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New xf86-video-intel 2.10 Testing Release

Intel

Published on 11 December 2009 10:18 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
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Less than two weeks ago the first release candidate for the xf86-video-intel 2.10 driver was released, but now the second release candidate can be obtained from its Git repository. Not a whole lot of work has been committed to the Intel DDX driver since xf86-video-intel 2.9.99.901, but 2.9.99.902 is out there and testing is appreciated.

The xf86-video-intel 2.10 driver completely drops support for user-space mode-setting support but relies entirely now upon kernel mode-setting for GPU initialization. While Intel KMS has been around for a few releases now in the mainline kernel, Intel highly recommends using the Linux 2.6.32 kernel or later with xf86-video-intel 2.10.

Besides ripping out the user mode-setting support that has lightened up the driver's code size, xf86-video-intel 2.10.0 DDX also provides video overlay support when using kernel mode-setting. However, to use KMS video overlay support, not even the Linux 2.6.32 kernel is good enough. Users need the Linux 2.6.33 kernel, which has received major DRM improvements, but is not even at 2.6.33-rc1 status yet.

The xf86-video-intel 2.10.0 also supports new debugging options that can be set within the xorg.conf file. These options are DebugFlushBatches, DebugFlushCaches, and DebugWait. DebugFlushBatches will make the driver flush the batch buffer after every single operation and DebugFlushCaches will issue a flush command at the end of every batch buffer that forces data to be flushed out of cache and into the video memory before the completion of the batch. Lastly, DebugWait causes synchronous rendering by forcing the driver to wait for the completion of every batch buffer before continuing. These three options are just designed for helping to further debug the Intel Linux graphics driver stack.

Making up a bulk of the xf86-video-intel 2.10.0 drivers are simple bug-fixes, which range from supporting larger extended desktops to addressing some glyph corruption issues. There are also reportedly some performance fixes in this Intel DDX.

The official xf86-video-intel 2.10.0 driver release is expected this month or early next month.

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