Trying CentOS 7 Linux On An Intel Xeon E3 Skylake System
Written by Michael Larabel in Red Hat on 16 December 2015 at 04:19 PM EST. Add A Comment
With this week having looked at the state of Ubuntu 15.10 and Fedora 23 on a brand new Intel Xeon E3 v5 "Skylake" system, next up for testing was CentOS 7 1511.

Of course, the main area for concern was whether the Skylake "WKS GT2" graphics were working on this newest CentOS 7 update. CentOS 7 as with upstream RHEL7 is on a Linux 3.10 kernel well before the Skylake Linux enablement, but Red Hat back-ports a lot of hardware support code to their Enterprise Kernel.

However, in the case of the graphics support for the Intel HD Graphics P530, this support wasn't to be found in the latest CentOS 7 release.

Thus rather than getting a 4K display, there was no Intel DRM mode-setting so just a 800x600 display and powered by LLVMpipe.

It did, however, have the Intel Skylake Xeon support back-ported to its P-State driver so CentOS 7 1511 was using P-State for its CPU scaling governor rather than ACPI CPUfreq. Everything else with this system was working appropriately, which is great if you're after using CentOS 7 on a Skylake Xeon headless server.

I ran some CentOS 7 1511 benchmarks against Ubuntu 15.10 and Fedora 23 that I did earlier on this E3-1245 v5 system. You can find those results via this result file if you are curious how the three distributions compare on this new platform.
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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 or contacted via

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