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 Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

Intel Prepares Its Major Q4'09 Driver Update

Intel

Published on 30 November 2009 11:31 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
3 Comments

There's just a month left until the end of the year, which gives Intel just a few weeks to deliver its Q4'2009 driver update for the Linux platform. The key component that Intel is expected to release in December will be the xf86-video-intel 2.10.0 driver, while they will likely recommend Mesa, libdrm, and Linux kernel updates too as part of their fourth quarter package (Linux 2.6.32 and Mesa 7.7). While no groundbreaking features are introduced in this X.Org driver update, there is important work taking place.

In preparations for the xf86-video-intel 2.10 DDX driver, Intel's Carl Worth has just tagged the 2.9.99.901 driver in their mainline code-base, which is the first 2.10 test release. This will be Intel's first major X.Org update since the xf86-video-intel 2.9 release back in September, but like the Q3'09 driver, the 2.10 release largely targets bug-fixes and other fundamental improvements as opposed to bringing any major end-user features (like kernel mode-setting, a new acceleration architecture, DRI2, and other past improvements).

Over 100 code commits have been made to the xf86-video-intel 2.10 driver. Among the changes are cleaning to the XvMC and X-Video code that should enable Intel XvMC to work in a KMS environment, overlay support in KMS, the enabling of XvMC by default for Intel GMA 4-Series hardware (e.g. the G43 and G45), UXA improvements, and the dropping of user-space mode-setting (UMS) support.

With xf86-video-intel 2.10 and future releases, using kernel mode-setting is the only option as the UMS code has been ripped out entirely. With the Intel driver stack now at a feature parity between the UMS and KMS code paths, the old user-space code was ripped out, which trimmed up the driver by nearly 20,000 lines of code. To most users though only having KMS should not be much of a problem considering the feature parity and that most of the performance regressions and stability problems encountered earlier this year (for Ubuntu 9.04, Intel Linux driver killed the netbook experience) have been resolved.

While using Intel kernel mode-setting shouldn't be a problem for Linux users, for now this hard KMS dependency makes the xf86-video-intel 2.10 driver out of the reach of Solaris and *BSD users. These other operating systems that use X.Org first need to support the KMS interfaces as well as the Graphics Execution Manager for GPU memory management within the kernel. Sun Microsystems has been working on KMS for OpenSolaris, but it's not here yet. OpenBSD has expressed interest in KMS for the ability to run a root-less X Server, but again the code is not functional or in place yet. The same goes for FreeBSD, which is also hampered by limited development manpower.

The xf86-video-intel 2.9.99.901 driver release announcement has yet to be issued, but this covers most of the changes to be found in this release. The code is available from Git, as always.

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 News
  1. Fedora 22 Is Being Released Next Tuesday
  2. OpenWRT 15.05 Preparing Improved Security & Better Networking
  3. Using The New LLVM/Clang OpenMP Support
  4. Zapcc Claims To Be A "Much Faster C++ Compiler"
  5. Godot 1.1 Engine Release Brings New 2D Engine
  6. Intel VA-API Driver 1.6 Is Coming
  7. Canonical Is Reportedly Considering An IPO
  8. GNOME 3.18 - GTK3 Now Supports RandR 1.5
  9. Fedora 22 Risks Being Delayed Beyond Next Week
  10. Systemd 220 Has Finally Been Released
  11. LibreOffice 5.0 Beta 1 Released
  12. Allwinner Publishes New CedarX Open-Source Code
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Btrfs RAID 0/1 Benchmarks On The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  2. The State Of Various Firefox Features
  3. Intel Iris Graphics Performance With Mesa 10.6
  4. Fedora Workstation 22 Is Looking Great, Running Fantastic
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. The Linux 4.0 Kernel Currently Has An EXT4 Corruption Issue
  2. AMDGPU Open-Source Driver Code Continues Maturing
  3. Oculus Rift Suspends Linux Development To Focus On Windows
  4. Microsoft Open-Sources The Windows Communication Foundation
  5. LibreOffice 5.0 Open-Source Office Suite Has Been Branched
  6. Another HTTPS Vulnerability Rattles The Internet
  7. Wayland / Weston 1.8 Release Candidate Arrives
  8. Linux 4.1-rc4 Kernel Arrives A Day Late