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The "Bloody Mess" That Is Intel's Poulsbo Driver

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the how-not-to dept.

Intel 231

AdamWill writes "Phoronix writes about the mess that is the Linux support situation for Intel's new graphics chipset, the GMA 500 — aka Poulsbo. Near the end they refer to my own post on the topic ('Okay, so after a whole day spent bashing around at this crap, I can very confidently and conclusively say, it's utterly broken'). Intel has a reputation as one of the most clued-up open source-friendly hardware companies, but if they can't sort out the mess surrounding the driver for this chipset — which is already used on the Dell Mini 12 and Sony Vaio P, and will be used on many future Intel-based systems — that reputation will take a serious hit."

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FIRST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679611)

FINALLY MY FIST POST!

Re:FIRST POST (-1, Offtopic)

sinnegam (1223984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679655)

fist first fail...

Bloody Mess (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679615)

It must be that time of the month for intel....

Re:Bloody Mess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679875)

I was thinking of "Bodies... I'm not an animal!"

Re:Bloody Mess (1)

spartacus_prime (861925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680323)

She don't want a driver that looks like that.
I don't want a driver that looks like that.

Re:Bloody Mess (3, Funny)

awrz (1009247) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680071)

Oh wait. Read that wrong. I thought that gave them +5% damage and gory dismemberment when an enemy is killed in VATS.

My bad.

Reputation? (5, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679637)

I thought the intel video chipset reputation was already something like "it sucks, ATI or nvidia are much better choices".

Re:Reputation? (4, Informative)

lbbros (900904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679677)

Actually they are fine (I can even run a composited desktop on my EeePC, and that's a GMA 900), but in this case the technology isn't theirs, it was acquired from some third-party.

Re:Reputation? (3, Interesting)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679863)

Really though, you'd think Intel would negotiate an IP license which would allow them to release good drivers. It seems IMG should be getting ready to release some sort of Linux drivers around this time though ... perhaps this will address the GMA500 situation too?

http://groups.google.com/group/beagleboard/browse_thread/thread/ec1427fdb8f9ef8d/14af5abb79383525?lnk=gst&q=POWERVR#14af5abb79383525 [google.com]

Re:Reputation? (0, Redundant)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680427)

Also, to chime in. They are find, I can run Aero on an Intel 945, and we all know how excessive Aero's requirements are.

Compositing = Easy (2, Informative)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680803)

Compositing doesn't take a lot of power, despite how Linux has struggled with it. I mean, come on, at worst it's two triangles per window, with textures and alpha-blending. Maybe an extra four tris with colour and an alpha map for shadow. My 2001 ibook could do it in OS X, and that was running a Rage Mobility M3. I think it's 16MB.

You are correct when it comes to 3D performance (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679683)

Intel graphics chips are not for games. However, if you don't play games and you want a solid graphics card with enough 3D performance to run compiz or Quake with fully open source drivers, then Intel is what you want.

Or, it used to be. I don't know what the deal is with this new chipset.

Re:You are correct when it comes to 3D performance (4, Informative)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679813)

The 3D is licensed from PowerVR, aka Imagination Technologies which used to be called Videologic for those with long memories.

It has nothing to do with Intel (other than that they licensed it), and historically Videologic, when they where in the PC graphics card business where tight lipped about their stuff, rather like nVidia are.

Which all sorts of sucks because the chipset does pretty good 3D for virtually no power. Which should finally mean some netbooks with decent battery lives.

Re:You are correct when it comes to 3D performance (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679877)

if you dont play games but want to run quake?

Re:You are correct when it comes to 3D performance (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680063)

Quake is not a game. It is a murder simulator.

Re:You are correct when it comes to 3D performance (4, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680377)

No. Quake is not a game. It is a network performance analyzer.

Re:Reputation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679963)

AdamWill talks not about reputation of Intel's video but about reputation of its open(source)-friendliness.

I started having my doubts when I tried to get sensor readings (temperatures, voltages, fan speeds) on an Intel mobo with G33 chipset.
Intel BIOS can show them, there are windows programs (that use Intel toolkit) that can show them.
But on Linux/*BSD you can't get to them.
Hint: read (google?) about QST, AMT, MEI, HECI.
Yes, there is an OpenAMT driver, but tell me what is GUID of QST and what protocol it uses.

Re:Reputation? (4, Informative)

AdamWill (604569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679995)

That's the reputation of the power of the hardware. Yes, as far as playing your 3D games goes, you're not going to get very far with Intel.

However, up till now Intel has had a very good reputation for open source friendliness with regards to supporting the hardware, disregarding the actual power of the hardware. Intel are actively involved in maintaining the (100% open source) driver for all other Intel graphics chipsets, and they also contribute to general X.org development and the development of new technologies within X. Intel graphics hardware is generally the least powerful of the big three, but until this mess, it's been by far the best (and most openly) supported hardware in Linux.

Re:Reputation? (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680759)

My understanding is that it's not for 3D gaming. The GMA500 performs poorly on that front but it supports a lot of video decode features that are AWOL in the GMA945 etc.

Re:Reputation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680303)

Their chipsets never had much of a reputation, but their drivers have supposedly been the most open-source friendly.

I used to spec both desktops and laptops based on this reputation, but I'm finished doing that for the following reasons:

My circa 2001 Fujitsu laptop with an Intel 830MG has crashes spectacularly upon booting with the last 3 releases of Ubuntu and numerous other modern distros. It worked fine on Linux for the 5 years before then, so there has been a regression somewhere.

Compositing didn't work on my Thinkpad T61 with Intel x3100 graphics for about a year.

I bought a mobo with Intel X4500HD graphics to serve as the base of a MythTV box. There is some pretty bad tearing when watching video.

So, two of my three machines currently aren't working acceptably well for their intended purpose, all thanks to shoddy Intel drivers.

Re:Reputation? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680505)

when i broke my old laptop i 'upgraded' to one with an ATI chipset, how i year for the days of intel. now i have to choose between full-screen flash and composting (thanks to iplayer i went with flash)

Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (5, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679639)

Microsoft threatening Intel unless they knock off the Linux integration [boycottnovell.com] . Now, all of a sudden, Intel is having all kinds of problems with their Linux drivers.

Coincidence or anti-competitive behavior in action?

Re:Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679665)

Astro-turfer for sure!

You even use the slashdot effect to take down critical articles!

(j/k)

Re:Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (3, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679745)

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. (Wiki quote [wikipedia.org] )

Re:Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679911)

And never attribute to stupidity that which can be adequately explained by self-interest.

Re:Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (3, Insightful)

Cally (10873) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680085)

No malice needed; it'd be stupidity for Intel to cave to Microsoft at this point. When the 25 stone gorilla's choking on a fishbone, d'you break out the Heimlich maneuver?

Re:Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680339)

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. (Wiki quote)

A clever-sounding quote is not necessarily the same as wisdom or good advice. That's a great quote that people can pull out when they're being malicious and they want people to think they're not. It also keeps people from asking questions, which is generally not a good thing.

I'm also reminded of Godwin's Law about mentioning Hitler. It's generally used incorrectly (e.g. "If you compare someone to Hitler, you automatically lose.) The real law (according to Wikipedia) states "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." All this really seems to say to me is that people online get into heated arguments, and that the inevitable result of heated arguments online is that someone will call someone the worst name they could think of - Hitler. So basically, if you invoke Godwin's Law thinking that anyone automatically comparing someone to Hitler (like, say, someone with Fascist tendencies), you're the idiot because you don't know what Godwin's Law says. Sure, *most* people comparing someone to Hitler are going to be doing so only for shock value in the heat of an argument, but when you're talking about a politician with Fascist tendences, then, yeah, that comparison may be a valid point. If you don't keep track of those kinds of tendencies of people in positions of power, that's exactly what you could wind up with.

But I digress.

We've all seen the legal action against major tech companies about anti-competitive behaviour, price-fixing, and what-not, the emails from within Microsoft, etc. I'd think that at this point, anyone blindly assuming incompetence instead of malice on the part of a BigCo is kinda stupid.

The only clever saying I can think of that should pretty much always work is, "Question Authority."

Re:Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (4, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680389)

Having spent a lot of time in various beurocracies, I can attest that malice and stupidity work very well together. While one does not guarantee the other, they are often interlinked.

Re:Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (2, Interesting)

dattaway (3088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679829)

Coincidence or anti-competitive behavior in action?

I've noticed lots of Microsoft news articles recently too.

Re:Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (4, Interesting)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679907)

I think it is more about the lines of "omg, there is new sublaptop market here, quick, we need solution. Damn, our video chip uses too much power. Ok, there is some niche chip which could suit us. But there is lot of NDA and proprietary stuff. Heck, let's ride with it and see if it sticks. If not, we will abandon a driver."

It is clearly a totally different video card with different chip (which have closed parts not developed by Intel). So it ends there where usually such drivers goes - to trash can.

Re:Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680837)

Agreed. Hell, if anything Intel is the one in the power seat here. MS is more or less locked down to what is a defacto intel hardware.

Re:Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679923)

Link goes to a site suspended notice--presumably from their host. There's nothing in google cache, either. Got a copy of the article?

Re:Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (1)

42forty-two42 (532340) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680361)

Cache works for me [74.125.47.132] .

Re:Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (1)

AdamWill (604569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680015)

Coincidence, given that the documents discussed in that post are about 8 years old.

Twitter sockpuppet, mod down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680779)

n/t

Re:Wonder if this is one of the reasons? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680789)

I think you need to look more carefully at the timing. This comes under the heading of "illusion of coincidence". The information from Boycott-Novell comes from a court case, and the source of the evidence is memos from around 2001. (I should check again, but that's how I remember it.) So there's probably 5 or more years in between. (Allowing for various slips in production.)

IOW, I don't think this is a causal connection. Possibly you could dig up something that was, but it probably isn't from this batch.

OTOH, it certainly indicates the KIND of activities that MS engages in (as if there were any doubt). And as a result it's reasonable to suspect that something similar, but as yet undiscovered, underlies this. But it's also quite reasonable that there could be other reasons. (They didn't design the technology, they bought it from someone else, and it might use patents that they don't have a clear title to, and so they can only use them in certain licensed ways, e.g.) Lacking facts one can easily invent numerous stories. Don't believe the stories that you invent to be truth, but only possibility. You may never determine the truth, and that has to be all right.

Clued-up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679643)

Do you mean clued-in?

!gonvidia (5, Insightful)

paroneayea (642895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679693)

I'm noticing the tag 'gonvidia', and it's true... as in terms of hardware, Nvidia does seem to be the best. But as in terms of the linux community, they pretty much create problems for everyone. And yes, I know, to the end user that's not always apparent. But the linux desktop really would be a lot farther along if it weren't for nvidia's refusal to open up to the free software community.

If Intel's new open source graphic drivers suck, then obviously yes, that's shitty. But between them and nvidia, if you're going to praise one or the other in the Linux community, it shouldn't be nvidia. Intel's graphic cards still don't support GLSL and the like, but at least you can run an open source driver and it works.

Re:!gonvidia (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679747)

If being open source means the open source community will fix it, why aren't they contributing and fixing these drivers already? Why should it matter which drivers you get?

Re:!gonvidia (4, Insightful)

dattaway (3088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679803)

More importantly, distributions with closed source drivers are very fragile and easily break. Having an open source driver, its easy to find what went wrong with the changes and fix that. The closed source drivers don't like change. That's my 10+ years with Linux.

Re:!gonvidia (4, Informative)

Racemaniac (1099281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679827)

i don't know how it is in this case, but most of the times, the problem is that there is no information about the hardware. so even though the open source community would love to code uber awesome megadrivers, they haven't got any documents on how these chipsets work, so they can't write drivers for them

Re:!gonvidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679883)

What does nVidia being open have to do with the Linux desktop? You're free to use other more open hardware. Go ahead and advance the desktop with that stuff (whatever that means).

I have been using nVidia on Linux for over 10 years and their proprietary driver has worked fine the whole time. It's not perfect but it's not any worse than the open stuff. I have chosen nVidia all this time simply because it works the best in Linux (performance-wise and functionality-wise).

Re:!gonvidia -- some new STD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679955)

To be honest, I saw "gonvidia" and immediately thought not anything good like "go nvidia", but something very bad, more like "gonorrhea"...

Cheers,

Re:!gonvidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680005)

Intel new drivers seemingly suck, nvidia isn't "playing nice" (and their windows drivers are such utter garbage that I wouldn't even buy their top end card for $10), and as far as ATI goes fireglx sucks REAL HARD.

Re:!gonvidia (1)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680021)

Speaking as somebody using an Nvidia Quadro NVS140M on a Thinkpad with the 177 drivers in Linux,

all I have to say is,

my next computer will pack an ATI Radeon. I've never seen drivers that sucked as bad, both in performance and in rendering things correctly, as Nvidia.
When compiz is enabled, and especially in QT4 apps, it doesn't handle repainting damaged screen areas correctly. That is not acceptable. The newer drivers, while marginally better at handling this, break suspend to ram functionality.

If anyone is considering an Nvidia card to run under Linux, my advice is to run as far away as possible.
The only ATI card I've used under linux is a radeon 9800pro on a desktop, and it is flawless. Both in performance and correctness of what it renders.

Now the Nvidia card does work correctly under windows, but I boot into windows only about once every couple of months, so...

Re:!gonvidia (2, Informative)

AaronW (33736) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680057)

The performance issue should be fixed now in the latest driver version. It was a known bug and nVidia fixed it. I have no problems with the 180.25 driver.

Re:!gonvidia (1)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680081)

What about suspend to ram and the damaged area refresh problem?

Re:!gonvidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680279)

what about the fact that the 180.xx drivers dont' work with anything less than a 7800?...aaannd many of those bugfixes only apply to 8800s and up? Those of us with older cards are shit up a creek with broken drivers unless we forgo 3D acceleration. nvidia's 'solution'? buy a new video card.. how nice.

oh yeah, and for those of us who still use a textmode console that is not 80x25, the drivers fubar the fonts, forcing a 'setfont default8x9' to fix it each time the vt is switched away from X.

Re:!gonvidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680369)

The only ATI card I've used under linux is a radeon 9800pro on a desktop, and it is flawless. Both in performance and correctness of what it renders.

Not to subtract from the rest of your argument, but the 9800 pro is part of ATI's r300 series, which happen to be among the best-supported cards with open source drivers. Newer ATI cards have a less spotless reputation.

Still, I'd pick AMD over NVidia for all of my boxes, if only for their open-source friendly attitude.

Re:!gonvidia (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680447)

Yeah, lets not pick a product based on smart decisions like if it works better or not.

No, lets pick products based on their feelings towards open source. Yeah, that makes total sense..

Re:!gonvidia (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680889)

Yeah, that makes total sense..

Yes. Yes it does.

Re:!gonvidia (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680131)

But the linux desktop really would be a lot farther along if it weren't for nvidia's refusal to open up to the free software community.

nVidias stance is pretty simple: No open source support, period. No specifications, no features of really any kind in the open nv drivers, no help to those who ask, no nothing.

What they have delivers is addition to hardware is a great closed source driver which have simply been the best in terms of perforamnce, features and quality for anything better than integrated graphics. Catalyst (AMD/ATIs driver) has been a mess and despite improving greatly since AMD took over, they're not there yet. While AMD has opened their specifications, the open source Radeon drivers are far, far off from the closed source drivers still. AMD has still said their primary commitment is Catalyst, so who knows when if it'll ever get as good as that, which I said isn't as good as nVidia's.

nVidia has constantly been the ones pushing the boundries for what the Linux desktop can do. Just recently before Christmas they delivered the first working hardware accelerated h.264/vc-1 HD playback /VDPAU) and it's available on pretty much all mainstream nVidia cards. ATI is thinking of maybe adding UVD support to their closed source driver and any open source support is unlikely and certainly not coming soon. Poulsbo is the first I've heard from Intel that actually supports VA API and it sure isn't mainstream motherboards.

You talk as if nVidia has been keeping open source back and maybe the open source infrastructure would have been better if nVidia worked with them instead of doing their own thing. But the Linux desktop? I doubt it. It's been over a year since AMDs first release of specifications, go check out the current state of the open source drivers. When you come back, you might realize that for a long time, the best way to show a Linux desktop has been a nVidia machine with proprietary drivers, not ideologically pure but it works well. But sure, blame the guy up front plowing the road for not towing the open source community too. If the open source community could pull it off, they have the chance now as AMDs specs are in the open, that excuse is gone. Put up or STFU.

Re:!gonvidia (1, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680321)

If I had mod points you'd be getting them. Everything you said was spot on.

Re:!gonvidia (0)

lbbros (900904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680365)

What they have delivers is addition to hardware is a great closed source driver which have simply been the best in terms of perforamnce, features and quality for anything better than integrated graphics.

Please google for "kde4 nvidia problems" to see how the "great closed source driver" works. A lot of the stuff needed for ARGB visuals wasn't accelerated at all. It took quite a long time for NVIDIA to fix that.

Re:!gonvidia (1, Flamebait)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680399)

Yes, KDE4... what a rock-solid release that was when it hit. How well-tested, robust, and highly compatible. Why nobody in their right minds would consider KDE4 a complete failure at launch.

Re:!gonvidia (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680451)

What does KDE4 have to do with the fact that NVIDIA drivers were crappy when it came to supporting translucency and stuff? With older NVIDIA cards, I have worse performance than on my EeePC (GMA 900). That would mean something.

Re:!gonvidia (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680523)

KDE dev team clearly couldn't be arsed to fix bugs in their own code base prior to KDE4's release. I find it doubtful they even contacted nVidia about theirs.

Re:!gonvidia (2, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680553)

Your zealous fanaticism for open source is clearly apparent and clouding your judgement on the situation.

I find it humorous in the middle of an article about how shitty an open source driver is that you see it fit to blame nvidia for breaking a developer release of KDE. The worse part is you think it matters.

Do you get this angry when an open source driver has a bug? No.

With older NVIDIA cards, I have worse performance than on my EeePC (GMA 900).

Your old cards aren't as good as your new ones? shock! horror! Say it isn't so!

Re:!gonvidia (1)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680537)

From what I can see, KDE 4.2 *is* the end-user launch of KDE4. Have you given it a shot? If not, you really should.

Re:!gonvidia (1)

Zebedeu (739988) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680453)

What they have delivers is addition to hardware is a great closed source driver which have simply been the best in terms of perforamnce, features and quality for anything better than integrated graphics

Really? I my laptop I keep getting little drawing errors here and there (window borders are weird, etc), and sometimes the whole screen becomes corrupted to hell. I have to close the laptop screen and reopen it.

I've been having problems with nVidia drivers since I got this laptop 2 years ago, and thorugh all the versions of drivers, kernels and compiz, there was always something which was breaking.

Comparatively, this computer with the open source driver, or my other computers with Intel drivers work perfectly with exactly the same software and configuration.

Maybe nVidia is suplying the best drivers in existence, but I'm just not getting them here. For me it's simple, my next computer won't have nVidia hardware anywhere near it (same deal as with Via hardware, same reasons).

Re:!gonvidia (2, Informative)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680531)

Here's the problem, boss.
The PP lives in a video-game-playing world. You and I live in a desktop-effects and xrender-acceleration world. Our world gets the short end of the stick 'cause it's not very sexy.

Re:!gonvidia (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680657)

Three things I didn't say:
1. The nVidia driver is best on integrated graphics. I was talking about the field where Intel isn't playing.
2. The nVidia driver is bug free. Hell no, it got issues like everything else.
3. It's the best at keeping track of kernel and xorg changes. They're not, sometimes support for new interfaces and whatnot comes slowly. nVidia hooks into X lots of places to do what they do, and it can mess up things. If all you want is a simple driver that can show you a pretty picture, there are better options. Their strength is when there's something serious to do in the driver that you're not getting from the rest.

Are you really so dim? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680605)

"Put up or STFU"

I guess you are.

Re:!gonvidia (4, Insightful)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680619)

Linux open source purists want special treatment from manufacturers, and it makes no sense. ATI opens specs but their Linux drivers suck. nVidia has great Linux desktop support that advances the state of the art for Linux, as you admit, but they didn't release an open-source driver so you knock them for that.

But nVidia does not release the source code for Windows, either. They are treating all the operating systems exactly the same. Why would a non-zealot go with ATI when nVidia's closed source driver is far superior?

Re:!gonvidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680887)

Good performance from nVidia's Linux drivers? You have to be kidding me.. the 2D performance of my 6600GT running nVidia's latest drivers (180.22 or something I think) is _lower_ than the 2D performance from my laptop's GMA950 running the open source Intel drivers.

I have a silky smooth desktop with compositing and lots of effects while using the Intel drivers on woefully underpowered graphics hardware, while I have a jerky and jarring experience using the nVidia drivers with or without compositing enabled (though it's a lot worse with compositing).

Re:!gonvidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680411)

If Intel's new open source graphic drivers suck, then obviously yes, that's shitty. But between them and nvidia, if you're going to praise one or the other in the Linux community, it shouldn't be nvidia. Intel's graphic cards still don't support GLSL and the like, but at least you can run an open source driver and it works.

They do support GLSL. I have an old 965GM. Here's a part of the glxinfo output:

[...]
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Intel(R) 965GM GEM 20090114
OpenGL version string: 2.1 Mesa 7.3-rc3
OpenGL extensions:
[...] GL_ARB_fragment_shader,
[...] GL_ARB_shading_language_100,
[...] GL_ARB_vertex_shader,
[...]

However this requires a current kernel and driver.

Philipp

GMA 500 is based on PowerVR (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679741)

I thought there was an upto-date PowerVR driver in X.org already: the not-so-obvious solution may be to merge the Intel GMA500 driver & PowerVR driver to create a better GMA 500.

Of course this assumes that there is an upto date PowerVR driver and that the GMA500 is close enough to existing PowerVR chips to make it worth the effort...

GMA 500!!? (0, Flamebait)

anss123 (985305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679771)

Wasn't the GMA 950 crappy enough? We're talking sub Geforce SDR performance! Gah!

Re:GMA 500!!? (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680345)

The GMA 500 is way better than the 950 performance-wise.

Re:GMA 500!!? (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680417)

The GMA 500 is way better than the 950 performance-wise.

Typing "GMA 500 benchmark" into google produces a 3D Mark03 score of 427, while GMA 950 scores 2900. Sure sure, there can be bad drivers involved but that's still quite a climb for the GMA 500.

BUILD YOUR OWN (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679789)

You mean you're not using open source chips?

Re:BUILD YOUR OWN (2, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679983)

I sure am! [opensourcefood.com]

If it's open source, fix it. (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679811)

If the Linux community wants open driver development, then, it should write them. Intel made an open source driver, and now the author is condemning the code? Geez, how about fixing it! If you want something to be community owned, well that community has to step up. It's not Intel's responsibility.

Re:If it's open source, fix it. (4, Insightful)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679859)

Even if the driver is open source, the chipset documentation might not be. As others have mentioned, it's hard to know how to write a good driver working with nothing more than a bad driver. You need good documentation.

Re:If it's open source, fix it. (3, Informative)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679861)

Based on reading the various linked things, it appears that one primary complaint is that it isn't, in fact, sensibly released. There are bits and pieces of it scattered about but AdamWill can't actually find a whole release that actually works.

Re:If it's open source, fix it. (3, Informative)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679925)

It is undocumented and it has binary blob. Though scenario, even for very smart Xorg driver fellas.

Re:If it's open source, fix it. (4, Informative)

AdamWill (604569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680033)

Intel *didn't* make an open source driver. If you read my post, you'll note that there's three different closed-source components to the driver, without which significant features break.

Aside from that, what's needed for meaningful open source development is not "here's some code, have fun". There needs to be a proper development process hosted in an accessible fashion, and proper documentation. The 'intel' driver for previous Intel chipsets satisfies all of these goals. It's 100% open-source, it's developed within X.org and so easily accessible to external contributions in a widely-understood fashion, and the hardware is properly documented.

This 'psb' driver satisfies none of the goals. It was previously hosted within Moblin (which doesn't really have much of an external development community), and even that version of the code is now not being used. It now only shows up in obscure Ubuntu Netbook Remix repositories, with no independent source that anyone can find. So there's no sane development process to which external people can sensibly contribute. It contains large closed-source chunks. And there's no public hardware documentation, which makes it very hard for anyone else to work on it in the first place.

This is what I (and anyone else stuck with one of these chips) am complaining about.

Re:If it's open source, fix it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680251)

Intel made an open source driver,

Obviously you didn't RTFA (what else is new?), otherwise, you'd know that Intel didn't make shit. They paid another company to write the code and they did a lousy job of it. And IT is Intel's responsibility if they want people to use their products. Otherwise they should just release all the technical specs, api's, and all other documentation and let the community write a proper driver.

Re:If it's open source, fix it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680415)

I'm sorry that's not how open source users think.

First they bitch because your code is closed source and they can't fix it.

After you open source it they continue to bitch because your not fixing it for a system you didn't really want to support in the first place.

Bit of a tangent (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679821)

Intel has a reputation as one of the most clued-up open source-friendly hardware companies, ...

That's interesting, because I've noticed that many of the FOSS folks I know (the ones that seem especially zealous) have a particular disdain for Intel or anything they've touched. Could anyone clue me in regarding why? Usually when one of my FOSS friends goes on a rant about this, he's too worked up to be comprehensible.

Re:Bit of a tangent (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26679831)

Possibly because your friend is an idiot who has no idea what he's talking about? Intel release huge amounts of documentation, freely, they were one of the first companies to write and push their own drivers into the Linux kernel tree and almost all of their hardware is well supported with OSS drivers.

Re:Bit of a tangent (4, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679929)

I'd agree. I had a rather nasty return on a DV6990 HP laptop. It was trash, but that's aside the point.

I went and bought a T61, all intel down to the graphics card. Better wattage drain and complete open source drivers. Ubuntu detects everything on here, with exception to the HD APS system, which I can do without (it drains batt 2w extra).

And then, I find out that Intel releases everything about their 3d system.. And because of that, Linux devs are working on a Graphical Memory Manager, called GEM. Come to find out, it only works for Intel because they're soo open. They know they sell hardware, not their drivers.

Hopefully, AMD/ATI will follow and do the same. Wonder where that leaves nVidia...

Re:Bit of a tangent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680291)

Graphical Memory Manager, called GEM

wait. what?

Re:Bit of a tangent (5, Informative)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680333)

You got modded up, so I get to correct you.

GEM (Graphics Execution Manager) is only working for Intel because they have more people working on it. There's only around four or five people working on Radeon stuff, and of those, only two of us are dedicated to ATI work, and we're both students.

If you grab development snapshots, you can see Radeons working with DRI2, GEM, KMS, and all that fancy stuff.

Re:Bit of a tangent (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680863)

All the better to be corrected by someone who _knows_ :)
(i read your sig)

Much appreciated.

Re:Bit of a tangent (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680825)

And then, I find out that Intel releases everything about their 3d system.. And because of that, Linux devs are working on a Graphical Memory Manager, called GEM. Come to find out, it only works for Intel because they're soo open.

Wow, way to be off the mark. Before GEM, every driver did their own memory management. With GEM it is being done by a common memory manager in the kernel. Pretty much all the open drivers (intel, radeon, nouveau) are in the process of moving to GEM, which was a very recent addition to the kernel (2.6.28). AMD and nVidias blobs will probably continue to use their own memory manager. In short, everyone has a variation of what GEM does already and redoing the memory management (well, not all of it but enough) isn't done in a flash.

Re:Bit of a tangent (4, Insightful)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679899)

Intel's wireless 3945ABG Linux drivers are pretty good. The firmward microcode is released under a closed-source license, but the drivers themselves are open source (and in fact are part of the Linux kernel). That may be offensive to some OSS purists, but I'd rather have good, open-source drivers with closed firmware than non-functional open-source drivers.

It's the same with my opinion about nvidia's drivers. Sure, they're closed-source. But I'd rather nVidia give us working 3d drivers than be stuck with the crappy open-source 2d-only nv driver. It'd be nice if they were open-source, but I'm not going to refuse to use them out of some misguided idealism.

Put another way, if I'm dying of thirst, and a known thief offers me stolen water, I'm going to drink it - it's not like the water is tainted. Maybe that makes me an accessory to a crime (or, in software terms, maybe it encourages closed drivers) but it's better than dying of thirst (or, better than having no 3d drivers at all). nVidia has no real motivation to give us open-source 3d drivers in the first place, so refusing to use their closed driver won't make them change their minds.

Re:Bit of a tangent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680175)

Sure, they're closed-source. But I'd rather nVidia give us working 3d drivers than be stuck with the crappy open-source 2d-only nv driver. It'd be nice if they were open-source, but I'm not going to refuse to use them out of some misguided idealism.

LOL. That "crappy 2d-only nv driver" was written by nidia developers plus one or two non-nvidia devs. It's likely the same code that's in the binary blob with the 3D accelerated stuff. So whatever's crappy about the open 2d code goes for the closed source 3d capable code as well. You're still getting crappy code! hahaha

Re:Bit of a tangent (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680385)

By "crappy" I wasn't necessarily referring to the quality of the code - in fact I've never looked at the code - I was simply referring to the much smaller feature set as compared to the 3d-capable nVidia driver.

Re:Bit of a tangent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680227)

I totally agree with you, there is really too much fundamentalism when it comes to closed source drivers. When I buy hardware, I want it to do the things it is capable, those things I bought it for.
As long as it works the way it should, I have no problem with closed source drivers.
Isn't it in the interest of the users that companies are willing to provide working drivers? So who are we to demand, which license they have to use to work with the kernel?
It makes me angry if e.g. fglrx does not work with realtime kernels (some distributions have those as default) - but not because ATI sucks or this would require some special modifications - It's cause some parts needed for locking in the rt part are exported as EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL.

Re:Bit of a tangent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680499)

And it works the way it should as long as the company maintaining the drivers:
- is still there
- still supports the product
- keeps up with the changes in the rest of the codebase (APIs)

The problem is that the hardware lifetime usually greatly exceeds the company's support. The rest of the kernel moves off to $next_great_thing and everyone who was perfectly happy with their closed-source drivers now have hardware which DOESN'T work the way it should anymore.

Re:Bit of a tangent (2, Informative)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680521)

The firmward microcode is released under a closed-source license

That'd be because it contains the code to physically setup the device and any variation to it would cause it to break its FCC certification.

There's a fuzzy line between device level firmware which nobody ever wants to change (because it could cause your machine to literally blow up) and the driver code which, of course, we want to be free. Apparently it's because hardware manufacturers have shifted away from having firmware on a ROM and instead started distributing the microcode with the driver instead. It cuts manufacturing costs and makes microcode updates less dangerous.

I can't be arsed finding a link but even RMS accepts that it's OK for such microcode to stay as a blob.

Re:Bit of a tangent (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680579)

I wasn't saying I disagreed with the decision, I was only clarifying which parts were open source and which parts weren't.

I have noticed, however, that the Windows driver allows a larger range of settings than the Linux driver (unless I'm woefully uneducated about how to change the settings in Linux). For example, I can boost the transmit power in the Windows driver getting me better signal strength on some networks, but I can't do the same (or, I'm unaware of how to do so) for the Linux driver, meaning I get wireless access in some places at school in Windows but not in Linux. It's actually quite frustrating, seeing as how I'm trying to get used to working completely in Linux for my upcoming full-time job.

Re:Bit of a tangent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680829)

"The firmward microcode..." - The Firmward - where kooky firmware is locked up!

Re:Bit of a tangent (1)

WeblionX (675030) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679909)

It's probably because he's zealous. Zealotry tends to fry one's brain.

Re:Bit of a tangent (1)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26679915)

Intel eepro10/100 cards are really good, as is their wireless stuff. Your friend is talking shit- except Intel pretended that AMD didn't do 64 bits first.

Not really a tangent. (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 5 years ago | (#26680875)

Look around and open your eyes. But you have to look in the corners and shadows, too.

(Click the show more and read all the comments.)

My distaste for iNTEL comes from several sources, one is the lies they told about segmentation and about turing complete back in the 1980s. One recent one is what they did to UWB.

But you have to look really close, because their PR thugs are very good at locating the negative information and "cleaning" it up.

Ask yourself, what good will even the GPL do when iNTEL owns the tech behind all the pipes and pumps.

Look this gift horse in the mouth.

Or not. The fly in iNTEL's ointment is their processors. Shoot, they sold Marvell off, so the only thing they have is that segmentation-legacy-laden, energy-sucking x86. (Can't imagine what people see in 'core, other than the theory that, if everyone is crossing on the red light, it seems safer.)

Not entirely Intel's fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680311)

Not that I'm trying to make excuses for Intel, but the driver and the video component for Poulsbo is not from Intel. The hardware is licensed from PowerVR, and the driver was written by Tungsten at a time when Intel's internal Linux developers were radically changing the Intel graphics driver core and the kernel DRM (Direct Rendering Manager - not to be confused with the life-sucking copyright DRM floating about). Tungsten had essentially laid off it's Linux development staff when Intel approached them to do the Poulsbo driver for Linux and Windows Vista (yes, Vista). Tungsten appointed two developers from the Windows team to develop it based on a kernel snapshot from Fedora Core 6 (FC9 was out, and Poulsbo development was being done on Ubuntu Gutsy). Needless to say, when the driver was finished, it was written in a direction that is considered near impossible to realign with the newer GEM DRM kernel module without a complete rewrite from scratch. Add to that every change needs to be approved by PowerVR, and the 3D code needs to be kept top secret (wouldn't want nVidia or Ati/AMD to know their secrets to successful 3D video), makes the driver and graphics subsystem a thorn for Intel. I would like to point out that I watched it playback some HD quality video (mpeg-2, mpeg-4) and the performance was outstanding with only ~8-10% cpu utilization, presumably for background operations (like the ssh session being used to monitor performance).

May I be the first post to say... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26680597)

Fuck Intel!! No one with half a brain is going to buy their shit any more. Hell, I don't know anyone that knows how to buy a computer that doesn't have an AMD64 chip; why should their graphics business be any different.
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