Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 20th Apr 2008 12:52 UTC, submitted by Michael Larabel
X11, Window Managers Have you ever been annoyed by Linux' lack of a coherent graphical boot process? Graphics hardware causing problems during sleep/wake cycles? Problematic virtual terminal switches? Kernel-based mode-setting, a new feature of Xorg still in heavy development aims to solve many of these problems by moving the mode-setting code from the user-space X driver into the Linux kernel. Phoronix takes a look at this new feature.
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More polished desktop experience
by abraxas on Sun 20th Apr 2008 16:00 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

This is a great enhancement for Linux on the desktop. Modesetting issues with suspend/resume, X initialization, and between X and the console is a major sore spot with my desktop. Most of the remaining issues with my laptop are with the video/graphics and this is a major step at resolving a lot of those issues. The rest of the issues should be resolved with the TTM memory manager and Intel driver enhancements. Unfortunately it looks like I am going to have to wait until the end of the year until the TTM memory manager and kernel modesetting are fully integrated into the Linux kernel.

Reply Score: 6

sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

I am happy to hear we will finally get hibernation working in Linux. And it might even become useful if the booting process is parallelized and it doesn't take ages to recover from hibernation.

However I still cannot understand why they couldn't get the hibernation to work right without this hack. As I see it, hibernation means:

1- Take snapshot of running applications and services
2- Store to non-volatile memory
3- Shut down computer the rough way
4- Read from non-volatile memory
5- Jump to snapshot.

I realize a modern PC is not an old microcomputer, but the process is straightforward. Even with screen modesetting and other device problems needing some restarting, any sane windowing system can be restarted without losing the windows.

X is *cough* rotten *cough*.

Reply Parent Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

X is *cough* rotten *cough*.

No. Hibernation *does* work in Linux. I'll prove it right now by hibernating my laptop and restarting it. There. See? It worked! What you are forgetting is the huge volume of disparate, broken hardware out there that has been "fixed" by the manufacturer with a Windows driver update. That's what makes hibernation so difficult to solve in a general way. Confining low level control of the video hardware to user space, while depending upon the kernel to do the hibernate/wake up is a recipe for unreliability across the broad range of commodity hardware available.

I would not trade X for any other display system available. And I continue to be puzzled by the tendency of some to unjustly criticize it at every opportunity. What's rotten, and has been for a long time, is the fact that, for whatever reason, control of the basic state of the display hardware has been shunned by the kernel devs.

Don't get me wrong. The complex stuff belongs in user space. But responsibility for something so basic as setting the graphics mode lies squarely within the domain of the OS kernel.

We've been talking about something like this for at least 11 years. Linus rejected the original GGI out of hand back in 1997 or so. And here we are just getting this functionality which has been so sorely lacking for so long. And the delay was certainly no fault of X's.

Edited 2008-04-20 18:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

SomeGuy Member since:
2006-03-20

However I still cannot understand why they couldn't get the hibernation to work right without this hack. As I see it, hibernation means:

1- Take snapshot of running applications and services
2- Store to non-volatile memory
3- Shut down computer the rough way
4- Read from non-volatile memory
5- Jump to snapshot.


You're missing a very important stage -- the stage everything gets tripped up on. The "restore hardware settings and reinitialize the hardware to a sane state without knowing what state it's in at all, and when it's power-on sequence has been customized by manufacturers so that the same parts can potentially behave differently if they came from different manufacturers.

I realize a modern PC is not an old microcomputer, but the process is straightforward. Even with screen modesetting and other device problems needing some restarting, any sane windowing system can be restarted without losing the windows.


Well, I guess that means that there aren't any sane window systems on any modern desktops. Tough nuts.

Reply Parent Score: 2