DRM, Graphics & X11 (Xorg)

Introduction

This page and all the linked articles presents the status and directions of all the low-level components making FreeBSD usable as a desktop.

This includes:

It does not include:


Other pages in this namespace:

Development

Developer information, including tasks in progress and similar, is available in the developer section.

TODO

Tasks available to contributers

Task

Developer

Status

Comment

Get Intel GPU Tools working

Initial port exists

Outdated initial port here

Team Members

who

area of responsibility/knowledge

zeising@

Everything ports related, team meetings, etc.

manu@

mesa, drm drivers

bapt@

ports, a bit of everything

imp@

core liason, contact him before committing maintainer timeouts

jkim@

ports, member emeritus

kwm@

ports, member emeritus

miwi@

ports, member emeritus

Contact

Hardware Support

The tables below are not an exhaustive list of supported hardware. Hardware is only listed if and when it has been explicitly tested/confirmed by developers and/or users. Graphics hardware missing from these tables may or may not work. If you have tested hardware that is not on the list, please report the results.

About GPU codenames vs. marketing names

The entries below are misleading because they use the marketing names as the "key". This table needs to be rewritten using GPU codenames as the key.

If your GPU is not supported

If your GPU is not supported by FreeBSD, you can fallback to VESA (if your computer uses a BIOS) or SCFB (if your computer uses UEFI). For the latter case, you can find instructions to setup SCFB in a dedicated article.

Intel Integrated Graphics (aka HD Graphics)

Intel HD Graphics refers to the class of graphics chips that are integrated on the same die as an Intel CPU. This Wikipedia entry provides a good overview of the various variations and names used for generations of Intel HD Graphics. You will find Intel HD Graphics chips on many modern laptop and desktop systems that ship with an Intel processor. As far as FreeBSD goes, and starting with 12.0-RELEASE, one should use the drm-kmod port.

It is supplied as a port, and provide a kernel module to enable the integrated graphics chip on Intel CPUs. Generally speaking if you have a system with one of these graphics adapters it is suggested to install the drm-kmod metaport, which should work well on all systems. This code is under active development and allows us to track more closely the drivers present in the Linux kernel.

This page contains a table should illustrate the state of various Intel chipsets.

Furthermore, if you notice high CPU usage or excessive tearing while viewing HD video it is reported that installing the libva-intel-driver is helpful, as it enables VAAPI support on these systems. This package should be installed in addition to the drm-kmod, mesa-libs and mesa-dri packages.

Example Configuration For Intel system

A common configuration is a user who has an Intel laptop with a Kabylake Intel i915 HD Graphics chip. To enable the chipset one would follow these instructions:

Note: For systems that are able to take advantage of this updated DRM code you do not need to prepare an xorg.conf configuration file, and installing the xf86-video-intel port is optional. Our Xorg should autodetect the driver, and utilize the modesetting Xorg driver and glamor driver.

AMD Graphics

AMD based GPUs are also supported using the drm-kmod port or package. Unlike the i915 Intel graphics driver there are two separate modules available for AMD devices based on their generation. The modules are named:

To view the AMD graphics support matrix view this page. The Xorg project also has a great resource on decoding AMD marketing names to engineering friendly names here.

It is important to note that there is currently a conflict with both AMD drivers and the EFI frame buffer. The current workaround, when booting via UEFI on these systems, is to disable the frame buffer via /boot/loader.conf:

hw.syscons.disable=1

This will have the side effect of there being no console output until either the amdgpu or radeonkms kernel driver is loaded. Please see this Github issue for more context.

AMD GPU

AMD GPU is the kernel module that can be used to support post-HD7000 or Tahiti GPUs. To enable graphics on these systems you would do the following:

Radeon KMS

Radeon KMS is a distinct driver intended for older AMD based GPUs that are available in pre-HD7000 or Tahiti GPUs. To enable graphics on systems with these GPUs you would do the following:

Virtual Machines

VMware

Experimental support for accelerated graphics in FreeBSD as guest OS in VMware was added to drm-devel-kmod.

Known bugs:

VirtualBox

A DRM driver for VirtualBox is going to be added to the Linux source tree in the next coming minor versions. Once it's there, a FreeBSD port is planned. Stay tuned here or check out the blog for updates.

Reporting

Issues / Bugs

If encountering problems in either the kernel driver or the in-development ports, post the following information to the mailing list

Debugging Tips

Test Results

If everything works, let us know on the mailing list. Your information helps us confirm which hardware/software configurations work well.

Please include:

If your laptop works well with FreeBSD, add it to the Laptops page.

Known Issues

Wayland

Wayland has its own page.

OpenCL

OpenCL has its own page.

Legacy Documentation

There is a copy of the previous iteration of this page available here. Hopefully no critical information was left out during this migration, but please notify the team if anything was missed!

Meeting Notes

Here's a handy link to the last couple of Graphics Team meetings:

July 12, 2021

Preferred Policies on Patches

In the past, the FreeBSD graphics stack got far behind the upstream sources. One of the main reasons for this was that as a project we'd been terrible about getting changes accepted upstream (or even trying to upstream them). These technical issues lead to much frustration and exacerbated many teamwork issues with the stack. For a time, things were somewhat dysfunctional. However, the graphics teams has caught up on all this technical debt by upstreaming changes; integrating Linux compatible APIs (like evdev); or by writing adapters to make FreeBSD-specific things like devd look like their Linux counterparts.

To avoid a repeat of this accumulation of technical debt, and all the issues that go with it, the graphics teams has a number of preferred practices it likes to follow. Generally we prefer using released versions of the elements of FreeBSD graphics stack. Issues come up between releases, and if the patches are accepted by upstream, then we'll include them. When there are issues that are being sorted out upstream, we prefer to let that run its course because they are usually the experts, though exceptions are made when reasonable. At the very least, we'd like any patches submitted upstream before they are included in a port to strongly encouraging upstreaming. Finally, when new features are implemented, there's a strong preference for using Linux and other APIs upstream sources are using over inventing something new for FreeBSD where possible.

We also desire to have FreeBSD be in the CI process for as many upstream sources as possible, though currently many do not yet have FreeBSD CI support. Helping upstreams get better CI integration will help us maintain the velocity of releases as FreeBSD is more likely to work and needs less regression testing on updates by us.


CategoryProject CategoryTeam CategoryPorts

Graphics (last edited 2021-07-15T17:30:34+0000 by WarnerLosh)