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airlied [userpic]
Fedora 9 feature preview - kernel modesetting

So F9 will be released in a few weeks so I thought I'd mention a neat semi-hidden feature preview.

F9 will contain a preview of the future kernel based modesetting architecture for users of Intel 915 and above.

To use and test this, add i915.modeset=1 to your kernel command line and watch the future unfold :)

So far it just enters graphics mode when udev hits, and the X server should use the new modesetting architecture from then on. In theory it should give nearly flicker free startup from udev until login and X should start much faster.

Post F9 I'll hopefully merge in proper support for fast-user-switching which I've mostly working locally, just need to write a proper protocol for it.



I'm running Debian Sid on a Sony Vaio laptop (GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics) with kernel 2.6.25-rc8 and intel driver Is there a way I can test the kernel modesetting feature? I' ve tried to simply add i915.modeset=1 to the kernel command line, but the effect is that this boot option is unknown.

Any advice is greatly appreciated :-)


I'm not sure it is upstream yet

Notice the line "F9 will contain a preview of the future kernel based modesetting architecture". It is a preview of something that will be in the mainline kernel once it is ready. Either that or it is not set to compile by default. I'm guessing grab the Fedora sources and compile that or grab the patch.

Re: I'm not sure it is upstream yet

Indeed I built drm.ko and i915.ko from the modesetting-101 branch of mesa/drm. However, I still get "unknown boot option".
Anyway, thanks for your reply!

That was the feature blocking development of BetterStartup?


A. we. so. me.

unknown option?

Got a mmm, mmm fresh rawhide box here, but i915.modeset=1 gave
Unknown boot option "i915.modeset=1': ignoring
but... while continuing boot (hard drive grinding), I see nothing but a blinking cursor (I *think* it ended up in runlevel 1 or 3)?

fun. :)

Re: unknown option?

Got the same message here (unknown option), then I saw the blinking cursor (in a small text font), and then the boot process continued (text only). The X server didn't come up, only a blinking screen with vertical colored stripes on parts of the screen. Ctrl-alt-del didn't do it, so I had to do a hard power off.

Here is my smolt profile (915GM/PM/GMS/910GML on a Dell Latitude X1, kernel

Would love to get this working, though!

Re: unknown option?

Also tried with the latest rawhide kernel (kernel-2.6.27-0.329.rc6.git2.fc10.i686), but that also gave the "unknown option" error (and also failed booting at all on my crypted setup)

it worked!

I've been trying this off and on for the last month or so on my laptop and today if finally worked. I used to get no X after the udev switch but today everything worked pretty well. With it I'm getting this message from glxinfo:

continuity> glxinfo
name of display: :0.0
do_wait: drmWaitVBlank returned -1, IRQs don't seem to be working correctly.
display: :0 screen: 0
direct rendering: Yes

and glxgears performance is about 1/3 normal (300 versus about 1000 fps). Is it worth filing a bug report?

Re: it worked!

work for me today too. Super fast when switching consoles!

X cannot recover if I close and reopen the lid.

Re: it worked!

I have the same error message, and the same lousy performance...

I managed to test it - it worked, but I got unbearably ugly fonts in X (LCD display, no matter which font rendering type)

i915.modeset creates strange modelines

On my ThinkPad X61s (1024x768 native resolution) i915.modeset=1 creates two new modelines in xrandr -q:

[brad@brad ~]$ xrandr -q
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1360 x 768, maximum 2048 x 2048
VGA1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
LVDS1 connected 1360x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 246mm x 185mm
   1360x768       59.8*    60.0  
   1152x864       60.0  
   1024x768       60.0     40.0  
   800x600        60.3  
   640x480        60.0     59.9  
   0x0             0.0

Also, normally the outputs devices have names without the 1 appended (VGA and LVDS).

Brad Walker (mailto:me@bradmwalker.com)


Fedora, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat, is the free version best suited for the home environment.
Fedora replaces the original Red Hat Linux download and retail version.[citation needed] The model is similar to the relationship between Netscape Communicator and Mozilla, or StarOffice and OpenOffice.org, although in this case the resulting commercial product is also fully free software.