Intel removes support for XMir

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Intel removes support for XMir

Postby xenopeek on Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:04 pm

Intel had plans earlier this week to put support in its driver for Canonical's XMir (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=n ... px=MTQ1MzU), but today has reverted on those plans (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=n ... px=MTQ1NjY): "We do not condone or support Canonical in the course of action they have chosen, and will not carry XMir patches upstream."

That sounds like bad news for Canonical. Phoronix's Michael Larabel summarizes the impact as follows:
Canonical will now need to carry the XMir support out-of-tree from the xf86-video-intel driver. Canonical is also carrying patched versions of Mesa, xf86-video-ati, and xf86-video-nouveau for being able to support Mir/XMir in Ubuntu 13.10. The binary AMD and NVIDIA graphics drivers also remain incompatible with Mir.

As I understand it from the forum discussion on the linked article, Canonical developers will need to make changes to each upstream release of the open source Intel, AMD and Nvidia drivers, and of Mesa, to make those work with Mir/XMir. While Debian based distros are of course no strangers to meddling with upstream releases before packaging, this sounds more involving.
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Re: Intel removes support for XMir

Postby tdockery97 on Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:21 pm

That means big trouble for Ubuntu users who benefit from using the proprietary graphics drivers. They may be left with only two choices. Suffer reduced graphics capability (and maybe hotter laptops), or switch to a distro that plans to follow Wayland instead.
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Re: Intel removes support for XMir

Postby xenopeek on Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:37 pm

Users of proprietary graphics drivers (aka binary drivers) were already in trouble; neither AMD nor Nvidia supports Mir/XMir in foreseeable future in their binary drivers--so those users were already facing the choice of running Ubuntu 13.10 with X.org (the fallback Canonical keeps in place for at least the next LTS) if they wanted to use the binary driver, or switching to using the open source driver, or switching to Wayland. So this news doesn't really impact users of AMD or Nvidia graphics cards.

AFAIK, AMD and Nvidia both also don't have any plans to support Wayland in their binary drivers. If you need the binary driver, you probably will be sticking with X.org for a long time. If Ubuntu based distros are all going either Mir/XMir (like Ubuntu and Xubuntu) or Wayland (like Kubuntu and Lubuntu), and after the next LTS indeed Ubuntu drops X.org, then there will be more conservative distros that are likely to continue to carry X.org--like Slackware probably. Linux Mint of course has an interest to keep binary drivers working for AMD and Nvidia owners, so I'm sure the Linux Mint developers will come up with some contingency plan if this doom comes to pass...
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Re: Intel removes support for XMir

Postby Monsta on Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:48 pm

xenopeek wrote:and after the next LTS indeed Ubuntu drops X.org

Did Shuttleworth or anyone from the staff really say something on that?
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Re: Intel removes support for XMir

Postby tdockery97 on Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:49 pm

My laptop with ATI Radeon HD 6310 graphics runs very well using the opensource drivers. But it does run noticeably cooler if I have the proprietary drivers installed. I guess I can live with it either way. My guess is that Mint will stay with the future choice that does not involve a mass exodus of users.

I really think Mir is a misstep on Canonical's part.
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Re: Intel removes support for XMir

Postby xenopeek on Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:12 pm

Monsta wrote:Did Shuttleworth or anyone from the staff really say something on that?

Steve Langasek confirmed X.org would remain in the repositories for the next LTS, according to the Lubuntu devs: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubunt ... 37419.html

Another thread on the ubuntu-devel mailing list back from June about this: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubunt ... html#37250
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Re: Intel removes support for XMir

Postby Monsta on Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:56 am

Well, then it doesn't look like X.org is being dropped. It will remain in the repos and will be used by some Ubuntu flavors, so I guess there's no need to panic. :)
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Re: Intel removes support for XMir

Postby Crewp on Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:09 am

Monsta wrote:Well, then it doesn't look like X.org is being dropped. It will remain in the repos and will be used by some Ubuntu flavors, so I guess there's no need to panic. :)

Very true Monsta :)
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Re: Intel removes support for XMir

Postby dee. on Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:02 pm

tdockery97 wrote:That means big trouble for Ubuntu users who benefit from using the proprietary graphics drivers. They may be left with only two choices. Suffer reduced graphics capability (and maybe hotter laptops), or switch to a distro that plans to follow Wayland instead.


All that is happened is that Intel refused to maintain a patch that only benefits one company's one-distro solution. All it really means is that Canonical has to take up maintainership for the patch themselves, do it downstream. The practical effect to the user is absolutely zero, they will get the patched x driver, whether the patch comes from Intel or Canonical.

xenopeek wrote:AFAIK, AMD and Nvidia both also don't have any plans to support Wayland in their binary drivers.


AFAIK, there's been talk in both Nvidia and AMD on providing EGL drivers. No official promises, but it's not like they've outright refused to do it, either. My guess is they will offer them by the time RHEL adopts Wayland, at the latest.
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Re: Intel removes support for XMir

Postby craig10x on Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:36 am

Right...Canonical will take care of the necessary patches so everything should be fine and it should make no difference at all to the user... :wink:
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