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State of HDR on Linux Late 2020

Hey Guys! - Creating this thread to serve as an easily indexable search engine thread; as of now it’s a huge pain to determine the state of HDR.

Rather simple question: as of October 2020, what is the state of HDR support, in all of its flavours, on various distributions and on various hardware?

I’ll be updating this thread to included information from the comments below. If the configuration is not mentioned- it’s either not supported or support is unknown. I’m hopping to keep this updated as more information comes in.

in terms of other information, all 3 manufacturers have discussed HDR support to a certain extent.

Kernel 5.3 added HDR metadata to the amdgpu driver

Intel has been actively providing developer resources to the development of Wayland to accelerate the functionality of HDR

Known supported platforms:

Known temperamental platforms:

Known experimental platforms:

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You ain’t getting HDR if you’re using Xorg in a desktop environment. Using 10bit color screws up many Xorg applications.

Wayland is far from finished on this front too.

Nvidia is using a weird Wayland compatibility layer which might complicate things.

Only true HDR pixel pipeline on Linux that I know of is the Google Proprietary frameserver for Stadia.

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Since that stack is running on AMD graphics in a linux environment (granted a very custom, very proprietary one), I’d assume at least some of the stack must have been co-developed with amd- meaning that there must have been some work that was ported into their drivers.

Would also explain why the 5.3 HDR kernel extensions came out in lockstep with the stadia launch

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I don’t think it’s the drivers that are the problem, I think it’s more likely that it’s wayland + desktop environments + gui toolkits that need to come together.

I’m basing that on:

… Also, having seen: https://youtu.be/qls-E-3OC8s , some Linux apps and toolkits might be ready before kwin or whatever its gnome equivalent are ready.


I wouldn’t put too much thought into Stadia as it relates to Linux desktop graphics; everything in that stack incl both firmware and silicon on gpu/cpu/motherboards/network cards… while based on retail hardware and opensource software is heavily tweaked and customized.

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Perhaps not quite what you’re looking for but Looking Glass master now has RGB16 support for the windows host, Linux client, and obs client. Reportedly it works fine however the GPU is very likely converting it to standard BGRA 8-bit.

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Do you think it might be possible to backport the chromeOS/chromium OS HDR stack into other window managers? if so, that might make this doable in the foreseeable future.

That’s really interesting- That would mean that we would render/decode in the windows guest, the pass that through to the display directly? Somehow telling the linux host not to touch the signal?

Not sure how that would work with HDCP (would probably be a mess, but it would be a start)