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Links 3/1/2014: Linux (Kernel) News

Posted in News Roundup at 10:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kernel Space

Graphics Stack

  • NVIDIA Optimus Linux Power Battery Tests
  • Intel Pentium G3220 On Linux
  • Intel Celeron, Pentium Haswell HD Graphics On Mesa 10.1-devel
  • X Server Security Disaster: “It’s Worse Than It Looks”

    There’s X.Org Server security vulnerabilities — even for vulnerabilities going back two decades — from time to time and in related components of the Linux graphics stack. Parts of the X.Org stack can be in fairly rough shape given the age of X11, but a very poor picture of it was painted at the Chaos Communication Congress. It was stated that the X.Org security is even worse than it looks.

    At the 30th Chaos Communication Congress (CCC) last week in Germany, Ilja van Sprundel, a security researcher who previously reported X.Org vulnerabilities, gave a presentation. Covered in the presentation at the very well known CCC conference in Germany were client-side issues and then an entire half of the presentation devoted to the X.Org Server.

  • More Changes Coming For DirectFB 1.8

    While most of the Linux desktop world is focused around Wayland, X11, and Mir for the basis of the display technologies, DirectFB has continued marching forward and picked up many features this year and there will be another batch of features presented soon with DirectFB 1.8.

  • Intel Releases A Boatload Of Haswell Documentation

    As an extra holiday present for Linux and open-source fans, Intel has quietly released a large batch of new programming documentation that covers their latest-generation Haswell graphics cores. The new “programmer’s reference manuals” cover the 2013 Haswell HD Graphics, Iris Graphics, and Iris Pro Graphics. This massive batch of documentation is spread across twelve volumes and does document their hardware registers.

  • X.Org Server 1.16 Planned For A July Debut
  • Wayland’s Weston Was Rapidly On The Rise This Year

    After yesterday recapping Mesa’s development this year and LLVM’s growing development, up today are some statistics concerning Wayland and its Weston compositor this year from the Git side.

  • Features Coming To Wayland, Weston 1.4

    Last week was marked by the first Wayland/Weston 1.4 Alpha release ahead of the planned general availability in January. For those that aren’t up to date on all of the development activity, I’ve now had the time go through and highlight all of the major changes that landed in Git.

  • Intel’s Beignet OpenCL Is Still Slowly Baking

    While Intel’s open-source OpenGL Linux driver improved a lot in 2013, sadly not advancing as much is the Intel OpenCL Linux driver for GPGPU support.

    As covered by several Phoronix articles, Intel’s work to deliver (open-source) OpenCL support to the Linux desktop that can take advantage of Ivy Bridge and Haswell graphics cores is Beignet. Beignet still seems to be rather an after-thought and not a big focus of the Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers; most Beignet activity is still done by Intel China developers.

  • 2013 Was A Stellar Year For Mesa
  • The Vivante Mesa Driver Is Still Brewing

    Going on for a while now has been the “etnaviv” driver project to create an open-source user-space graphics driver for the Vivante GC embedded GPUs. Work has slowed up to the Git repository as of late, but there still is the yet-to-be-mainlined Mesa classic driver.

  • X.Org Server 1.15 Release Has Several New Features

    While X.Org Server 1.15 was delayed from its September release target over having no new features at the time, the final release of X.Org Server 1.15 is now available.

  • NVIDIA Optimus Linux Power Battery Tests
  • Intel Broadwell Support Continues To Land For Linux

    Intel Broadwell support continues to be tidied up within the Intel Mesa DRI and DRM kernel drivers to hopefully make for a smooth launch of Intel’s next-generation processors within a few months time.

  • xorg-server
  • It’s Easy Getting Intel Graphics To Work On SteamOS

    While Valve only advertises NVIDIA graphics driver support in the SteamOS Beta released on Friday, I already found that AMD Radeon GPUs work with Catalyst on this Debian Linux derived OS. With a simple tweak, Intel HD Graphics can also run quite fine on SteamOS.

  • iFixit opens a Steam Machine prototype, finds a modular computer
  • NVIDIA 2013 Linux Graphics Driver Year-In-Review

    For the ninth year in a row I am issuing year-in-review articles concerning the state of NVIDIA’s (and separately, AMD Catalyst) Linux graphics driver and the accomplishments the driver’s made in the past calendar year along with benchmarks of all notable driver releases this year. NVIDIA’s made a lot of progress on the Linux front this year, especially for any Linux gaming stakeholder, so let’s get started on our 2013 NVIDIA Linux Year-In-Review.

  • Intel Haswell Linux Performance Improved A Lot In 2013

    With the end of the year quickly approaching, at Phoronix I have been re-testing all of the Linux graphics drivers to see how the performance has changed in 2013 and the features added/removed over the calendar year. I’ve been doing these annual Linux driver yearly recaps going back to 2005 when Linux GPU drivers were in their infancy compared to Windows. Yesterday I started with the NVIDIA 2013 Linux Year-In-Review of their first-rate binary driver while today I have some performance tests done for Intel’s latest-generation Haswell graphics hardware.

  • AMD Catalyst 13.12 GPU Driver For Linux Released
  • Mesa Support Comes For Adaptive Vsync
  • X.Org Server: 1,047 Warnings Reduced To Zero

    Keith Packard has been working on an X.Org Server clean-up of the aging code-base and he’s managed to reduce the number of generated warnings down to zero.

    With the X.Org Server code originating from the X Server code-base that’s been under development for the past 25 years, there’s lots of crufty old code still present that was written before ANSI C was even standardized. Over time, the code has gotten out of shape and doesn’t comply with today’s best practices.


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