Intel Could Finally Be Ready To Enable Fastboot By Default For Skylake & Newer
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 25 January 2019 at 06:29 AM EST. 18 Comments
INTEL --
Going back seven years has been the Intel Linux graphics driver's "Fastboot" support for allowing a more polished initial boot experience by allowing unnecessary mode sets to be avoided by the hardware. There have been multiple attempts over the years to enable this cleaner boot experience by default, but each time it ended up being rejected or later reverted due to running into issues with problematic hardware. This year looks like we might finally see it enabled by default for Skylake HD/Iris Graphics and newer.

Intel Fastboot support was particularly problematic with older generations of graphics hardware and with time there have been driver improvements as well. For those using recent generations of Intel graphics like Skylake and newer, there haven't been any major problems in recent times. Fastboot has also been gaining more interest recently thanks to Fedora polishing up their boot experience and for that it relies on Fastboot to avoid the flickers caused by unnecessary mode-setting operations.

Last year Red Hat's Hans de Goede restarted the Intel discussions about Fastboot default and now it seems Intel developers might be in agreement for turning it on by default.

Intel Linux developer Maarten Lankhorst has posted the patched by Hans de Goede that would enable Fastboot by default for Skylake and newer to "avoid an ugly modeset during boot."

Those with older but trouble-free hardware can still enable the functionality via the i915.fastboot=1 kernel module parameter, just as you can already do with existing kernels. Let's hope this patch will gain traction and be accepted for Linux 5.1 -- so far it's looking like it could happen. There is also talk of enabling the support by default too for older Valleyview and Cherryview era hardware.
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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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