Zaphod Support For The X.Org Mode-Setting Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 6 August 2015 at 10:08 AM EDT. 21 Comments
X.ORG --
Dave Airlie recently implemented support for the Zaphod mode within the X.Org Server's xf86-video-modesetting driver.

The Zaphod mode support can be found within the other common DDX drivers (e.g. Radeon and Nouveau) and is an alternative way for configuring dual-head displays under Linux rather than using RandR or Xinerama. The Zaphod mode's way of handling dual-head setups is creating one X screen per head.

David Airlie posted a patch implementing Zaphod and the ZaphodHeads xorg.conf option for the mode-setting driver. The code is loosely based on the Zaphod mode support of the xf86-video-ati Radeon driver. It's just about 200 lines of code adding in this feature, which will make the dual-head setup feasible with this generic X.Org driver as long as the hardware is backed by a DRM/KMS kernel driver.

The delayed X.Org Server 1.18 still hasn't been branched yet so it's possible that this functionality could be merged into the in-server mode-setting driver in time for the next release.
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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 20,000 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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