMD Radeon GPUs such as within eGPU enclosures to specify using the xf86-video-amdgpu driver instead.

While the xf86-video-modesetting driver is widely-used and works for most use-cases, for those hot-plugging GPUs and wanting to use xf86-video-amdgpu for its features or other reasons, this new "HotplugDriver" option makes that possible. Similarly, it works for any other DDX driver too.

With code merged on Wednesday to the X.Org Server Git, the "HotplugDriver" option can be specified within the xorg.conf/xorg.conf.d with a value of the desired DDX driver. While not many are using eGPU enclosures or hot-plugging their GPUs otherwise, this change is a nice addition for those wanting to use something besides xf86-video-modesetting.

This change isn't relevant in the Wayland world with the necessary DRM/KMS kernel driver automatically loaded anyhow and Wayland compositors not relying on DDX drivers.
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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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