Vramfs: filesystem driver to utilize extra RAM on VGA devices

Jonathan Campbell jon at nerdgrounds.com
Mon Jan 26 23:50:54 UTC 2009

vramfs is designed to take the memory range and directly turn it into a 
usable filesystem.
The structures are not actually in VRAM, but the file contents are.
Vramfs has a builtin mechanism as described to avoid conflicting with 
the region in use by the framebuffer console.

I don't really know about the mtd device, but I thought it would be good 
kernel coding practice to write a filesystem driver to pull off a stunt 
like that.

I also wrote this in consideration of the GPU which probably wouldn't 
know how to handle the fragmentation that would inevitably happen if 
ext3 needed to write blocks in a non-contiguous manner, this fs enforces 
the rule that files are always unbroken with only a start and length.

Also, doesn't mtd come in as a block device?
So you'd have to format the memory region using a filesystem like ext3, 
And as a block device you can't use mmap() to map that region directly 
into your process space, right?
> Jonathan Campbell wrote:
>> So far I've tested it against and 2.6.28 on both x86 and 
>> x86_64 with reads, writes, directory creation, symlink creation, and 
>> mmap() and it seems to work fine.
>> Just give it a range of memory on the bus, or the 
>> domain:bus:device:function numbers of a VGA PCI device, and it will 
>> mount the VGA video RAM and allow files to exist there.
>> As a special hack: you can also specify the size of the active 
>> framebuffer console so that fbcon doesn't collide with this driver 
>> (unless you want to see what your files look like splattered across 
>> your screen, ha). The active VRAM area becomes a "sentinel" file 
>> named "framebuffer".
>> What do you guys think?
> How is this different from the MTD driver we already have?
>     -hpa
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