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Old 11-29-2018, 06:20 AM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2018
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Direct Rendering Manager interaction with proprietary graphics drivers/blobs


I'm trying to understand how the Linux DRM interacts with proprietary graphics drivers/blobs.

Looking at various online resources, I came across what seems to be contradictory information.

The Wikipedia page on DRM states that "The DRM gets exclusive access to the GPU, and it's responsible for initializing and maintaining the command queue, memory, and any other hardware resource. Programs wishing to use the GPU send requests to DRM, which acts as an arbitrator and takes care to avoid possible conflicts."

Two diagrams are also presented:

In addition, states: "Hardware that is currently available for PC-class machines will lock up if more than one entity is accessing the hardware"

However, states the following about proprietary graphics drivers: "The blob has its own kernel interfaces, which are not of such quality that they will likely ever be part of the mainline kernel ó they are specific to the blob and donít care about the DRI/DRM infrastructure."

Since the proprietary driver doesn't interact with the DRM, doesn't this mean that using a proprietary driver should *always* generate conflicts? (my understanding is that the DRM is part of the kernel, so it's always present)

Could someone please let me know what I'm missing?

Old 11-29-2018, 09:41 AM   #2
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Registered: Jan 2006
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You've done a lot of reading, but if you're the software type, you'd want to read more technical stuff. My simple understanding is:

OSS: kernel module, OpenGL libs & Mesa, xserver & X DRM driver generate graphics.

Proprietary: Their kernel module, their OpenGL libs, xserver & their DRM driver generate faster graphics. I'm not sure if Mesa is involved at all. It may be.

I treat it as a Black Box, because whether I know or not isn't going to make my (sad) graphics go faster. Is it going to make yours?


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