Linked by David Adams on Tue 31st Jan 2012 23:50 UTC, submitted by Michael
Graphics, User Interfaces This weekend at FOSDEM 2012 what Kristian Hogsberg is expected to say in Brussels will surprise many of you: Wayland 1.0 is gearing up for release as their first stable release. Wayland [a new X server for Linux] is supposed to be ready to take on the Linux desktop world.
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RE[2]: Hope they can deliver
by Gullible Jones on Wed 1st Feb 2012 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Hope they can deliver"
Gullible Jones
Member since:
2006-05-23

Unfortunately it seems to me that the graphics situation has gotten even worse lately. Before KMS, you could disable hardware acceleration if you had problems, and things would generally work (albeit with somewhat poorer performance). Now you're stuck with the fbdev driver as a fallback, and IMO it's a pretty trashy fallback - you can't easily change the screen resolution with it, it won't work at all with some configurations (e.g. PPC Macs that require an unaccelerated framebuffer), and IIRC it has serious problems with multiple monitors.

Granted there is a "Shadow" option for Intel now, that's supposed to work like the old "NoAccel" and "ShadowFB"... Last time I tried it, it made Xorg segfault on start.

Compare FreeBSD 9, which still uses XAA/EXA without KMS. Start the X server... Oops, there's a hardware acceleration bug, and everything is slow with a tendency to freeze. Disable hardware acceleration with "NoAccel" and everything works! Damn shame that the Xfce developers decided to ditch HAL support, and automount/power management doesn't work on the BSDs any more.

Reply Parent Score: 3

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

The graphics situation might be getting worse for ancient hardware, but at some point you can't expect anything else. And although the situation might have become worse for the two of you who run Linux on PPC Macs, it's much better now for those who use current, supported hardware than it was, say, eight years ago when you Mac still wasn't obsolete.

Making use of actual, working hardware acceleration is more important than the ability to turn it off. Which is actually something Linux does better than FreeBSD 9.0 and ATI.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23


Making use of actual, working hardware acceleration is more important than the ability to turn it off. Which is actually something Linux does better than FreeBSD 9.0 and ATI.


Absolutely not IMO. It's important for the OS to make proper use of the hardware. It's more important for the OS to remain usable when it can't make proper use of the hardware, which is going to happen sooner or later, given Linux's lack of market share.

In short, better to work with somewhat reduced functionality than to not work at all.

(On a related note, the not-very-functional fbdev driver is far faster on my Intel chipset laptop than the current intel driver, which is fully hardware accelerated. How's that for making full use of the hardware?)

Reply Parent Score: 3

ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

Now you're stuck with the fbdev driver as a fallback, and IMO it's a pretty trashy fallback

Correct me if I am wrong, but there is also VESA drivers you can use. I know I used that the other day as a fallback, but can't remember what Linux distro I used (Slackware, Ubuntu or OpenSUSE - I think it was Slackware).

At least the open source AMD/ATI and nVidia drivers are getting better and better performance wise. But I do understand the issue with bugs. The open source ATI driver has had a painting bug since after Ubuntu 8.04 (I'm a GUI toolkit developer), and it still exists in Ubuntu 11.10 - no movement on the bug report either. :-(

Reply Parent Score: 2

Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

Nope, you can't use the vesa driver. vesa + KMS = crash city. fbdev does work with KMS, but it has the usual shortfalls of fbdev.

(You could use the vesa driver and the nomodeset kernel option, but then you can't get the correct screen resolution on laptops. Well, not without some ugly hacks. Anyway the point of a fallback option is to be there in case something goes wrong, not to be a geeky thing that takes lots of effort to get working.)

Reply Parent Score: 2