1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Intel Comes Up With A Linux Graphics Driver Installer

Intel

Published on 11 March 2013 12:16 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
19 Comments

To make it easier to update your open-source Intel Linux graphics driver, Intel's Open-Source Technology Center has come out with a "Graphics Driver Installer" for this open-source stack, but will it work?

The issue with updating the open-source graphics driver stack on Windows is that it's much more inter-weaved than using the proprietary graphics drivers on Linux or Windows. With the proprietary drivers, there is just one blob to fit into the system. For the open-source Linux graphics drivers, pieces of the driver are found within Mesa, the Linux kernel, the DRM library, and an individual X.Org DDX component. The actual stack can be much larger than that too depending upon if the driver needs updates to LLVM, VDPAU, VA-API, or other X/Wayland/Mesa components.

Updating one component can mean needing to update the other components due to API/ABI breakage, new internal dependencies, or not being able to have full hardware support / functionality without updating all pieces of the puzzle. When upgrading the entire Linux kernel, that can also be a big issue since it affects all areas of the system for potential breakage or regression and just not the graphics driver.

For end-users, it's a heck of a lot easier updating/installing the proprietary drivers than having to upgrade the open-source Linux graphics stack and that's why for fixed-point distributions it's not commonly available as an option. Intel OTC, however, announced last week the Intel Linux Graphics Installer. "The aim of this installer is to provide a simple route to getting recently released (12.07 or 2012-Q4 in this case) kernel and userspace packages for i915 family graphics devices."

This Intel driver for now is primarily targeting Fedora 17, Fedora 18, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.10. The installer can be triggered from the desktop menu or by launching intel-linux-graphics-installer. What this effectively comes down to though is just a facade for interfacing with apt-get or yum depending upon the distribution for getting updated distribution-specific packages from repositories on Intel's 01.org server.

The components hosted within the Intel driver repository is a new kernel or i915 DKMS module, Mesa, xf86-video-intel, libva, vaapi-driver, cairo, llvm-libs, libwayland, and libdrm.

So unfortunately this installer isn't anything original to fundamentally improve the open-source Linux graphics driver stack by making it easier to update/install the open-source Intel Linux GPU driver. Already for distributions like Fedora and Ubuntu there are commonly independent third party repositories (or Ubuntu Personal Package Archives) for fetching these updated graphics components post-release.

What Intel has now provided is just a convenient installer for setting up those repositories and then updating to the new components in a distribution-specific manner. If you're not on a Fedora or Ubuntu based operating system, you're out of luck with this installer or if you're on a derivative using a different kernel release where the DKMS module would be unsupported or break.

Should you be interested in this installer, visit the 01.org page.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. AMD Launches New FX CPUs, Cuts Prices On Existing Processors
  2. Preview: AMD's FX-9590 Eight-Core At Up To 5.0GHz On Linux
  3. Intel Launches The Core i7 5960X, Mighty Powerful Haswell-E CPUs
  4. AMD Radeon R9 290: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Drivers
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Ondemand vs. Performance CPU Governing For AMD FX CPUs On Linux 3.17
  2. How Intel Graphics On Linux Compare To Open-Source AMD/NVIDIA Drivers
  3. The Fastest NVIDIA GPUs For Open-Source Nouveau With Steam Linux Gaming
  4. Testing For The Latest Linux Kernel Power Regression
Latest Linux News
  1. Borderlands 2 Is Coming To Linux
  2. The Witcher 2 Ups The Performance More & Works Around Catalyst Bug
  3. Running Gallium3D's LLVMpipe On The Eight-Core 5GHz CPU
  4. Trying Intel OpenCL On Linux For Video Encoding
  5. GSoC 2014 Yielded Some Improvements For Mesa/X.Org This Year
  6. webOS Lives On As LuneOS With New Release
  7. Marek Lands Radeon Gallium3D HyperZ Improvements
  8. Mozilla Firefox 32 Surfaces With HTML5, Developer Changes
  9. Nouveau X.Org Driver Released With DRI3+Present, Maxwell, GLAMOR
  10. Microsoft & AMD Release C++ AMP Compiler With Linux Support
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Lennart Poettering Talks Up His New Linux Vision That Involves Btrfs
  2. nv and xorg.conf under Debian PPC
  3. AMD graphics doesn't work with AMD Catalyst drivers
  4. Best Radeon for a Power Mac G5?
  5. The dangers of Linux kernel development
  6. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  7. AMD Releases UVD Video Decode Support For R600 GPUs
  8. SSD seems slow