The State of Kernel Mode-Setting
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 1 October 2008. Page 3 of 3. 18 Comments

Below is a video of the Fedora 10 boot process but without the Plymouth screen being displayed, which allows for an "under the hood" look at kernel mode-setting being utilized from the start-up.

Now here is a video showcasing how fast (and reliable) VT switching is with the Radeon KMS in Fedora.

Kernel-based mode-setting really doesn't provide anything that vastly improves usability or will drive additional market-share towards Linux, but it simply cleans up the graphics experience. The improved (and more reliable) fast user switching is great though and less flickering during the boot process will make Linux more MacOSX-like. There's still roughly a month left until Fedora 10 has been released so we would still expect a few more improvements to be made but from our testing thus far, KMS has been reliable with ATI hardware. Expect some kernel mode-setting support to hopefully land in the mainline Linux 2.6.28 kernel and more distributions to begin supporting KMS in the first half of next year (ideally in time for Ubuntu 9.04).

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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 or contacted via

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