Intel Sends Out First Batch Of Display/Graphics Driver Updates For Linux 5.1 Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 15 January 2019 at 03:05 AM EST. Add A Comment
While the Linux 5.0 kernel won't even debut as stable until around the end of February, as is standard practice, it's open season for new feature improvements of the changes developers want to end up queuing into the "-next" branches ahead of the Linux 5.1 cycle. The Intel open-source driver developers on Monday sent in their initial batch of graphics driver changes for this next kernel cycle.

Rodrigo Vivi of the Intel Open-Source Technology Center sent in their initial Linux 5.1 Intel DRM driver material today to DRM-Next for its vetting until the Linux 5.1 merge window at the start of March.

The Icelake "Gen 11" graphics support for Linux appears to be squared away ahead of the new CPUs debuting later in the year. With this 5.1 pull request there are just a handful of Icelake "ICL" related patches mostly around the display handling and in particular for Type-C/Thunderbolt ports.

This initial 5.1 pull request is largely made up of low-level code clean-ups, random fixes, and some kernel documentation improvements. Some of the larger fixes/changes include better debugfs handling, removing hardware semaphores for Gen7 interl-engine sync, improvements around GPU resetting and hang reporting, some power management related tweaks, and other small items.

One sort of feature to mention is that frame-buffer compression (FBC) is now supported for 5K displays on Gen10 (Cannonlake) graphics and newer. But with Cannonlake graphics not materializing, that seems like it will really be a change for Icelake.

The complete list of these patches initially staged for Linux 5.1 by way of DRM-Next can be found via this pull request. Expect more changes in the weeks ahead while Linux 5.0 gets buttoned up.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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