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. Even With Re-Clocking, Nouveau Remains Behind NVIDIA's Proprietary Linux Driver
  2. The Power Consumption & Efficiency Of Open-Source GPU Drivers
  3. AMD R600g/RadeonSI Performance On Linux 3.16 With Mesa 10.3-devel
  4. Intel Pentium G3258 On Linux
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Catalyst 14.6 Does Slightly Better With APITest OpenGL Tests
  2. Updated Source Engine Benchmarks On The Latest AMD/NVIDIA Linux Drivers
  3. Nouveau vs. Radeon vs. Intel Tests On Linux 3.16, Mesa 10.3-devel
  4. KVM Benchmarks On Ubuntu 14.10
Latest Linux News
  1. Belkin's WRT54G Router Successor Is Crap On The Software Front So Far
  2. QEMU 2.1 Officially Released
  3. XBMC Is Being Renamed To "Kodi"
  4. SteamOS Beta 126 Better Handles XBMC
  5. Ubuntu 14.10 Alpha 2 Released
  6. KDE 4.14 Release Candidate Ships
  7. Drivers & Drama Dominated Linux Talk In July
  8. Fedora Assembles A Security Team
  9. AMD Launches The A10-7800, The 65 Watt Kaveri
  10. Builder: A New Development IDE Being Built For GNOME
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Grand Theft Auto Running On Direct3D Natively On Linux Shows Gallium3D Potential
  2. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  3. Linus Torvalds On GCC 4.9: Pure & Utter Crap
  4. Updated graphics drivers for Ubuntu 12.04 Precise LTS
  5. Debian + radeonsi
  6. AMD Publishes Open-Source Linux HSA Kernel Driver
  7. Open-source drivers on ATI R7 260X
  8. AMD Athlon 5350 APU On Linux