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Intel Releases New Driver, Kills EXA/DRI1

Intel

Published on 29 April 2009 07:37 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
19 Comments

It was just two weeks ago that Intel released its xf86-video-intel 2.7 driver, but there is already a new test release that will lead up to the release of the xf86-video-intel 2.8 series. Normally it is two or three months before a new test release is available for Intel's quarterly Linux graphics driver update, but that is not the case with their Q3'09 stack.

Less than a week ago we shared that Intel is looking to drop EXA support in favor of their UMA Acceleration Architecture (UXA) as well as stripping out compatibility for the older DRI1 infrastructure. Well, they have indeed done that. Intel has released the xf86-video-intel 2.7.99.1 which already has about 10% less code than the 2.7.0 release.

The first xf86-video-intel 2.8 test release completely eliminates XAA and EXA support and also strips out all support for Direct Rendering Infrastructure 1. Now if you want any 2D hardware acceleration, the only method is to use UXA, but still that method still isn't bug-free. Some Intel users report stability problems and rendering issues when using UXA, but Intel dropped the EXA support since it does not support their Graphics Execution Manager. They hope dropping the XAA/EXA support will also lower their bug count.

While DRI1 support is dropped, the xf86-video-intel 2.7.99.1 driver does have improved support for running without DRI at all. Due to all of these changes, X Server 1.6 or newer is required for xf86-video-intel 2.8 and later.

The release announcement along with source download links for this first Intel DDX driver snapshot can be found on the X.Org mailing list.

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 .
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