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Subject[PATCH v1 2/2] drm/fb-helper: Ignore the value of fb_var_screeninfo.pixclock
Strict requirement of pixclock to be zero breaks support of SDL 1.2
which contains hardcoded table of supported video modes with non-zero
pixclock values[1].

To better understand which pixclock values are considered valid and how
driver should handle these values, I briefly examined few existing fbdev
drivers and documentation in Documentation/fb/. And it looks like there
are no strict rules on that and actual behaviour varies:

* some drivers treat (pixclock == 0) as "use defaults" (uvesafb.c);
* some treat (pixclock == 0) as invalid value which leads to
-EINVAL (clps711x-fb.c);
* some pass converted pixclock value to hardware (uvesafb.c);
* some are trying to find nearest value from predefined table
(vga16fb.c, video_gx.c).

Given this, I believe that it should be safe to just ignore this value if
changing is not supported. It seems that any portable fbdev application
which was not written only for one specific device working under one
specific kernel version should not rely on any particular behaviour of
pixclock anyway.

However, while enabling SDL1 applications to work out of the box when
there is no /etc/fb.modes with valid settings, this change affects the
video mode choosing logic in SDL. Depending on current screen
resolution, contents of /etc/fb.modes and resolution requested by
application, this may lead to user-visible difference (not always):
image will be displayed in a right way, but it will be aligned to the
left instead of center. There is no "right behaviour" here as well, as
emulated fbdev, opposing to old fbdev drivers, simply ignores any
requsts of video mode changes with resolutions smaller than current.

Feel free to NAK this patch if you think that it causes breakage of
user-space =).

The easiest way to reproduce this problem is to install sdl-sopwith[2],
remove /etc/fb.modes file if it exists, and then try to run sopwith
from console without X. At least in Fedora 29, sopwith may be simply
installed from standard repositories.

[1] SDL 1.2.15 source code, src/video/fbcon/SDL_fbvideo.c, vesa_timings

Signed-off-by: Ivan Mironov <>
drivers/gpu/drm/drm_fb_helper.c | 7 ++++++-
1 file changed, 6 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/drivers/gpu/drm/drm_fb_helper.c b/drivers/gpu/drm/drm_fb_helper.c
index aff576c3c4fb..b95a0c23c7c8 100644
--- a/drivers/gpu/drm/drm_fb_helper.c
+++ b/drivers/gpu/drm/drm_fb_helper.c
@@ -1690,9 +1690,14 @@ int drm_fb_helper_check_var(struct fb_var_screeninfo *var,
struct drm_fb_helper *fb_helper = info->par;
struct drm_framebuffer *fb = fb_helper->fb;

- if (var->pixclock != 0 || in_dbg_master())
+ if (in_dbg_master())
return -EINVAL;

+ if (var->pixclock != 0) {
+ DRM_DEBUG("fbdev emulation doesn't support changing the pixel clock, value of pixclock is ignored\n");
+ var->pixclock = 0;
+ }
if ((drm_format_info_block_width(fb->format, 0) > 1) ||
(drm_format_info_block_height(fb->format, 0) > 1))
return -EINVAL;
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