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The status of Intel video drivers for Linux (and what it means for your favorite

Aug 17, 2009, 21:31 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Caitlyn Martin)

[ Thanks to Caitlyn Martin for this link. ]

"Corresponding changes were made to the Linux kernel, including migrating the new Graphics Execution Manager (GEM), which manages video memory, into the mainline kernel beginning with version 2.6.28. Setting graphics resolution, which has traditionally been done as part of the X server, has also been migrated to the kernel. Kernel Mode Setting (KMS) is now enabled by default in the most recent Ubuntu 9.10 alpha release.

"The changes in both the Intel driver and the kernel also required changes to X.Org. Even my brief and decidedly less than detailed description of these changes makes it obvious that an awful lot of Linux core code has been undergoing some very major changes during the past year. Sadly, the results have, at least so far, meant that for many users of some of the most popular Linux distributions, performance did not improve. Quite the opposite: performance severely deteriorated and instability was introduced. Some users who upgraded their systems to the latest and greatest version of their favorite distribution found themselves with a system that ran very poorly, crashed frequently, or in some cases, found that X wouldn't work at all. Phoronix described their testing of Ubuntu 9.04 on a Samsung netbook this way: "...a buggy Intel Linux graphics stack led to slow performance, stability issues, screen corruption, and other problems.""

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