Virtual Kernel Mode-Setting Driver Being Added To Linux 4.19
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 12 July 2018 at 07:26 AM EDT. 1 Comment
LINUX KERNEL --
Linux 4.19 is shaping up to be a pretty exciting kernel release for what is expected to be the last version before Linux 5.0.

Adding to the list of Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) improvements in Linux 4.19, VKMS has been added to Linux 4.19. The VKMS driver is the virtual kernel mode-setting effort, most recently worked on as part of this year's Google Summer of Code. Besides GSoC's Rodrigo Siqueira working on the project, Haneen of Outreachy has also been contributing to this exciting new driver.

The virtual KMS driver is a basic KMS driver exposing a CRTC/encoder/connector/plane that can be used for headless machines to run an X.Org Server or even Wayland and serves for virtual display purposes without necessarily having a physical GPU backing it, but it is still able to use a GPU if available.

The virtual kernel mode-setting driver is being added now to DRM-Next for Linux 4.19 and can be enabled come this next kernel version via the DRM_VKMS build switch.

Besides this initial VKMS driver, the latest DRM-Misc-Next update also has fake vblank support, encoder clean-ups, connector write-back improvements, the start of an API for in-kernel clients, and panel enhancements. The current list of patches can be found here.
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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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