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Mali GPU graphics drivers

Posted by gnexus 
Mali GPU graphics drivers
July 07, 2012 07:50AM
We need to get the Mali GPU working in GNU/Linux on the A10.

Here are some links to help people get started:





Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2012 08:13AM by gnexus.
Re: Mali GPU graphics drivers
July 12, 2012 08:35AM
Re: Mali GPU graphics drivers
July 22, 2012 04:53PM

It looks like progress is being made:


Sadly not a huge improvement in performance but definitely moving in the right direction.
Re: Mali GPU graphics drivers
July 23, 2012 06:14AM
Unfortunately the guy in your link above has done absolutely nothing notable whatsoever. He is actually quite a way behind most people with his progress. The only thing he has done is get the Mali modules to load. We have been doing that for quite a while now here. Our kernel config already has the modules enabled in it. The rootfs and SD card images here already load the Mali modules. That is not the issue in getting Mali working in GNU/Linux distros like Debian and Ubuntu.

It does not help to simply enable and load the Mali modules. They are useless unless there is a userspace library that can take advantage of the Mali kernel driver. Unfortunately nobody has that working for X yet.
Re: Mali GPU graphics drivers
July 24, 2012 10:27PM
Hi, I'm "that guy" in the link above. I'm glad to hear you think I'm wasting my time.

Just for what it's worth -- the instructions I gave give you a working X11 Mali driver. I'm not just loading the Mali modules from the kernel.

Unfortunately this driver still doesn't provide 3D acceleration, but it's slightly closer to working than just using the default X11 framebuffer driver like everyone else is doing.

I know it's not much, and I'm sure some people out there are doing real development on this stuff, but it's not visible. I couldn't find a single downloadable, working setup that achieved that, and building a working kernel + modules + drivers for the MK802 A10 device is non-trivial - nothing works out of the box.
Re: Mali GPU graphics drivers
July 24, 2012 11:29PM
Thank you for you post. I apologize if I was a bit harsh. It also appears I was incorrect. So please accept my apologies.

The link in your blog is what caused my mistake. It took me to the part of the page at Miniand where you are probing the modules in the bash script. The part above that, which I do see now after scrolling up, is the important part. But that part gets hidden in my browser from the blog link and I did not see it before. I did not know you were loading a GL Library from somewhere. I'm very sorry I overlooked that. It would be appreciated by many people if the link in your blog took us up a bit on the page so that part is not overlooked by anyone.

Congratulations on your accomplishment! It is good to see and I will have to try it myself. It appears that all we need to do here is load the GL library. I hope you do not mind if we link to it here. Our kernel already has Mali and DRM enabled.

Also, why did you enable fbcon in your kernel config? Fbcon is broken. No need to delete it with our kernel. It is not there.

I again apologize for the oversight on your accomplishment. Please accept my most sincere apologies.
Re: Mali GPU graphics drivers
July 24, 2012 11:40PM
Ah, yeah, the fbcon thing was because I was l curious to see how it was broken, and then forgot to remove it from the image I uploaded too.

My setup is based on the r2p4 x11 driver; if you can get it working with the r3p0 version, I'd be interested to hear your experiences.
Re: Mali GPU graphics drivers
July 24, 2012 11:56PM
Here is the X11 link at Rhombus. Is that where you started from?

I've been planning to mess with the X drivers. But I've been so busy getting our kernel configured and getting the OS images updated I have not been able to get to it yet. I am a big MythTV fan. That is one reason I got the Mele. So anything that helps me along to getting playable 1080p on it is a good thing. So I appreciate very much your info. I have a hard time keeping up with all the latest developments.

Currently my goal is to get the updated Wheezy and Ubuntu SD images done here. That is almost completed and they should be posted today or tomorrow. After that I need to work on an initramfs for our kernel. Once those items are done I will try out the X drivers. Sorry that I can't get to it sooner. I would MUCH rather be trying to get X working better than doing OS images. But each thing has its time and place and we really need the initramfs.

If we all try to work together things will get done much faster.
Re: Mali GPU graphics drivers
July 25, 2012 12:00AM
Sadly, playable 1080p (or even 720p) video isn't going to come along with Mali.
For that we need the Cedar libraries, but Allwinner haven't been forthcoming with open-sourcing that. Apparently Gimli from XBMC has made some progress, but hasn't pushed anything back to the open-source repositories so far.
Re: Mali GPU graphics drivers
July 25, 2012 12:17AM
That was my understanding and why I currently have other priorities ;)

There seem to be lots of people working on it. So I'm hopeful. It would be a fun project and challenge if/when I have enough time to actually work on it.. In the meantime there's always Android and 2160p or PPTV.
Re: Mali GPU graphics drivers
July 25, 2012 12:28AM
If anybody is interested in helping get the video working better mnemoc has some Cedar code here in his Github.
Re: Mali GPU graphics drivers
September 20, 2012 09:00PM
Me, hno and techn from arm-netbook found some time and dig into x11/dri2 problems that we had with Mali-400. As a result I wrote a section in this article http://linux-sunxi.org/Mali400 desribing manual and automated installations of the X11/DRI2 drivers, issues with proprietary libraries and other info.

As far as I know, you guys here have your own kernel detached from amery's github, so to be able to test you need to commit this https://github.com/amery/linux-allwinner/commit/63861352eaf0b6029619bef864e627e6998c82ef and this https://github.com/amery/linux-allwinner/commit/bd7c9b5e2487c3f65a21d3992b1081995879e3ee to your tree.

Answering question that will eventually come up: why you need to use partially working x11/dri2 drivers instead of plain fbdev? Answer is pretty simple, mali-400 x11/dri2 drivers from ARM support various stuff like DPMS. People asked for this.

Best regards.

P.S.: I also posted this to a10linux.org forum because having two forums with basically same people is sort of confusing from outside view.
Re: Mali GPU graphics drivers
September 25, 2012 01:20PM

having two forums with basically same people is sort of confusing from outside view

Very strongly agreed ;(

Personally I consider this one as the "beta" version of the other one. I wanted it to work here so we would not need to create a new site. But due to Jeff's bandwidth limitations he could not host all the images, etc. After only 1 month a10linux.org is already averaging 10-15+ GB per day, and the Debian/Fedora repos are not even up yet.

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