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Intel Linux Driver Kills The Netbook Experience

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  • Intel Linux Driver Kills The Netbook Experience

    Phoronix: Intel Linux Driver Kills The Netbook Experience

    As I alluded to earlier, I am out of the office this week. With me to Italy I took a Samsung NC10 that is loaded with an Intel Atom processor, Intel integrated graphics, an OCZ solid-state drive, and 2GB of DDR2 RAM...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=NzIyMA

  • #2
    Well this thread wasn't here when I started my post so I created this one:
    http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16582

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    • #3
      Widespread Regression

      This doesn't really have to do with Netbooks. This is a regression with a wide range of Intel graphics chips. The freezing issue seems to have cropped up around 4/3, but so far a fix has not been determined yet.

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      • #4
        I'm surprised there is nothing about the freezing issue in the article.

        Maybe he didn't try to use UXA.. Because acceleration is stable, but awful, with the old EXA.. With UXA it crashes quite often.

        Though it has improved a bit. Earlier it froze whenever i changed a tab in firefox, always. Now it is a bit more random.
        Last edited by TobiasTheViking; 04-22-2009, 04:29 AM.

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        • #5
          I haven't had crashes with UXA, but it doesn't seem to resolve the freezing issue either.

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          • #6
            I left it as default and things were just fine. Ended up leaving it in Compiz as the acceleration was quite acceptable out of the box for my Dad. For just netbook type stuff I honestly did find it unusable and never had a single freezup.

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            • #7
              You forgot to mention the good news:

              1) Ubuntu is Linux, but Linux is not Ubuntu.

              2) There are other Linux distros that don't couple their own release schedule to that of Gnome (meaning one doesn't have to wait until October to get Bold New Distro without apparently borked xf86-video-intel drivers)

              3) Just because something's six months old or so doesn't mean it completely stops working.

              That last one's a biggie. A novice Linux user won't be editing xorg.conf. They won't know about release cycles. They won't care so much about the latest-and-greatest .iso's to download. They'll probably get an Acer with Fedora 8 (er, Linpus), a Dell with Ubuntu 8.04.something, or an MSI with SLED.

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              • #8
                Have a nice time here in Italy
                If you pass by Milan, I'll offer you a beer! :-)
                Netrunner Linux - Rolling Release ; Nexus 5 ROM Chroma 5.1 ; NAS 6TB on FreeNAS

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                • #9
                  I have 9.04 on my EeePC 900 (Celeron) and do not have the symptoms you report. But I did until I stopped the indexing daemon. By running the System Monitor I searched for the reason my mp3 playback kept having glitches. The system was often hitting 100% CPU usage. I went into System -> Preferences -> Search and Indexing. The box for Enable Indexing was not ticked, yet the system monitor said the daemon was running. So I enabled it, then disabled it. I also tried fiddled the settings for Resource usage, selecting Minimise Memory Usage. Anyhow, turning on indexing then turning it off again did the trick and now it runs smoothly.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by grege View Post
                    I have 9.04 on my EeePC 900 (Celeron) and do not have the symptoms you report. But I did until I stopped the indexing daemon. By running the System Monitor I searched for the reason my mp3 playback kept having glitches. The system was often hitting 100% CPU usage. I went into System -> Preferences -> Search and Indexing. The box for Enable Indexing was not ticked, yet the system monitor said the daemon was running. So I enabled it, then disabled it. I also tried fiddled the settings for Resource usage, selecting Minimise Memory Usage. Anyhow, turning on indexing then turning it off again did the trick and now it runs smoothly.
                    That sounds like a different issue then. The regression mentioned in the article is specific only to certain Intel gpus. The cause is likely the update from Mesa 7.3 to 7.4. The symptoms are different from what you describe. I will frequently hear audio files continue to play smoothly, and the computer seems to continue to operate, however the screen freezes (except for the mouse).

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by maccam94 View Post
                      I haven't had crashes with UXA, but it doesn't seem to resolve the freezing issue either.
                      Sorry, i meant freezing, not crashing, fixed my post

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by maccam94 View Post
                        That sounds like a different issue then. The regression mentioned in the article is specific only to certain Intel gpus. The cause is likely the update from Mesa 7.3 to 7.4. The symptoms are different from what you describe. I will frequently hear audio files continue to play smoothly, and the computer seems to continue to operate, however the screen freezes (except for the mouse).
                        Worth a try though. My EeePC has an Intel GPU. Also I had random screen freezes with 8.10, always associated with frantic disk activity. We are talking Netbooks here with solid state drives. A switch to ext2 seems to have fixed that. If using ext4 it is probably worth turning off journalising.

                        All I am suggesting is to not assume it is the Intel video driver, it may be, but other issues can be at fault.

                        cheers
                        Last edited by grege; 04-22-2009, 04:52 AM.

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                        • #13
                          This is not Intel specific. You are all experiencing this bug:
                          https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...22/+bug/131094

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                          • #14
                            You're using an OCZ core V2. They're notorious for "locking" up when writing small amounts of data. Use btrfs as your filesystem(in ssd-mode). That'll fix things.

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                            • #15
                              Have you submitted a bug report on either Launchpad or on freedesktop.org's bugzilla.

                              It seems a bit harsh using an article to effectively bash Intel. Especially considering it's Ubuntu's choice what driver version is shipped. It would be interesting to see if the same behaviour existed for their new 2.7 driver

                              Mike

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