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Future directions for Linux graphics


This presentation covers the current state of Linux graphics drivers and what the current plans for the future are. Currently Linux graphics drivers are mainly concentrated around drivers in and framebuffer drivers in the kernel. The current XAA acceleration architecture is showing its age in light of the current usage patterns for desktop toolkits such as GTK and QT. The Linux framebuffer drivers are not near as functional as their respective drivers and have not gained much acceptance on x86 based platforms. By the time of LCA, X11R7 will hopefully be released with a new acceleration architecture called EXA not enabled by default for a few key drivers. EXA is designed to accelerate the composite and render extensions a lot better than the current XAA system. However EXA does not provide the coolness and future potential of using 3D graphics. The Xgl project is an implementation of an X server on top of OpenGL. Current Xgl implementation is Xglx which sits on top of an existing X server with OpenGL support. The next step is Xegl which is a standalone X server built on an standalone OpenGL stack based on EGL. In order to implement Xgl a number of pieces of scaffolding need to be put in place for an open source implementation. The main missing pieces are a DRI memory manager and a mode setting system. The presentation will discuss the current plans in these areas and how the interactions with the kernel will be dealt with.

Dave Airlie

Dave Airlie is an Irish kernel hacker, currently living in Sydney Australia and contracted for graphics work on gaming machines. He currently works on and is the kernel maintainer for the 2.6 DRM.