Linux 4.3 Will Let Skylake Graphics Play Out-Of-The-Box

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 26 August 2015 at 02:47 PM EDT. Add A Comment
In my testing of Intel's Skylake processor this month, there's been a silly/annoying issue that will fortunately be a problem of the past with the Linux 4.3 kernel.

The silly issue has been that up through Linux 4.2, the Intel DRM/KMS driver doesn't activate by default for Skylake graphics hardware... You fallback to having no kernel mode-setting / acceleration unless you boot the kernel with i915.preliminary_hw_support=1. Fortunately, Linux 4.3 is no longer treating Skylake as "preliminary" support. Even though Linux 4.2 and prior requires this flag, the HD Graphics 530 support has been stable on the Fedora and Ubuntu kernels I've tested so far this month.

With my testing now of the Core i5 6600K with HD Graphics 530 (see those links for my initial Skylake Linux benchmark results), running the DRM-Next code for Linux 4.3 is indeed having the graphics play nicely with the stock kernel. At the moment I'm running some Skylake HD Graphics 530 benchmarks with DRM-Next and Mesa 11.0.

This change authored last month by Intel and in DRM-Next dropped the preliminary support flag for "Gen9" Skylake graphics. "Time to light a candle and remove the preliminary_hw_support flag."
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Michael Larabel

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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