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SubjectRe: [RFC] drm/atomic+msm: add helper to implement legacy dirtyfb
On Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 9:30 AM, Thomas Hellstrom <> wrote:
> On 04/04/2018 11:56 AM, Daniel Vetter wrote:
>> On Wed, Apr 04, 2018 at 11:10:08AM +0200, Thomas Hellstrom wrote:
>>> On 04/04/2018 10:43 AM, Daniel Vetter wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Apr 04, 2018 at 10:22:21AM +0200, Thomas Hellstrom wrote:
>>>>> Hi,
>>>>> On 04/04/2018 08:58 AM, Daniel Vetter wrote:
>>>>>> On Wed, Apr 4, 2018 at 12:42 AM, Rob Clark <>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> Add an atomic helper to implement dirtyfb support. This is needed to
>>>>>>> support DSI command-mode panels with x11 userspace (ie. when we can't
>>>>>>> rely on pageflips to trigger a flush to the panel).
>>>>>>> To signal to the driver that the async atomic update needs to
>>>>>>> synchronize with fences, even though the fb didn't change, the
>>>>>>> drm_atomic_state::dirty flag is added.
>>>>>>> Signed-off-by: Rob Clark <>
>>>>>>> ---
>>>>>>> Background: there are a number of different folks working on getting
>>>>>>> upstream kernel working on various different phones/tablets with qcom
>>>>>>> SoC's.. many of them have command mode panels, so we kind of need a
>>>>>>> way to support the legacy dirtyfb ioctl for x11 support.
>>>>>>> I know there is work on a proprer non-legacy atomic property for
>>>>>>> userspace to communicate dirty-rect(s) to the kernel, so this can
>>>>>>> be improved from triggering a full-frame flush once that is in
>>>>>>> place. But we kinda needa a stop-gap solution.
>>>>>>> I had considered an in-driver solution for this, but things get a
>>>>>>> bit tricky if userspace ands up combining dirtyfb ioctls with page-
>>>>>>> flips, because we need to synchronize setting various CTL.FLUSH bits
>>>>>>> with setting the CTL.START bit. (ie. really all we need to do for
>>>>>>> cmd mode panels is bang CTL.START, but is this ends up racing with
>>>>>>> pageflips setting FLUSH bits, then bad things.) The easiest soln
>>>>>>> is to wrap this up as an atomic commit and rely on the worker to
>>>>>>> serialize things. Hence adding an atomic dirtyfb helper.
>>>>>>> I guess at least the helper, with some small addition to translate
>>>>>>> and pass-thru the dirty rect(s) is useful to the final atomic dirty-
>>>>>>> rect property solution. Depending on how far off that is, a stop-
>>>>>>> gap solution could be useful.
>>>>>> Adding Noralf, who iirc already posted the full dirty helpers already
>>>>>> somewhere.
>>>>>> -Daniel
>>>>> I've asked Deepak to RFC the core changes suggested for the full dirty
>>>>> blob
>>>>> on dri-devel. It builds on DisplayLink's suggestion, with a simple
>>>>> helper to
>>>>> get to the desired coordinates.
>>>>> One thing to perhaps discuss is how we would like to fit this with
>>>>> front-buffer rendering and the dirty ioctl. In the page-flip context,
>>>>> the
>>>>> dirty rects, like egl's swapbuffer_with_damage is a hint to restrict
>>>>> the
>>>>> damage region that can be fully ignored by the driver, new content is
>>>>> indicated by a new framebuffer.
>>>>> We could do the same for frontbuffer rendering: Either set a dirty flag
>>>>> like
>>>>> you do here, or provide a content_age state member. Since we clear the
>>>>> dirty
>>>>> flag on state copies, I guess that would be sufficient. The blob
>>>>> rectangles
>>>>> would then become a hint to restrict the damage region.
>>>> I'm not entirely following here - I thought for frontbuffer rendering
>>>> the
>>>> dirty rects have always just been a hint, and that the driver was always
>>>> free to re-upload the entire buffer to the screen.
>>>> And through a helper like Rob's proposing here (and have floated around
>>>> in
>>>> different versions already) we'd essentially map a frontbuffer dirtyfb
>>>> call to a fake flip with dirty rect. Manual upload drivers already need
>>>> to
>>>> upload the entire screen if they get a flip, since some userspace uses
>>>> that to flush out frontbuffer rendering (instead of calling dirtyfb).
>>>> So from that pov the new dirty flag is kinda not necessary imo.
>>>>> Another approach would be to have the presence of dirty rects without
>>>>> framebuffer change to indicate frontbuffer rendering.
>>>>> I think I like the first approach best, although it may be tempting for
>>>>> user-space apps to just set the dirty bit instead of providing the full
>>>>> damage region.
>>>> Or I'm not following you here, because I don't quite see the difference
>>>> between dirtyfb and a flip.
>>>> -Daniel
>>> OK, let me rephrase:
>>> From the driver's point-of-view, in the atomic world, new content and
>>> the
>>> need for manual upload is indicated by a change in fb attached to the
>>> plane.
>>> With Rob's patch here, (correct me if I'm wrong) in addition new content
>>> and
>>> the need for manual upload is identified by the dirty flag, (since the fb
>>> stays the same and the driver thus never identifies a page-flip).
>> Hm, I'm not entirely sure Rob's approach is correct. Imo a pageflip
>> (atomic or not) should result in the entire buffer getting uploaded. The
>> dirty flag is kinda redundant, a flip with the same buffer works the same
>> way as a dirtyfb with the entire buffer as the dirty rectangle.
>>> In both these situations, clip rects can provide a hint to restrict the
>>> dirty region.
>>> Now I was thinking about the preferred way for user-space to communicate
>>> front buffer rendering through the atomic ioctl:
>>> 1) Expose a dirty (or content_age property)
>>> 2) Attach a clip-rect blob property.
>>> 3) Fake a page-flip by ping-ponging two frame-buffers pointing to the
>>> same
>>> underlying buffer object.
>>> Are you saying that people are already using 3) and we should keep using
>>> that?
>> I'm saying they're using 3b), flip the same buffer wrapped in the same
>> drm_framebuffer, and expect it to work.
>> The only advantage dirtyfb has is that it allows you to supply the
>> optimized upload rectangles, but at the cost of a funny api (it's working
>> on the fb, not the plane/crtc you want to upload) and lack of drm_event to
>> confirm when exactly you uploaded your stuff. But imo they should be the
>> same underlying operation.
> FWIW, vmwgfx has always treated a dirtyfb as a pure front-buffer like
> rendering operation without any synchronization,

I guess this works for you because dirtyfb msg to host and rendering
msgs to host end up serialized?

> We've guaranteed that only the rects that are present are uploaded, but only
> xf86-video-vmware has taken advantage of this to keep
> CPU- and GPU rendered content apart.
> I think we've at some point run into problems with number of cliprects, (Old
> KDE lock screen?) and use multiple dirtyfb for the same
> update...

fwiw, I haven't really looked at how it works on msm yet.. my memories
from omap where that we could set a single clip-rect on tx to panel
but we'd need to block tx of contents of next clip-rect until previous
was finished, so we kinda have a limit of 1.. and I expect msm (or
most other dsi drivers) are similar.. but I'm expecting that
serializing everything on atomic commit worker helps here


> IIRC the reason for working with the fb, is that it's much easier for
> user-space, which doesn't have to care where planes are scanning out and
> why.
> "Present my new content on any screen that's affected".
> /Thomas

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