[PATCH v5 6/6] drm/doc: Define KMS atomic state set

André Almeida andrealmeid at igalia.com
Fri Jul 7 22:40:59 UTC 2023

From: Pekka Paalanen <pekka.paalanen at collabora.com>

Specify how the atomic state is maintained between userspace and
kernel, plus the special case for async flips.

Signed-off-by: Pekka Paalanen <pekka.paalanen at collabora.com>
Signed-off-by: André Almeida <andrealmeid at igalia.com>
v4: total rework by Pekka
 Documentation/gpu/drm-uapi.rst | 41 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 41 insertions(+)

diff --git a/Documentation/gpu/drm-uapi.rst b/Documentation/gpu/drm-uapi.rst
index 65fb3036a580..6a1662c08901 100644
--- a/Documentation/gpu/drm-uapi.rst
+++ b/Documentation/gpu/drm-uapi.rst
@@ -486,3 +486,44 @@ and the CRTC index is its position in this array.
 .. kernel-doc:: include/uapi/drm/drm_mode.h
+KMS atomic state
+An atomic commit can change multiple KMS properties in an atomic fashion,
+without ever applying intermediate or partial state changes.  Either the whole
+commit succeeds or fails, and it will never be applied partially. This is the
+fundamental improvement of the atomic API over the older non-atomic API which is
+referred to as the "legacy API".  Applying intermediate state could unexpectedly
+fail, cause visible glitches, or delay reaching the final state.
+An atomic commit can be flagged with DRM_MODE_ATOMIC_TEST_ONLY, which means the
+complete state change is validated but not applied.  Userspace should use this
+flag to validate any state change before asking to apply it. If validation fails
+for any reason, userspace should attempt to fall back to another, perhaps
+simpler, final state.  This allows userspace to probe for various configurations
+without causing visible glitches on screen and without the need to undo a
+probing change.
+The changes recorded in an atomic commit apply on top the current KMS state in
+the kernel. Hence, the complete new KMS state is the complete old KMS state with
+the committed property settings done on top. The kernel will automatically avoid
+no-operation changes, so it is safe and even expected for userspace to send
+redundant property settings.  No-operation changes do not count towards actually
+needed changes, e.g.  setting MODE_ID to a different blob with identical
+contents as the current KMS state shall not be a modeset on its own.
+A "modeset" is a change in KMS state that might enable, disable, or temporarily
+disrupt the emitted video signal, possibly causing visible glitches on screen. A
+modeset may also take considerably more time to complete than other kinds of
+changes, and the video sink might also need time to adapt to the new signal
+properties. Therefore a modeset must be explicitly allowed with the flag
+DRM_MODE_ATOMIC_ALLOW_MODESET.  This in combination with
+DRM_MODE_ATOMIC_TEST_ONLY allows userspace to determine if a state change is
+likely to cause visible disruption on screen and avoid such changes when end
+users do not expect them.
+An atomic commit with the flag DRM_MODE_PAGE_FLIP_ASYNC is allowed to
+effectively change only the FB_ID property on any planes. No-operation changes
+are ignored as always. Changing any other property will cause the commit to be

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