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

  1. #1
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    Default 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

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    are there closed source drivers from intel?

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    Quote 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 Positively ancient, and obviously no longer maintained.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...

  4. #4
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    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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    Free Software 1, proprietary software 0.

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    Quote 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.

  7. #7
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    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

  8. #8
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    Quote 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

  9. #9
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    Quote 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.

  10. #10
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    Quote 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.

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