Generic FBDEV Emulation Continues To Be Worked On For DRM Drivers
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 24 February 2018 at 06:53 AM EST. Add A Comment
Noralf Trønnes has spent the past few months working on generic FBDEV emulation for Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) drivers and this week he volleyed his third revision of these patches, which now includes a new in-kernel API along with some clients like a bootsplash system, VT console, and fbdev implementation.

The goal of Noralf's is to provide generic FBDEV emulation for the DRM subsystem so the individual DRM drivers can get rid of all their FBDEV code. This emulation is intended to work for any DRM driver supporting exportable dump buffers.

With his third revision to the patches sent out on Thursday, there is now an in-kernel client API and three example clients for fbdev, bootsplash, and a VT console. The fbdev client is what provides the FBDEV support written as a client of this new DRM API. The bootsplash client is about 200 lines of code written against this new API. The VT console client at this point is considered a "hack" and just for vetting the new API.

More details via this patch series. We'll see where the patches go from here and hopefully make it to mainline for cleaning up some of the FBDEV code currently residing in the individual DRM APIs. While FBDEV may be declining in popularity finally, there's no signs of it going away everywhere anytime soon.

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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 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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