Intel To Eventually Explore Offering A Graphics Control Panel For Linux Systems
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 16 January 2019 at 03:41 PM EST. 37 Comments
INTEL --
Intel's Linux graphics driver stack has never offered its own vendor-specific driver control panel GUI like is common among all major graphics vendors on Windows, but instead they've opted for the command-line experience and making use of common interfaces with what's offered by the different desktop environments for resolution handling, multi-monitor setup, etc. But moving forward they may end up bringing a new graphics driver control panel to Linux.

With the exception of the NVIDIA proprietary Linux graphics driver that offers a GTK-based control panel interface with all meaningful controls in a GUI environment (besides also offering CLI access to the tunables too), the open-source Linux graphics drivers from the likes of Radeon, Intel, and Nouveau have relied upon the generic control panels shipped by the different desktop environments. The current round of Linux GUI settings panels are often limited to just the common RandR monitor controls / multi-monitor setup and other basic display settings, but far from what can be configured via the driver control panels on Windows.


The display settings offered currently on the GNOME desktop.


It's not that Linux doesn't already support those tunables, but in fact both Radeon and Intel drivers offer much of the same level of configuration just that it currently is only exposed via the command-line via sysfs/debugfs, kernel ioctls, etc, and not carried through into any feature-packaged GUI configuration area. For the AMD Radeon part, they discussed previously of porting their Qt-based Radeon Software user-interface to Linux, but in the end did not and leaving the GUI tasks up to Linux desktop environments.


The former Radeon "AMDCCCLE" driver control panel for Linux systems, no longer maintained/working.


With the Intel graphics scene getting more exciting with Icelake Gen11 graphics out later this year and the first of their discrete "Xe" graphics expected in 2020, they may end up offering a GUI driver panel for Linux.


The current NVIDIA Linux graphics driver control panel, the most feature-rich choice at the moment.


The Intel Graphics team has been teasing a new Windows control panel they are expected to announce soon, so I decided to ask about any Linux plans.


The answer came down basically as I would have expected: "The first release of the control panel, will not include Linux; however we hear you, and are exploring for future releases."

Right now Intel Linux graphics desktop users aren't missing out on much since all necessary functionality is in place. But when it comes to discrete graphics and opening up for overclocking and advanced tweaking as many gamers are accustomed to doing on Windows, obviously it would make sense to offer a nice graphical user interface rather than hand-editing Mesa configuration files, writing values via sysfs, etc; we certainly know there is much interest in Linux on discrete Intel graphics.
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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 10,000 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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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