Linux 4.15 Will Treat The HTC Vive VR Headset As "Non-Desktop"
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 23 November 2017 at 07:11 AM EST. 10 Comments
HARDWARE --
Currently if plugging in the HTC Vive for a virtual reality experience on Linux, the head-mounted display (HMD) is treated just as a conventional display. But now with a new set of changes for Linux 4.15, the kernel will know it's a "non-desktop" display.

Besides the DRM leasing support that has already landed during the Linux 4.15 merge window with the main DRM pull request, David Airlie has sent in another pull today for further benefiting SteamVR with Linux 4.15. (And among other benefits, also the AMDGPU priority scheduling landed too for 4.15 as another benefit for VR Linux gaming when using AMD graphics.)

This latest VR advancement with Linux 4.15 is adding a new connector property to the DRM infrastructure for "non-desktop displays" or basically outputs that shouldn't be included as a normal desktop environment. The changes also will not enable FBCON for non-desktop displays.


With that infrastructure is in place, it then marks the HTC Vive as the initially supported VR headset on Linux and based upon its EDID data for detection to treat it as it should be for a "non-desktop display."

That small addition is part of this DRM PR along with various other fixes.

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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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