Linux 6.2 Will No Longer Treat Intel Arc Graphics As Experimental

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 19 November 2022 at 07:00 AM EST. 30 Comments
INTEL --
A final batch of drm-intel-next feature patches were submitted on Friday to complement the drm-intel-gt-next patches. Most exciting with this last minute PR for Linux 6.2 is the DG2/Alchemist discrete GPU support no longer being treated as experimental.

With the Intel Arc Graphics DG2/Alchemist hardware to this point like the Arc Graphics A380 and Arc Graphics A750/A770, users have had to make use of the i915.force_probe= module option to actually have the Intel i915 kernel driver enable the discrete GPU support. The force_probe option is a requirement for when the Intel driver treats a given device as under "experimental" support.


My testing with the Arc Graphics A380/A750/A770 cards has been going well on Linux 6.0~6.1 and I've wondered why Intel has kept the DG2/Alchemist support behind the experimental flag since it makes for less than an ideal user experience... No hardware acceleration or even proper KMS handling until setting this module option. Well, with Linux 6.2 they are graduating the DG2-class GPUs to being officially supported.

With Friday's pull to DRM-Next, DG2 (Alchemist) GPUs no longer have force_probe protection. The patch promoting the DG2 support noted:
"DG2 has been very usable for a while now, and all of the [user-space API] changes related to fundamental platform usage have been finalized. Recent [continuous integration] results have also been healthy, so we're ready to drop the force_probe requirement and enable the platform by default."

So with Linux 6.2 there is nice out-of-the-box support finally for Arc Graphics. In user-space Mesa 22.2 or newer is needed (ideally the imminent Mesa 22.3 for the best support/performance).

Linux 6.2 will see its merge window kick off in December while the stable v6.2 kernel should be out in February. In turn the spring Linux distributions (and rolling release distros) will now enjoy a nice experience with Intel Arc Graphics requiring no workarounds for the experimental (force_probe) behavior. Hopefully with next-gen Battlemage GPUs they will manage to deliver more timely stable Linux support now that much of the dGPU groundwork has been established.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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