Unleavened
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Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:44 am

Hello.

I am a heavy user of the Raspberry Pi 2 & 3, and other single board computers ("altboards"). I mostly used the devices as different servers (because they are quite power efficient and perform well enough for me). Recently, I was considering buying a Raspberry Pi 4, but I am not sure if it is the right time yet. I have a few concerns which I would like to address first to determine the answer.

Ubuntu
As my primary goal is to build servers, I would like to use Ubuntu. This is the main reason for me to buy a Raspberry Pi 4. As there was official support for Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi 3, by Canonical, I assume that there is (or will) be support for it on the Raspberry Pi 4 as well. I've searched for this, but the latest of them being made in July. So, is Ubuntu Server available for the Raspberry Pi 4, as of now, and if not, is there any progress being made on porting Ubuntu to the Pi 4 (perhaps, do we have an alpha/beta build, or an announced release date)? (Does the Raspberry Pi 3 Ubuntu image work on the Pi 4?)

SSD boot
Using an SSD card is fine for maker projects, but for a server, I would like to use an SSD, as one of (if not the) biggest bottleneck of the Raspberry Pi's speed. The previous question applies here too, is there any progress on doing just that? I would like to use an SSD to boot Ubuntu for speed, and storage. Is there any official (or unofficial) way to achieve this?

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B+
I have a feeling that an enhanced model of the Pi 4 could come out soon, due to previous problems with the temperature of Pi 4's CPU. Maybe it won't be called B+ (see: Raspberry Pi Zero versions), but you get the point. Do you think this is a silly thought, or might I be into something here?

Thanks for any help.

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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:51 am

Unleavened wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:44 am
Hello.

I am a heavy user of the Raspberry Pi 2 & 3, and other single board computers ("altboards"). I mostly used the devices as different servers (because they are quite power efficient and perform well enough for me). Recently, I was considering buying a Raspberry Pi 4, but I am not sure if it is the right time yet. I have a few concerns which I would like to address first to determine the answer.

Ubuntu
As my primary goal is to build servers, I would like to use Ubuntu. This is the main reason for me to buy a Raspberry Pi 4. As there was official support for Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi 3, by Canonical, I assume that there is (or will) be support for it on the Raspberry Pi 4 as well. I've searched for this, but the latest of them being made in July. So, is Ubuntu Server available for the Raspberry Pi 4, as of now, and if not, is there any progress being made on porting Ubuntu to the Pi 4 (perhaps, do we have an alpha/beta build, or an announced release date)? (Does the Raspberry Pi 3 Ubuntu image work on the Pi 4?)

SSD boot
Using an SSD card is fine for maker projects, but for a server, I would like to use an SSD, as one of (if not the) biggest bottleneck of the Raspberry Pi's speed. The previous question applies here too, is there any progress on doing just that? I would like to use an SSD to boot Ubuntu for speed, and storage. Is there any official (or unofficial) way to achieve this?

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B+
I have a feeling that an enhanced model of the Pi 4 could come out soon, due to previous problems with the temperature of Pi 4's CPU. Maybe it won't be called B+ (see: Raspberry Pi Zero versions), but you get the point. Do you think this is a silly thought, or might I be into something here?

Thanks for any help.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation / Raspberry Pi Trading only support Raspbian Operating System, so you will need to approach the developers of other Operating System for forthcoming support for the 4B

Regards future products RPF / RPT do not provide a roadmap for the general public.
Retired disgracefully.....

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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:52 am

Unleavened wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:44 am
Hello.

I am a heavy user of the Raspberry Pi 2 & 3, and other single board computers ("altboards"). I mostly used the devices as different servers (because they are quite power efficient and perform well enough for me). Recently, I was considering buying a Raspberry Pi 4, but I am not sure if it is the right time yet. I have a few concerns which I would like to address first to determine the answer.

Ubuntu
As my primary goal is to build servers, I would like to use Ubuntu. This is the main reason for me to buy a Raspberry Pi 4. As there was official support for Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi 3, by Canonical, I assume that there is (or will) be support for it on the Raspberry Pi 4 as well. I've searched for this, but the latest of them being made in July. So, is Ubuntu Server available for the Raspberry Pi 4, as of now, and if not, is there any progress being made on porting Ubuntu to the Pi 4 (perhaps, do we have an alpha/beta build, or an announced release date)? (Does the Raspberry Pi 3 Ubuntu image work on the Pi 4?)

SSD boot
Using an SSD card is fine for maker projects, but for a server, I would like to use an SSD, as one of (if not the) biggest bottleneck of the Raspberry Pi's speed. The previous question applies here too, is there any progress on doing just that? I would like to use an SSD to boot Ubuntu for speed, and storage. Is there any official (or unofficial) way to achieve this?

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B+
I have a feeling that an enhanced model of the Pi 4 could come out soon, due to previous problems with the temperature of Pi 4's CPU. Maybe it won't be called B+ (see: Raspberry Pi Zero versions), but you get the point. Do you think this is a silly thought, or might I be into something here?

Thanks for any help.
Ubuntu: The official OS is Raspbian, for any other OS's information you will need to approach the authors. Note however, that Raspbian is based on Debian, as is Ubuntu, so the differences are minimal, and in general Raspbian has a more recent kernel and more bug fixes applied.

SSD Boot. Completely native USB boot is not yet supported (it will be but not for some months), but it's easy enough to have a readonly boot SD card, and then redirect everything to the SSD.

Newer version. We never announce new product in advance. We do have minior board revisions over the lifetime of a product, these just appear rather than being announced as they have little end user impact. Waiting for these is fairly pointless, you just end up always waiting, never buying.
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Kendek
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:10 am

Ubuntu
The Ubuntu is available and usable, especially for server purposes.
Just use the arm64 base image, the official kernel source (or the precompiled kernel), and if necessary, the VideoCore binaries.

Code: Select all

> lsb_release -a
Distributor ID:	Ubuntu
Description:	Ubuntu Eoan Ermine (development branch)
Release:	19.10
Codename:	eoan

> dmesg | head -n 3
[    0.000000] Booting Linux on physical CPU 0x0000000000 [0x410fd083]
[    0.000000] Linux version 5.3.6-v8 ([email protected]) (gcc version 9.2.1 20191008 (Ubuntu 9.2.1-9ubuntu2)) #3 SMP PREEMPT Sat Oct 12 19:18:18 CEST 2019
[    0.000000] Machine model: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Rev 1.1
SSD boot
You need a microSD card to boot, but you can run the system from an external SSD.

gordon77
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:51 am

Unleavened wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:44 am


Raspberry Pi 4 Model B+
I have a feeling that an enhanced model of the Pi 4 could come out soon, due to previous problems with the temperature of Pi 4's CPU. Maybe it won't be called B+ (see: Raspberry Pi Zero versions), but you get the point. Do you think this is a silly thought, or might I be into something here?
Personally I can't see a 4B+ soon. I believe the improvements in the 3B+ have carried over to the 4B. Regarding temperature this is due to the SOC etc which need more power and already have metal covers etc on them. The answer is a fan, or heatsinks and metal case, which you can fit easily. I can't see how else RPF could change things to cool the 4B.

Unleavened
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:29 pm

Thanks to everyone for your replies!

logcabin
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:00 pm

gordon77 wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:51 am
Unleavened wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:44 am


Raspberry Pi 4 Model B+
I have a feeling that an enhanced model of the Pi 4 could come out soon, due to previous problems with the temperature of Pi 4's CPU. Maybe it won't be called B+ (see: Raspberry Pi Zero versions), but you get the point. Do you think this is a silly thought, or might I be into something here?
Personally I can't see a 4B+ soon. I believe the improvements in the 3B+ have carried over to the 4B. Regarding temperature this is due to the SOC etc which need more power and already have metal covers etc on them. The answer is a fan, or heatsinks and metal case, which you can fit easily. I can't see how else RPF could change things to cool the 4B.
I use the Flirc case with the Pi 4, and the temperature never rises above 50 C.

k-pi
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:04 pm

My RPi4B/4GB is sitting in its box, it just doesn't have proper functioning software/drivers yet - hopefully it will work properly at some stage - but now isn't the time - maybe next year, at the rate they are working on it. :(

Still doesn't have properly functioning EDID, & no USB booting, as at the September Raspbian release.

I've gone back to using my 3B & 3B+, at least the EDID & USB booting works on them. 8-)

jamesh
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:32 pm

k-pi wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:04 pm
My RPi4B/4GB is sitting in its box, it just doesn't have proper functioning software/drivers yet - hopefully it will work properly at some stage - but now isn't the time - maybe next year, at the rate they are working on it. :(

Still doesn't have properly functioning EDID, & no USB booting, as at the September Raspbian release.

I've gone back to using my 3B & 3B+, at least the EDID & USB booting works on them. 8-)
Take it out of the box and use it. It works. Your melodrama is massively over the top.

EDID works for the huge majority of people, USB boot from is easily done with an SD card just with the bootloader on it. You are simply too lazy to spend the 5 minutes setting it up.

So for all other worried at k-pi's comment (he keeps making the same comment on a number of threads), fear not, for the vast majority of people it works absolutely fine.
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Heater
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:16 pm

What's the problem with EDID?

Back in the days of the original Pi it would not work with one of my monitors. After a quick question here I had read the EDID of the monitor manually with some user space program and entered required details from that into config.txt or wherever. Then my monitor worked fine.

Sorry I forget the details of that process but I presume it can still be done with Buster on a Pi 4.

Perhaps someone here can fill in those details?

Who needs USB boot when you can boot a USB image from a bootloader on an old SD card in the Pi?

I don't see either of these as being reasons to not be using ones Pi 4.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:36 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:16 pm
What's the problem with EDID?

Back in the days of the original Pi it would not work with one of my monitors. After a quick question here I had read the EDID of the monitor manually with some user space program and entered required details from that into config.txt or wherever. Then my monitor worked fine.

Sorry I forget the details of that process but I presume it can still be done with Buster on a Pi 4.

Perhaps someone here can fill in those details?

Who needs USB boot when you can boot a USB image from a bootloader on an old SD card in the Pi?

I don't see either of these as being reasons to not be using ones Pi 4.
EDID. This is the block of data returned from a HDMI monitor or TV, that describes all the modes the TV supports. Some, more obscure resolution devices use part of the block called detailed timings to describe non-standard resolutions. The firmware doesn't parse the detailed timings section of the EDID (there is a PR going through which fixes this).

Since the move to MESA/DRM/KMS, there has been a discontinuity between the EDID parsing in the firmware and that in DRM (which does do detailed timings). We do pass the EDID from the firmware to the DRM system BUT we also pass along a recommended resolution on the cmdline, and because the firmware has not recognised the detailed format, it picks a standard timing. So the unusual resolution is lost.

It's been particularly prevalent in extra wide monitors, which often do not have standard timing. I have my suspicions there is another issue in there somewhere, but this detailed timings stuff does seem to be the main culprit.

Not seen on the previous models as all the problem devices seem to be higher than 1080p which was our previous standard maximum.
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:42 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:16 pm
I don't see either of these as being reasons to not be using ones Pi 4.
Second that. While not wishing to get into an argument with k-pi (been there, done that), his position is wrong and seems to be based on a misplaced belief that if something doesn't precisely meet his requirement it's useless.
Attempts to contact me outside of thes forums will be ignored unless signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public enquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters

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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:48 pm

thagrol wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:42 pm
Heater wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:16 pm
I don't see either of these as being reasons to not be using ones Pi 4.
Second that. While not wishing to get into an argument with k-pi (been there, done that), his position is wrong and seems to be based on a misplaced belief that if something doesn't precisely meet his requirement it's useless.
Perfection is the enemy of good enough.
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gordon77
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:01 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:16 pm
What's the problem with EDID?

Back in the days of the original Pi it would not work with one of my monitors. After a quick question here I had read the EDID of the monitor manually with some user space program and entered required details from that into config.txt or wherever. Then my monitor worked fine.

Sorry I forget the details of that process but I presume it can still be done with Buster on a Pi 4.

Perhaps someone here can fill in those details?


Is this it ?

https://gist.github.com/LimeBlast/1574e0e141e4be43b37e

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:02 pm

Unleavened wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:44 am
Raspberry Pi 4 Model B+
I have a feeling that an enhanced model of the Pi 4 could come out soon, due to previous problems with the temperature of Pi 4's CPU. Maybe it won't be called B+ (see: Raspberry Pi Zero versions), but you get the point. Do you think this is a silly thought, or might I be into something here?
I don't think there is anything that is actually possible on the horizon that would trigger a change in the model name, and certainly not fixing the USB resistor issue. That may be put in with no notice all. At most it will result in a board revision number.

The one thing I can think of that could potentially give us a Pi4B+ really can't be done because there is no room to run new tracks. It would be to add a pin or two to be a fan header. For that, I believe we will have to hope that it appears on the Pi5B....and I don't expect that for 2 to 3 years, at least.

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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:30 pm

gordon77 wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:01 pm
Heater wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:16 pm
What's the problem with EDID?

Back in the days of the original Pi it would not work with one of my monitors. After a quick question here I had read the EDID of the monitor manually with some user space program and entered required details from that into config.txt or wherever. Then my monitor worked fine.

Sorry I forget the details of that process but I presume it can still be done with Buster on a Pi 4.

Perhaps someone here can fill in those details?
Is this it ?

https://gist.github.com/LimeBlast/1574e0e141e4be43b37e
The thing is that X pays no attention to what is added to the command line, only the console.
X takes the list of modes listed via KMS and chooses the mode that it fancies (by default generally the highest resolution). I have yet to find a way to overcome that.

The one exception is that if you define a custom mode for the firmware (eg hdmi_group=2, hdmi_mode=87, hdmi_timings=<lots of numbers>), then the firmware/KMS driver ignore the EDID and take that as the one and only mode supported by the display.
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:18 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:02 pm
The one thing I can think of that could potentially give us a Pi4B+ really can't be done because there is no room to run new tracks. It would be to add a pin or two to be a fan header. For that, I believe we will have to hope that it appears on the Pi5B....and I don't expect that for 2 to 3 years, at least.
How about a pcie to m.2 interface, with a connector for an m.2 SSD on the board underside?
It's um...uh...well it's kinda like...and it's got a bit of...

andrum99
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:19 pm

6by9 wrote: X takes the list of modes listed via KMS and chooses the mode that it fancies (by default generally the highest resolution). I have yet to find a way to overcome that.
Back in the day it was possible to do the equivalent to putting the desired mode into config.txt - i.e. put the desired mode into a config file X would read. Think it was xorg.conf, and probably pre-DRM.

hippy
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:34 pm

andrum99 wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:19 pm
probably pre-DRM.
I keep seeing references to "DRM". It may be, but presume isn't, "Digital Rights Management". Would anyone care to clarify what it is / means ?

I've tried Google but got swamped by "Rights Management" results.
Last edited by hippy on Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PeterO
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:39 pm

hippy wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:34 pm
andrum99 wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:19 pm
probably pre-DRM.
I keep seeing references to "DRM". It may be, but presume isn't, "Digital Rights Management". Would anyone care to clarify what it is / means ?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Rendering_Manager
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:09 pm

EDID & USB boot work on the RPi3B/3B+/3A+ so why not on the RPi4B. 8-)
(OK you still haven't got around to programming the USB boot driver/software.)
But why can't the RPi4 read the EDID & set the resolution just like the 3B/3B+/3A+ can? :(

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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:33 pm

jcyr wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:18 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:02 pm
The one thing I can think of that could potentially give us a Pi4B+ really can't be done because there is no room to run new tracks. It would be to add a pin or two to be a fan header. For that, I believe we will have to hope that it appears on the Pi5B....and I don't expect that for 2 to 3 years, at least.
How about a pcie to m.2 interface, with a connector for an m.2 SSD on the board underside?
You mean the single PCIe lane that is dedicated to provide USB ports? That PCIe lane? It still strikes me that to get around the existing use would wait for a Pi5B (new SoC), rather than a Pi4B+ (same SoC, added/improved feature(s) ).

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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:36 pm

k-pi wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:09 pm
EDID & USB boot work on the RPi3B/3B+/3A+ so why not on the RPi4B. 8-)
(OK you still haven't got around to programming the USB boot driver/software.)
But why can't the RPi4 read the EDID & set the resolution just like the 3B/3B+/3A+ can? :(
I'm going to ignore your comment on USB boot as it has been covered so many times already, and you know it has!

Pi4 does read the EDID and set the resolution.

Pi0-3 by default run in the legacy mode of supporting one frame buffer. The firmware has parsed the EDID and chosen one mode. You then can't change that, except via tvservice which doesn't integrate with the framebuffer so you get some funny effects.
With the exception of setting up totally custom timings via mode 87, the firmware will always select one of the standard CEA or DMT resolutions.

Pi4 by default is running the DRM/KMS graphics stack. Yes the firmware has parsed the EDID in exactly the same way as before to put up the rainbow screen and very early boot console, but then KMS takes over and makes choices for itself. It also supports dynamic resolution changes (hence the Screen Configuration app), and will support hotplug for dynamic adding/removing of displays.
The DRM EDID parsing code handles far more of the EDID blocks than the firmware, therefore it may end up making a different choice. It also applies more validation to the EDID, which has tripped up at least one monitor so far. The resulting mode may be based on the detailed timings block of the EDID rather than based on one of the standard modes.

Now there are significant changes in the HDMI and composition hardware, therefore there is new code for driving those. Whilst we've bashed it as hard as we can, there may still be a couple of corner cases that cause issue. The main open one is over 1366x768 resolutions because the horizontal sync width and back porches are an odd number of pixels. The new pipeline runs at two pixels/clock, therefore it has needed some tweaking to make it behave sensibly under those conditions.
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andrum99
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Re: Current State of Raspberry Pi 4 Software and Hardware Support

Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:55 pm

deleted
Last edited by andrum99 on Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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