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Re: Recent video-related commits: summary wanted

At date and time Mon, 18 Aug 2014 08:39:22 -0600, Roy Bixler wrote:

> On Sat, Aug 16, 2014 at 09:30:50PM +0100, Gerard Lally wrote:
> > There have been many video-related commits to the source tree recently,
> > which I am doing my best to understand. Radeon, nouveau, drm, kms, and
> > the like. It would be nice if someone would summarise what is happening
> > and what difference it makes, and whether NetBSD 7 will benefit. A
> > question I have for starters: do these changes bring native X up to date
> > in -7, and if so would there be any compelling reason to choose modular
> > X instead?
> Whether NetBSD 7 benefits is on the eye of the beholder, but I believe
> the basic purpose of these commits is to import code from the Linux
> Direct Rendering Manager subsystem.  This is the part of the kernel
> that interfaces with the Graphics Processing Unit of the system.  The
> idea is to put the system into graphics mode at bootup, eliminating
> the classic "text mode".  In a sense, text mode still exists from what
> I've seen of Linux systems, which generally use the DRM subsystem to
> change fonts to different sizes.  The X Server's operation becomes
> more seamless.
> I don't think I've seen the full benefit of this code yet, since the
> system I've installed NetBSD 7 on has an NVidia card and it doesn't
> seem that Nouveau is active by default.  I will be interested to see
> how it works.  If it's like my expreience in Linux, then it will work
> fairly well and actually be more stable than the proprietary NVidia
> driver.  The disadvantage is that it doesn't support as many NVidia
> cards or, for the cards it does support, it may not support all of the
> features of those cards.  I also found that suspend/resume worked
> better with the NVidia driver than with the Nouveau driver.

Thanks for the information Roy. I'm probably slow to understand this but
is this DRM a supplement to the {nvidia,nouveau,radeon} driver or a
replacement for it? It seems to me from what you say in the first
paragraph its scope is quite narrow, affecting only bootup, but then in
your second paragraph it seems to be a replacement for the driver - you
hope it is "more stable than the proprietary NVidia driver".

Gerard Lally

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