Chrome OS 41 can do without X11 thanks to Freon graphics stack

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Google has added the Freon graphics stack to Chrome OS 41. The Freon driver can directly address the drm and kms APIs in the Linux kernel. The browser-based operating system thus reduces reliance on the traditional X11 display server.

In addition to direct communication with the drm and kms APIs in the Linux kernel, Freon can also generate 3d graphics based on OpenGL ES. According to Google, Freon enables faster graphics control within Chrome OS 41 by bypassing the complex X11 display server. The battery life could also increase through more efficient control and the binaries for Chrome OS would be more compact.

Although Freon settles with X11, the code is not based on other display servers in development, such as Wayland and Canonicals Mir, Phoronix writes. Chrome OS with Freon currently runs on the Chromebook Pixel, Acer C720, Asus Chromebox, HP Chromebox, LG Chromebase, Acer Chromebox, and Dell Chromebox. Support for Chromebooks based on Samsung’s ARM socs is expected later, perhaps with the release of version 43.

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