Fedora 29 Succeeds At Flicker-Free Boot Experience On Intel Hardware
Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora on 1 October 2018 at 08:47 AM EDT. 44 Comments
FEDORA --
After optimizing the Linux laptop battery life last cycle, Hans de Goede of Red Hat has been working on Fedora 29 to provide a "flicker-free" boot experience. A Linux desktop flicker-free boot has been talked about for a decade or longer but with Fedora 29 and using Intel graphics that is finally becoming a reality.

The premise of the long desired flicker-free boot is to maintain the same resolution/mode-set from the system boot through the desktop loading without any unnecessary mode-set operations or sudden graphics changes in order to provide a smooth boot experience.

With Fedora 29 that's been achieved with preserving the EFI frame-buffer and any initial system PC/motherboard logo all the way until fading to the GDM log-in screen for the desktop. This has required changes so the EFI frame-buffer wouldn't be messed up when the kernel starts, changes to the Plymouth boot handling, hiding the GRUB boot menu, and also making use of the Intel driver's "fastboot" option that eliminates unnecessary mode-set operations.

On current Fedora 29 builds, this isn't entirely by default but requires the "i915.fastboot=1 plymouth.splash-delay=20" kernel parameters to make this smooth boot experience. Red Hat / Fedora is still working with Intel on getting Fastboot enabled by default (older generations of Intel graphics sometimes had problems with Fastboot, so it's been a contentious matter of the years) as well as working on a new Plymouth theme. Hans still needs to look into having Fastboot equivalent support within the Radeon and NVIDIA drivers too.


More details in this blog post.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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