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The Special Intel Broadwell Driver In Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

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  • The Special Intel Broadwell Driver In Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

    Phoronix: The Special Intel Broadwell Driver In Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

    Due to Ubuntu 14.04 shipping with the Linux 3.13 kernel, a specially-crafted "i915_bdw" driver has been introduced for offering Intel Broadwell graphics support in this upcoming Ubuntu Linux release...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTY0ODY

  • #2
    I don't get it. Broadwell will arrive end of 2014/early 2015.

    Ubuntu 14.04.2 with hardware enablement backports (new Linux kernel, Mesa, Xserver etc.) will be released in early 2015 anyway.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by d2kx View Post
      I don't get it. Broadwell will arrive end of 2014/early 2015.

      Ubuntu 14.04.2 with hardware enablement backports (new Linux kernel, Mesa, Xserver etc.) will be released in early 2015 anyway.
      I know, right? AFAIK even 14.04.1 will be released around august. That should have 3.14 backported.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BSDude View Post
        I know, right? AFAIK even 14.04.1 will be released around august. That should have 3.14 backported.
        Canonical will be printing thousands of 14.04.0 DVD's and they will be the only official medias from and untill 16.04 is released.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BSDude View Post
          I know, right? AFAIK even 14.04.1 will be released around august. That should have 3.14 backported.
          wrong

          14.04.2 will have the kernel/xorg stack from 14.10 backported, 14.04.1 will just get all the stable release updates between .0 and .1, no new kernel version bump there

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          • #6
            Originally posted by AJenbo View Post
            Canonical will be printing thousands of 14.04.0 DVD's and they will be the only official medias from and untill 16.04 is released.
            the official image is just a download away, and what you get from http://www.ubuntu.com/download are the latest point-releases, so .0 will be replaced with .1 as soon as it's available

            also, 12.04(.0) cd's seem to be have been out of stock for some time already..

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tjaalton View Post
              the official image is just a download away, and what you get from http://www.ubuntu.com/download are the latest point-releases,
              Ok you find and explain that to the people who have poor performance and a crashy system even though they used the OFFICIAL cd and applied all updates from the update manager. Also you will have to distribute USB-keys or DVD-burdneres+media and teach them how to get the ISO on it, with out them loosing there motivation.

              Originally posted by tjaalton View Post
              so .0 will be replaced with .1 as soon as it's available
              As stated abouve .1 will not carry a new kernel.

              Originally posted by tjaalton View Post
              also, 12.04(.0) cd's seem to be have been out of stock for some time already..
              We recived about 200 cd's about two months ago and they have not all been distributed to the public yet.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AJenbo View Post
                Ok you find and explain that to the people who have poor performance and a crashy system even though they used the OFFICIAL cd and applied all updates from the update manager.
                None of the Canonical developers have Broadwell yet, so no matter what happens, it's likely that there will be bugs in a backported driver that hasn't ever been tested on real hardware. I understand the problem that they are trying to solve, but it's an issue with their development and release schedule that there won't be an updated kernel for this release, and that is something that is hard to code around.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by chrisb View Post
                  None of the Canonical developers have Broadwell yet, so no matter what happens, it's likely that there will be bugs in a backported driver that hasn't ever been tested on real hardware. I understand the problem that they are trying to solve, but it's an issue with their development and release schedule that there won't be an updated kernel for this release, and that is something that is hard to code around.
                  Do you really think I'd ask something like i915_bdw to be pulled in without testing it on (prerelease) BDW hw? Yes there are bugs but those are being worked on for .1, this had to go in now or it would have needed the SRU treatment..

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tjaalton View Post
                    Do you really think I'd ask something like i915_bdw to be pulled in without testing it on (prerelease) BDW hw? Yes there are bugs but those are being worked on for .1, this had to go in now or it would have needed the SRU treatment
                    I have no idea who you are or what you are responsible for. If you were to ask "Do you really think that Ububtu would release something with insufficient testing across different hardware platforms", then yes, I do. On the last LTS, Unity crashed immediately after logging in with my hardware (ATI open source driver). Ubuntu users have many diverse hardware platforms, even restricting it to Broadwell you are going to have users with hybrid graphics, multiple monitors, triple monitor setups with PLL sharing (which if I recall correctly was broken for ages on Haswell), mixed resolutions and orientations, different desktops Unity Gnome KDE, different applications, 4k TVs and monitors, etc. Basically every issue that appeared in the upstream Xorg bug tracker for Haswell, is a likely issue point for Broadwell (why? Because those cases were missed by Intel's internal testing but picked up by end users, it is likely that the same thing will happen again).

                    The fact that this had to be back ported to avoid a painful SRU is an organisational issue, not a code issue (would you have bothered with a backport if it weren't necessary to go through the SRU process?) I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad idea, it's obviously a better situation than Debian (where Wheezy is unusable on modern Intel hardware), but it's not ideal.

                    Btw Do you think there might be any problems keeping hybrid graphics drivers in sync? Don't the Nvidia drivers get updated often even on LTS? Any hybrid graphics features/changes there will appear in the LTS but without the desponding upstream kernel changes which could be an issue for such tightly linked components. How well does hybrid graphics word with Broadwell and a modern stack anyway, is it still a mess?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chrisb View Post
                      I have no idea who you are or what you are responsible for. If you were to ask "Do you really think that Ububtu would release something with insufficient testing across different hardware platforms", then yes, I do. On the last LTS, Unity crashed immediately after logging in with my hardware (ATI open source driver). Ubuntu users have many diverse hardware platforms, even restricting it to Broadwell you are going to have users with hybrid graphics, multiple monitors, triple monitor setups with PLL sharing (which if I recall correctly was broken for ages on Haswell), mixed resolutions and orientations, different desktops Unity Gnome KDE, different applications, 4k TVs and monitors, etc. Basically every issue that appeared in the upstream Xorg bug tracker for Haswell, is a likely issue point for Broadwell (why? Because those cases were missed by Intel's internal testing but picked up by end users, it is likely that the same thing will happen again).
                      Right, my tone wasn't ideal.. I work for Canonical on the Hardware Enablement team, and there are machines on the OEM pipeline with Broadwell that we're working on. Note that for radeon graphics I think we're mostly certifying the machines with fglrx, so if upstream doesn't push fixes to stable@ then we won't get them. And I don't doubt there will be enough issues with BDW to at least keep me busy the coming months..

                      With Haswell there were issues like upstream rewriting the modesetting code around the same time (3.6/3.7) HSW was being enabled, and it took a few releases to get the issues fixed (3.8 was still buggy at places).

                      The fact that this had to be back ported to avoid a painful SRU is an organisational issue, not a code issue (would you have bothered with a backport if it weren't necessary to go through the SRU process?) I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad idea, it's obviously a better situation than Debian (where Wheezy is unusable on modern Intel hardware), but it's not ideal.
                      No the backport had to be done, and to avoid a possible NACK after release it was pushed before the distro kernel freeze.

                      Btw Do you think there might be any problems keeping hybrid graphics drivers in sync? Don't the Nvidia drivers get updated often even on LTS? Any hybrid graphics features/changes there will appear in the LTS but without the desponding upstream kernel changes which could be an issue for such tightly linked components. How well does hybrid graphics word with Broadwell and a modern stack anyway, is it still a mess?
                      Yes it's a mess, but getting better with dma_buf and all. The way to get them in sync is to depend on a point-release stack, like for instance the nvidia-prime stuff for 12.04.4 did (IIRC), or at least it was only supported on that stack. Also, it doesn't matter which generation intel you have on a hybrid machine, they should work of fail just the same.

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