Shiny new Intel gfx drivers (2.3.0)

As it has been announced on several mailing lists, Intel released version 2.3.0 of their X driver. Being back from vacation and all, I’ve only just committed it to portage. Here are a few things Gentoo users might want to know about it.

  • This version is definitely not as disruptive as 2.2.0 (which will probably be remembered as one of the worst driver releases in all of Xorg history). Overall, it really is an incremental release on top of 2.2 with all the bug fixes.
  • Laptop users of i915 chipsets and newer should enjoy new xrandr options to control how the image is displayed on the LCD when not using its native resolution: the old behavior was to stretch the image in both X and Y directions, now the driver supports stretching with aspect ration constraints and not stretching the image at all to keep a 1:1 ratio.
  • i965 does have a video overlay and I think it’s enabled by default now.
  • XvMC support should be much better now on i945 and newer. As I can’t test XvMC (and I don’t really need it anyway), some testing might be interesting. Please let me know how it works on your systems, I’d like to hear from you 🙂
  • Not really technical but very important IMHO: the new release process is now much much smoother. Intel decided to release a new driver every quarter and that’s a great improvement. “Release early, release often”. Intel now also releases beta versions of the driver. It might not seem like much, but it does make my job a lot easier and it really helps to get real users to test drivers on their systems. And it shows: only hours after each beta, bugs get reported and fixed. If only more FOSS projects could work like that…

As a whole, it’s a good release that shows that even big companies such as Intel can successfully build communities that are committed to quality and openness. Big props to all who worked on it.

On the Gentoo side of things, here are some additional notes:

  • As it looks today, 2.3.0 is a prime candidate for stabilization. As such, I encourage all stable users to unmask it and try it on their systems. It should work properly with xorg-server-1.3. If not, please don’t hesitate to open a bug.
  • I’d also like to remind everyone that opening a bug in Gentoo’s bugzilla is a great step to get your problems solved. But in the case of the Intel driver, there’s very little I can actually do to fix bugs: I don’t work for Intel, I don’t know their code nor how the hardware works, I just know about bugs and patches. So if I ask you to open a bug in FreeDesktop’s bugzilla, it’s not because I don’t want to fix the bug, it’s just that I can’t do it myself. Users who actually take the time to do so are usually rewarded by having their issue fixed in a matter of days. So please, take the time to report bugs upstream, it’s in your best interest.

Now, off to work.

4 thoughts on “Shiny new Intel gfx drivers (2.3.0)”

  1. It should work properly with xorg-server-1.3.
    Are you sure about this? As far as I know, it needs xorg server 1.4 and mesalib 7, both ~ at the moment.

  2. I’ve personally reported build issues upstream so that they could be fixed. As I don’t have any stable Gentoo systems around, I can’t test this. However, if you have any such issues, please file a bug.


  3. Actually, XvMC is available on 915 and 945, not on 965 (they say it will come later).

    Regarding xv, 965 exposes two xv adaptor:
    Adaptor #0: “Intel(R) Textured Video”
    Adaptor #1: “Intel(R) Video Overlay”

    but not all programs permits user to choose which one to use (default is the textured).

  4. re: kvt

    Working fine here with xorg-server-1.3, with my “Intel Corporation 82865G Integrated Graphics Controller”

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