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Intel Can't Ship Their Own Driver With Their MeeGo OS

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  • Intel Can't Ship Their Own Driver With Their MeeGo OS

    Phoronix: Intel Can't Ship Their Own Driver With Their MeeGo OS

    With the introduction of Intel's Poulsbo (GMA 500) chipset it marked a point at which Intel's Linux graphics support was no longer stellar, but as they had outsourced the graphics IP from Imagination Technologies, they could not provide an open-source driver stack like they do with their in-house IGPs. Not only was this Intel Poulsbo Linux driver closed-source, but the level of support was appalling and it was a bloody mess of a situation. The overall situation since has only become worse and even MeeGo (their own Linux OS) will be shipping without Intel's EMGD driver...

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

  • #2
    They could ship it with Linux only if it was GPLd or am I missing something? Unless they made it clear somehow that it is not a part of the whole but some software compilation of sort, which I don't see possible for the out-of-the-box driver.
    I was always wondering how OEMs could legally distribute their blobs with Linux powered devices (NVidia, imgtec etc.). Did I overstimate/misunderstand GPL?

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    • #3
      Intel is not even able to ship their own Linux driver for their own hardware with their MeeGo operating system.
      Logical thing. If Apple would made a GPL driver they also couldn't ship their own driver for their own hardware (in theory) with their OS X operating system.

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      • #4
        No matter how much I'd like to blame Intel for that, I'm afraid it's more an Imagination limitation. The same mess happened on ARM-based SoC's.
        I guess Imagination still lives in the 20th century.

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        • #5
          The question is - can a vendor create a device, sign an agreement with Intel to use the driver, and ship MeeGo with the closed source driver? (ie - does it matter if it comes with the distribution or not if the product vendor can still create and ship devices using the MeeGo and closed Intel drivers)

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          • #6
            Hopefully this will teach Intel not to make such stupid decisions in future...

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            • #7
              i wonder what was intel thinking in the first place when the decided for that hardware.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
                i wonder what was intel thinking in the first place when the decided for that hardware.
                Power consumption and overall performance at the low levels it uses. It's not a barn-burner for speed compared to the GPUs we all know and love- but bang for watt consumed, it's one of the best out there right at the moment.

                Unfortunately for Intel, they're pretty draconian with the rights access to the core and it's programming info.

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                • #9
                  Does it need to be shipped together?

                  Originally posted by phoronix View Post
                  Phoronix: Intel Can't Ship Their Own Driver With Their MeeGo OS

                  With the introduction of Intel's Poulsbo (GMA 500) chipset it marked a point at which Intel's Linux graphics support was no longer stellar, but as they had outsourced the graphics IP from Imagination Technologies, they could not provide an open-source driver stack like they do with their in-house IGPs. Not only was this Intel Poulsbo Linux driver closed-source, but the level of support was appalling and it was a bloody mess of a situation. The overall situation since has only become worse and even MeeGo (their own Linux OS) will be shipping without Intel's EMGD driver...

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


                  Does the graphics driver need to be bundled w/ MeeGo? Generally the graphics driver is not bundled with OS. MeeGo is open source software and EMGD is not so the licensing terms and availability are different for each.
                  Once EMGD is released, it'll be available to anyone at the edc.intel.com. Before its release, its available to selected customers only - if you need it before formal release (planned later this year), please contact your intel rep.

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                  • #10
                    I would really like to hear Imagination and NVIDIA explain exactly why they can't tell us how to program their hardware. I suspect it would be one of those "don't know whether to laugh or cry" situations.

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                    • #11
                      Small correction

                      "The Intel Poulsbo DRM was open-source, but it was rejected from the mainline Linux kernel since the user-space X.Org Poulsbo driver remained a binary blob."

                      Small correction - the basic X driver itself is not in fact a binary blob. Interestingly, you can actually get basic 2D functionality on the GMA 500 using entirely F/OSS components; you only need the kernel module and the X driver, both of which are open. The binary blobs are psb-firmware and xpsb-glx, which are required for 3D acceleration and vaapi video playback acceleration functionality.

                      (I think this may not have been entirely understood by the kernel folks when they were considering whether or not to merge the kernel module, but it doesn't change the fact that both kernel module and X driver are messily maintained. Or, these days, apparently not maintained at all).

                      I'm losing track of how many GMA 500 / GMA 600 drivers Intel actually has, now. I think it's at least 3, possibly 4. This thread makes for hilarious / tragic reading:

                      http://bugs.meego.com/show_bug.cgi?id=2205

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ishu View Post
                        Does the graphics driver need to be bundled w/ MeeGo? Generally the graphics driver is not bundled with OS. MeeGo is open source software and EMGD is not so the licensing terms and availability are different for each.
                        Would you really choose to buy a phone or MP3 player which requires you to first download video drivers before you can use it?

                        Proprietary drivers are OK for home users installing on a laptop, but for embedded systems if the driver can't be shipped with the device, then it's useless.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cician View Post
                          They could ship it with Linux only if it was GPLd or am I missing something? Unless they made it clear somehow that it is not a part of the whole but some software compilation of sort, which I don't see possible for the out-of-the-box driver.
                          I was always wondering how OEMs could legally distribute their blobs with Linux powered devices (NVidia, imgtec etc.). Did I overstimate/misunderstand GPL?
                          This has nothing to do with the GPL. The required parts (=kernel components) are already GPLed.
                          The Linux kernel maintainers just won't accept GPL driver code that's only usable with non-FOSS userspace components.

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                          • #14
                            i only buy amd hardware ;-) real opensource solution not a joke like intel

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                            • #15
                              Wow, so its starting to look like EMGD is a bust... unless anyone can convince intel to hand it over under NDA and then, uhm.... their server may get hacked into

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