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[News] Linux Kernel Space Analysis: Kernel Mode-Setting (AMD/ATI)

  • Subject: [News] Linux Kernel Space Analysis: Kernel Mode-Setting (AMD/ATI)
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2009 23:11:06 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

The Cost Of ATI Kernel Mode-Setting On Fedora 12

,----[ Quote ]
| One of the articles on Phoronix last week 
| was entitled Intel Linux Graphics Shine 
| With Fedora 12, which showed off the nice 
| state of Intel graphics on this latest Red 
| Hat release when it came to kernel mode-
| setting and its 3D stack with it working 
| well "out of the box" and offering some 
| nice performance gains over the earlier 
| Fedora 10 and Fedora 11 releases. While 
| the Intel stack may be improved in 
| Constantine, the ATI support has taken a 
| hit, as users were quick to point out in 
| response to last week's article. In 
| particular, when using the ATI kernel 
| mode-setting driver in Fedora 12 (which is 
| the default for pre-R600 hardware), there 
| is a large performance discrepancy 
| compared to using the traditional user-
| space mode-setting for ATI Radeon 
| hardware. Today we are looking at what 
| exactly the performance cost is for using 
| ATI KMS in this new release.


Matthew Tippet, ex-AMD Linux guru joins Palm

,----[ Quote ]
| Linux community knows Matthew Tippet for 
| years, since he was one of big pushers for 
| ATI Linux drivers and put a lot of 
| personal and professional effort in 
| improving functionality of ATI hardware on 
| Linux operating system. Also, Matthew was 
| one of co-founders of Phoronix Test Suite, 
| probably the best test suite for Linux 
| operating system out there.


EX AMD linux guru joins Palm

,----[ Quote ]
| I sent him an email this morning to wish 
| him the best of luck with his move and I 
| hope Palm are able to use his wealth of 
| knowledge to improve their products.



Intel Kernel Mode-Setting Overlay Support

,----[ Quote ]
| While the Intel kernel mode-setting graphics driver entered the mainline
| Linux 2.6.29 kernel, and is beginning to become the default driver in various
| desktop Linux distributions, the KMS driver does not yet have a feature
| parity with the traditional DDX xf86-video-intel driver. However, announced
| on the DRI development list today is one more feature that has now been
| introduced into the kernel mode-setting driver and generic DRM mode-setting
| code. This is video overlay support for Intel hardware.


ANN: Kernel Mode-Setting for Intel Graphics

,----[ Quote ]
| Today we've switched kernel mode-setting on by default for Intel graphics, a
| change which arrived with the 2.6.30-10.12 kernel.
| Many of you already know all about KMS, and can stop reading here.
| For those who are wondering what the heck this new acronym is, I've attached
| some background explanation below, and answered some questions I expect to be
| common.
| Thanks go to apw and the kernel team for wrangling all the patches, and to
| the ubuntu-x team and community members who have been testing out this new
| stuff the past few months.


Testing Out ATI Kernel Mode-Setting On Ubuntu

,----[ Quote ]
| Kernel mode-setting for Intel graphics hardware can already be found in the
| mainline Linux kernel and will be included by default in the release of
| Ubuntu 9.10 later this year. While Intel's kernel mode-setting support has
| been maturing in a steadfast manner, this support has not been moving along
| quite as fast for ATI and NVIDIA hardware. It is possible we will see ATI/AMD
| kernel mode-setting along with the necessary memory management support enter
| the Linux 2.6.31 kernel and potentially see this feature appear in Ubuntu
| 9.10 as an end-user option, but currently this support is still deemed under
| development.


Red Hat's Plymouth Sees New Work

,----[ Quote ]
| Not a lot of work has gone into Red Hat's Plymouth project since the release
| of Fedora 10, but now in the middle of the development cycle of Fedora 11 we
| are seeing some new work emerge. Plymouth is a boot splash program that
| leverages kernel mode-setting to provide a rich, flicker-free boot
| experience. In the past week there have been a fair number of commits to the
| Plymouth Git repository, which is the first time it has seen new work since
| early January.


The State of Kernel Mode-Setting

,----[ Quote ]
| All of the kernel-based mode-setting excitement in Fedora 9 was limited to
| those using Intel's integrated graphics hardware. With Fedora 10 not only can
| Intel users benefit but so can those with ATI Radeon hardware. Jerome Glisse
| has been working on Radeon kernel mode-setting code since December of last
| year, and in recent months David Airlie and Adam Jackson have joined in on
| this work. For those using an ATI R300 GPU to R500 will have kernel-based
| mode-setting support enabled by default in this next Fedora release. A few
| months back AMD had released a new AtomBIOS parser to the open-source
| community, which is being used for the KMS driver and should enter the
| mainline Linux kernel -- likely with Linux 2.6.28.


A Preview Of Kernel-Based Mode-Setting

,----[ Quote ]
| Kernel-based mode-setting is a great advancement for Linux and X.Org with it
| being a feature that delivers noticeable benefits to the end-user -- a
| cleaner flicker-free boot process, fast and reliable VT switching, improved
| suspend-and-resume support, and soon enough will be making
| fast-user-switching even faster. This is just the tip of the iceberg and more
| benefits, such as graphical diagnostic capabilities, should be able to
| flourish as a result of kernel-based mode-setting.      

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