"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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