Can we get the PowerPC config changed?

o jordan ojordan12345 at
Wed Apr 18 12:47:56 UTC 2012

Hi list,

Is it too late to get some config changes into the 12.04 PowerPC kernels please?  It would vastly improve the ease of use of Ubuntu/Lubuntu/Kubuntu/etc if the ATI and radeon framebuffer modules were built back into the kernel:


I've had this logged as a bug since early March ( ).  The request for the radeon framebuffer ( ) has been in since May last year!!!  The bug has been logged on the QA tracker ( ) and is the reason testcases have failed.  I've also already mentioned the problem to the list when the PowerPC kernels were discussed last month ( ).

I've tracked down when the framebuffers were removed and the reason given ( ).  It doesn't really make sense to remove FB_ATY and FB_ATY128 since KMS is not available on pre-radeon ATI cards.  The lack of the FB_ATY128 framebuffer does, however, stop the r128 driver working on PowerPC.  Unlike for other architectures, with PowerPC the r128 card expects there to be a framebuffer in place (see "UseFBDev" option of manual ).  It doesn't work with the openfirmware framebuffer.  This causes computers with a rage 128 card to always boot into a low graphics mode or worse a terminal.  Building back in the framebuffer would solve this problem.

The radeonfb module does stop KMS working and I can see why it was removed for this reason (although it is very easy to turn off).  However, at the same time KMS was defaulted to off ( ).  So currently the kernel is not setup for UMS or KMS under radeon.

I've emailed the PowerPC kernel list to check the current status of KMS under PowerPC radeon.  They confirm it is largely currently broken ( ).  It crashes with AGP and there is no suspend.

Currently, the only way to get suspend working with a radeon card is to use the radeonfb framebuffer.  It is possible to use the radeonfb module, but to do so requires the editing of several files.  This is beyond the ability of many people.  It would be much easier if this framebuffer is built in as suspend would just work out-of-the-box.  I'm already fed up of explaining to people on the UbuntuForums how to solve their suspend problems in 12.04.  People are walking away from Ubuntu and its derivatives because of the perceived lack of suspend.

It is also worth noting that some people seem to loose their tty consoles when the above framebuffers are not loaded.

In the bug 949288 report  I also asked for CONFIG_DRM_RADEON_KMS=y.  It would have made the setup almost the same as 10.04 (and other distributions) and I couldn't see it would cause any major problems (because of the presence of radeonfb).   However, I cannot justify lifting the kernel freeze on CONFIG_DRM_RADEON_KMS.  There is not enough time now to test this particular change.

If some KMS patch comes out of the linuxppc-dev KMS discussion would it be possible to get this eventually in 12.04 too?


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