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+What is udlfb?
+This is a driver for DisplayLink USB 2.0 era graphics chips.
+DisplayLink chips provide simple hline/blit operations with some compression,
+pairing that with a hardware framebuffer (16MB) on the other end of the
+USB wire. That hardware framebuffer is able to drive the VGA, DVI, or HDMI
+monitor with no CPU involvement until a pixel has to change.
+The CPU or other local resource does all the rendering; optinally compares the
+result with a local shadow of the remote hardware framebuffer to identify
+the minimal set of pixels that have changed; and compresses and sends those
+pixels line-by-line via USB bulk transfers.
+Because of the efficiency of bulk transfers and a protocol on top that
+does not require any acks - the effect is very low latency that
+can support surprisingly high resolutions with good performance for
+non-gaming and non-video applications.
+Mode setting, EDID read, etc are other bulk or control transfers. Mode
+setting is very flexible - able to set nearly arbitrary modes from any timing.
+Advantages of USB graphics in general:
+ * Ability to add a nearly arbitrary number of displays to any USB 2.0
+ capable system. On Linux, number of displays is limited by fbdev interface
+ (FB_MAX is currently 32). Of course, all USB devices on the same
+ host controller share the same 480Mbs USB 2.0 interface.
+Advantages of supporting DisplayLink chips with kernel framebuffer interface:
+ * The actual hardware functionality of DisplayLink chips matches nearly
+ one-to-one with the fbdev interface, making the driver quite small and
+ tight relative to the functionality it provides.
+ * X servers and other applications can use the standard fbdev interface
+ from user mode to talk to the device, without needing to know anything
+ about USB or DisplayLink's protocol at all. A "displaylink" X driver
+ and a slightly modified "fbdev" X driver are among those that already do.
+ * Fbdev's mmap interface assumes a real hardware framebuffer is mapped.
+ In the case of USB graphics, it is just an allocated (virtual) buffer.
+ Writes need to be detected and encoded into USB bulk transfers by the CPU.
+ Accurate damage/changed area notifications work around this problem.
+ In the future, hopefully fbdev will be enhanced with an small standard
+ interface to allow mmap clients to report damage, for the benefit
+ of virtual or remote framebuffers.
+ * Fbdev does not arbitrate client ownership of the framebuffer well.
+ * Fbcon assumes the first framebuffer it finds should be consumed for console.
+ * It's not clear what the future of fbdev is, given the rise of KMS/DRM.
+How to use it?
+Udlfb, when loaded as a module, will match against all USB 2.0 generation
+DisplayLink chips (Alex and Ollie family). It will then attempt to read the EDID
+of the monitor, and set the best common mode between the DisplayLink device
+and the monitor's capabilities.
+If the DisplayLink device is successful, it will paint a "green screen" which
+means that from a hardware and fbdev software perspective, everything is good.
+At that point, a /dev/fb? interface will be present for user-mode applications
+to open and begin writing to the framebuffer of the DisplayLink device using
+standard fbdev calls. Note that if mmap() is used, by default the user mode
+application must send down damage notifcations to trigger repaints of the
+changed regions. Alternatively, udlfb can be recompiled with experimental
+defio support enabled, to support a page-fault based detection mechanism
+that can work without explicit notifcation.
+The most common client of udlfb is xf86-video-displaylink or a modified
+xf86-video-fbdev X server. These servers have no real DisplayLink specific
+code. They write to the standard framebuffer interface and rely on udlfb
+to do its thing. The one extra feature they have is the ability to report
+rectangles from the X DAMAGE protocol extension down to udlfb via udlfb's
+damage interface (which will hopefully be standardized for all virtual
+framebuffers that need damage info). These damage notifications allow
+udlfb to efficiently process the changed pixels.
+Special configuration for udlfb is usually unnecessary. There are a few
+From the command line, pass options to modprobe
+modprobe udlfb fb_defio=0 console=1 shadow=1
+Or modify options on the fly at /sys/module/udlfb/parameters directory via
+sudo nano fb_defio
+change the parameter in place, and save the file.
+Unplug/replug USB device to apply with new settings
+Or for permanent option, create file like /etc/modprobe.d/udlfb.conf with text
+options udlfb fb_defio=0 console=1 shadow=1
+Accepted boolean options:
+fb_defio Make use of the fb_defio (CONFIG_FB_DEFERRED_IO) kernel
+ module to track changed areas of the framebuffer by page faults.
+ Standard fbdev applications that use mmap but that do not
+ report damage, should be able to work with this enabled.
+ Disable when running with X server that supports reporting
+ changed regions via ioctl, as this method is simpler,
+ more stable, and higher performance.
+ default: fb_defio=1
+console Allow fbcon to attach to udlfb provided framebuffers.
+ Can be disabled if fbcon and other clients
+ (e.g. X with --shared-vt) are in conflict.
+ default: console=1
+shadow Allocate a 2nd framebuffer to shadow what's currently across
+ the USB bus in device memory. If any pixels are unchanged,
+ do not transmit. Spends host memory to save USB transfers.
+ Enabled by default. Only disable on very low memory systems.
+ default: shadow=1
+Udlfb creates several files in /sys/class/graphics/fb?
+Where ? is the sequential framebuffer id of the particular DisplayLink device
+edid If a valid EDID blob is written to this file (typically
+ by a udev rule), then udlfb will use this EDID as a
+ backup in case reading the actual EDID of the monitor
+ attached to the DisplayLink device fails. This is
+ especially useful for fixed panels, etc. that cannot
+ communicate their capabilities via EDID. Reading
+ this file returns the current EDID of the attached
+ monitor (or last backup value written). This is
+ useful to get the EDID of the attached monitor,
+ which can be passed to utilities like parse-edid.
+metrics_bytes_rendered 32-bit count of pixel bytes rendered
+metrics_bytes_identical 32-bit count of how many of those bytes were found to be
+ unchanged, based on a shadow framebuffer check
+metrics_bytes_sent 32-bit count of how many bytes were transferred over
+ USB to communicate the resulting changed pixels to the
+ hardware. Includes compression and protocol overhead
+metrics_cpu_kcycles_used 32-bit count of CPU cycles used in processing the
+ above pixels (in thousands of cycles).
+metrics_reset Write-only. Any write to this file resets all metrics
+ above to zero. Note that the 32-bit counters above
+ roll over very quickly. To get reliable results, design
+ performance tests to start and finish in a very short
+ period of time (one minute or less is safe).
+Bernie Thompson <email@example.com>