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Monday, July 18, 2011

About – openChrome

About OpenChrome


The OpenChrome project is committed to providing and supporting fully free and Open Source drivers that take full advantage of the hardware acceleration of  VIA chipsets featuring the VIA UniChrome, UniChrome Pro and Chrome9 integrated graphics processors.

The goals of the OpenChrome project are:

  • To focus on making full use of the features provided by these media-oriented video chipsets.
  • To provide an environment that can be used as a testbed for new features and experimental development.
  • To provide access to well-defined binary packages and easy to install cutting edge source releases.
  • To provide a contact point for developers who are working on related applications.
  • To give our users access to support and enable an interaction that encourages issue reporting.
  • To provide a welcoming, friendly non-threatening environment for all.

The other drivers

VIA closed source driver

The proprietary drivers from VIA contain support for most chipsets,  MPEG2 and  MPEG4 acceleration, but are of low quality and often unstable. In addition, the 3D driver leaves your system open for attack by malicious clients, and furthermore, applications that accelerate MPEG2 and MPEG4 must be run as root, which is a very bad idea if they contain vulnerabilities (and they do). Avoid using these drivers unless you know what you are really doing! The drivers can be found here. Also, these drivers are distribution specific and a driver for different distribution other than yours might not work.

See for reference

VIA open source driver

This driver is a trimmed down version of the closed source driver. There's no MPEG acceleration, some tv encoders have been removed, etc...


xorg driver

The via driver in the Xorg sources was the starting base for the Unichrome driver project, and stable parts of the code have been put back into  Xorg. When most of the developers left the Unichrome project in the spring of 2005, Thomas Hellström and Ivor Hewitt continued the development for Unichrome Pro and updated the Xorg driver accordingly. This driver has support for most Unichrome chipsets and also accelerates 2D, 3D,  Xvideo and MPEG2 decoding using  XvMC. It has basic modesetting and  VBE modesetting for otherwise unsupported hardware. This driver is now deprecated and will not work with recent Xorg releases anyway.

unichrome driver

The founder of the project is continuing development on the Unichrome project on his own. Focus is on code quality rather than features, and features that get in the way of that philosophy are ripped out. This driver does basic modesetting, accelerates 2D, 3D and Xv, but mainly lacks support for Unichrome Pro, Chrome9 and hardware mpeg2 decoding. See Unichrome on sourceforge.


vesa driver

The vesa driver is a generic driver not targeted at any particular vendor or chipset. It will not allow any kind of acceleration and is not guaranteed to work.


Originally called the 'snapshot' release, since it was a snapshot of an experimental branch of the unichrome cvs code, this is a continued development of the open source unichrome driver (from which also incorporates support for the unichrome-pro chipsets. Originally intended as a temporary playground for experimental/unfinished development, this was declared a fork by the owner of the project (itself a fork of the original driver released by VIA). Therefore this project is simply a formalization of that fork. Support for hardware acceleration (XvMC) for all chipsets has subsequently been ripped out of the driver. Therefore your only option if you wish to make use of the acceleration features of your VIA chip with free and open-source drivers is to use this version of the driver.

Go there...

I found this on my System today and I don't remember installing it. Not sure why I would. But I do that allot... Install some App from the Fedora Repositories that looks interesting and then forget to even try it out!:O It could be a Dependency for something that do use. So, I will leave it until I'm sure that I don't need it...


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