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Five Years Later, Intel Poulsbo Is Still A Linux Mess

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  • Five Years Later, Intel Poulsbo Is Still A Linux Mess

    Phoronix: Five Years Later, Intel Poulsbo Is Still A Linux Mess

    Next month marks five years already since Intel released their Atom "Silverthorne" processors for netbooks and nettops in conjunction with the Intel "Poulsbo" SCH bearing PowerVR-derived GMA 500 graphics. To this day, aging Intel hardware with PowerVR-based graphics continue to be a big problem for the Linux desktop...

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

  • #2
    are there closed source drivers from intel?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by garegin View Post
      are there closed source drivers from intel?
      There is EMGD, but... the only thing it supports is Fedora 14, so that's kernel 2.6.35 and such. Positively ancient, and obviously no longer maintained.

      The gma500_gfx driver is still the best choice. But yes, there is no OpenGL acceleration support, and thus anything over LLVMpipe is slower than a snail. Still, using others that do not require OpenGL is not that bad. In my case, the deal breaker for using it is that the screen of my GMA600 tablet is not documented, and thus there is no way to turn it off. Obviously that leads to horrible battery performance. But in this case it would be Fujitsu who are to blame for that.

      Oh, and I wonder, previously gma500_gfx was maintained by Alan Cox, but I wonder who is working on it now, if anyone...

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      • #4
        My friend just got a netbook with a Intel Poulsbo and asked for help to install Arch Linux. After we installed Xfce it isn't so bad (it's not much worse than my ex-netbook using a first generation Atom, it's too slow to use composite well, and the CPU is too slow to run HD videos btw). I want to try one of these with the Enlighment 17, their composite is aparently really fast even on CPU.

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        • #5
          Free Software 1, proprietary software 0.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
            In my case, the deal breaker for using it is that the screen of my GMA600 tablet is not documented, and thus there is no way to turn it off. Obviously that leads to horrible battery performance. But in this case it would be Fujitsu who are to blame for that.
            Not sure, but we might have talked about this before. It should be a regular LVDS panel hooked up to your system and in that case it looks like it's just a matter of getting the backlight code working.

            Oh, and I wonder, previously gma500_gfx was maintained by Alan Cox, but I wonder who is working on it now, if anyone...
            I've been in contact with Dave Airlie and some guys at Intel about who's gonna pick up this driver after Alan. Right now (still discussing), there is nobody keen on taking on the task. In the meantime I have put up a git tree on http://www.github.com/patjak/drm-gma500 just so we catch anything that appear on the mailing lists.
            I have some ongoing work on getting 2D blits and fills running. This will be done by forking the modesetting driver and add the missing pieces to it. But this will likely just be for Poulsbo and with some luck even Oaktrail.

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            • #7
              On the other hand seems that the progress has been made toward RC6 on Gen5/Ironlake

              https://lkml.org/lkml/2013/3/12/723

              Maybe this one would help toward that as well?

              https://lkml.org/lkml/2013/3/12/721

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by patrik View Post
                Not sure, but we might have talked about this before. It should be a regular LVDS panel hooked up to your system and in that case it looks like it's just a matter of getting the backlight code working.
                The backlight code itself is working, I can change the brightness fine, but it's just turning it off that is an issue. I reported that on the Kernel bug tracker here: https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=49541

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
                  There is EMGD, but... the only thing it supports is Fedora 14, so that's kernel 2.6.35 and such. Positively ancient, and obviously no longer maintained.

                  The gma500_gfx driver is still the best choice. But yes, there is no OpenGL acceleration support, and thus anything over LLVMpipe is slower than a snail. Still, using others that do not require OpenGL is not that bad. In my case, the deal breaker for using it is that the screen of my GMA600 tablet is not documented, and thus there is no way to turn it off. Obviously that leads to horrible battery performance. But in this case it would be Fujitsu who are to blame for that.

                  Oh, and I wonder, previously gma500_gfx was maintained by Alan Cox, but I wonder who is working on it now, if anyone...
                  Just thought I'd leave this here:
                  https://launchpad.net/~gma500/+archive/emgd
                  supports 2.6.32-2.6.38 and xorg 1.8-1.9
                  So yes it's ancient, but Fedora 14 isn't the only thing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
                    The backlight code itself is working, I can change the brightness fine, but it's just turning it off that is an issue. I reported that on the Kernel bug tracker here: https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=49541
                    Yeah, then it looks like the panel is powered differently. There might be an ACPI method for turning it on and off but that's just a guess and requires some tinkering to figure out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Still using Ubuntu 9.10

                      Yes, all these issues are why I'm still with Ubuntu 9.10.

                      Is there any interest in finding and financing a developer to write 2D and possibly 3D accelration support? I'd be fine with VAAPI support working.

                      There is a vaapi driver with open source (but closed firmware) for the Imagination VXD375 here:
                      http://cgit.freedesktop.org/vaapi/pvr-driver/

                      gma500 contains the VXD370. So I guess it will be rather similar and not too hard to create.

                      Who would join a kickstarter project? Maybe the FSF - who initiated a project for this - might know how to find a developer?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If I understand correctly, the open source driver lights up the *intel* circuit, leaving the powervr **SHIT** completely dead. For crippling their hardware with this crap, I've permanently banned intel. The bastards can rot in hell.

                        That being said, as long as you don't use a composited desktop, the performance of these chips is adequate for something that is extremely portable. However, I will soon be retiring this hardware in favor of something with a qualcomm/adreno flavor. I hope to start seeing ~7" tablets with snapdragon 600 or 800. That, along with a compact bluetooth keyboard, would totally kick ass. Run circles around the intel shit, and do so with open source drivers (freedreno).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by djtm View Post
                          Yes, all these issues are why I'm still with Ubuntu 9.10.

                          Is there any interest in finding and financing a developer to write 2D and possibly 3D accelration support? I'd be fine with VAAPI support working.

                          There is a vaapi driver with open source (but closed firmware) for the Imagination VXD375 here:
                          http://cgit.freedesktop.org/vaapi/pvr-driver/

                          gma500 contains the VXD370. So I guess it will be rather similar and not too hard to create.

                          Who would join a kickstarter project? Maybe the FSF - who initiated a project for this - might know how to find a developer?
                          I did look at it a while ago and the problem is that the vaapi driver needs an overlay to render onto so we can blit/map that overlay into the framebuffer and automatically get any format conversion done in hardware. So I started getting overlay support up and running. But in order to map the overlay register buffer into memory (so we can play with overlays) we need to send stuff to the execution buffer. We have no Intel execution buffer (that I know of) so I face palmed and started playing with something else.

                          What's possible to do (based on my guessing) is that we can use the Video decoder and then do a format conversion in software and use the SGX 2D blitter (that only handles RGB formats) to move it onto the framebuffer. But that might still be too slow to be useful.

                          I doubt people are willing to pay for this. The hardware is just too old and nobody cares.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                            I've permanently banned intel. The bastards can rot in hell.
                            Then put your money where your piehole is, and ban Intel from all your notebooks and desktops too. And ban Intel from your notebook's WiFi at the same time. Go ahead. i DARE you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In 5 years

                              In another five years it won't matter. Xorg will remove support. The kernel v4.0 will run horrendous on atom hardware.
                              The ram requirement minimum will then be 2 GB.

                              Linux has a lot of problems. Opinions vary.



                              In Ubuntu, why is VSync always enabled in Unity? It runs like crap on everything except Nvidia.
                              On by default.....
                              Last edited by squirrl; 03-18-2013, 10:07 PM.

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