[NCLUG] Intel open source drivers

Sean Reifschneider jafo at tummy.com
Sat Jan 27 14:58:58 MST 2007

On Fri, Jan 26, 2007 at 10:49:53PM -0700, Chad Perrin wrote:
>once in a while it would be flaky for a few minutes, for no reason I
>discerned other than perhaps pure gremlin-infested orneriness.

ToyKeeper has had that happening a lot.  I've been told by someone in the
know that the Atheros have superior RF hardware, but the IPWs have worked
much better for me in reality.  When I got my last laptop, I got an
upgraded a/b/g card, which turned out to be the atheros.  I also had the
included ip2100 b-only card.  I tried the atheros for several months, but
finally just switched back to b-only because the atheros was annoying.

That was probably 1.5 years ago though, the drivers have, possibly,

>It appears that Intel finally released its newfangled high-end 3D
>accelerated graphics adapter, with the 965 Express Chipset, last summer.

It looks like this is an "embedded only" sort of release.  Searching at
newegg I don't see any standalone Intel-based video boards.  I do see that
my backup server has a 965 in it:

   00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82G965 Integrated
   Graphics Controller (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [VGA])

I guess I could put beryl on it (it's running FC6 instead of CentOS,
because CentOS had issues with the dm-crypto causing corruption), so beryl
should be easy to get going there.

My laptop has:

   00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile
   915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [VGA])

>community at large -- it pertains to the troubles with getting open
>source drivers for GeForce and ATI adapters as well.  I'll see if I can

Are you talking about things like the proprietary drivers including
third-party software that ATI/nVidia can't release?  That's what I
understand to be part of the problem with these companies opening up their
drivers completely.  However, I think some of it is just ego as well.

>Y'know, ATI has been legendary in the crappy quality of its drivers

I don't know, I've heard the same thing about nVidia drivers though.  In
particular, I've heard the same issue with suspending in the nVidia
drivers, though at the time I was having problems, bsoft's nVidia based
laptop did not.

I do remember like a decade ago the Mach64 was a really reliable video
board for Linux.  At the time, Matrox was the speedy card, but only if you
used Xi's X server, which caused me nothing but troubles, and had HORRIBLE

>drivers is sketchy installation -- it fails more often than it works,
>and it seems like every successful install for me has involved a wholly
>unique Frankenstein's Monster of stitched-together workarounds so dense

The installs I've done recently haven't been much trouble at all, it was
pretty much just using the right repository for packages and following
their instructions.  ISTR that it was just adding the repo "yum install"
something or other, and then running one command.  Ditto for Ubuntu.

>any problem with ATI proprietary driver operation for any Radeon or
>FireGL -- even with suspend to RAM or hard drive.  I think I must just

About 1.5 years ago, for around 6 months, they had a driver for the r300
card my laptop had that definitely did not support suspending.

>credible laptop model (and by "credible", I mean self-respecting high
>enough quality so it wouldn't be caught dead being sold at Wal-Mart) has
>ever used an Intel graphics chipset.  High-end graphics could become

My ThinkPad T43 uses the Intel 915 mentioned above.  This is only 1024x768.
My previous 1600x1200 T42 (which I had to replace in a hurry because of
hardware problems that IBM/Lenovo couldn't ever seem to resolve, and
replaced with a locally-purchased T43 where I only had one option) used the
ATI chipset for the 1400 or 1600 resolution graphics options.  These are
the laptops that ESR calls "elite linux hacker" laptops, IIRC, so I would
assume they qualify as credible to you.  :-)

>Anyway, since I'm using mostly FreeBSD for everything these days, the

"Dude, you look EXACTLY LIKE Linux."

 A "fuddish" is when you *REALLY* like Looney Toons.
Sean Reifschneider, Member of Technical Staff <jafo at tummy.com>
tummy.com, ltd. - Linux Consulting since 1995: Ask me about High Availability
      Back off man. I'm a scientist.   http://HackingSociety.org/

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