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Intel Open Sources Graphics Drivers

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the running-scared-from-amd-ati dept.


PeterBrett writes "Intel's Keith Packard announced earlier today that Intel was open sourcing graphics drivers for their new 965 Express Chipset family graphics controllers. From the announcement: 'Designed to support advanced rendering features in modern graphics APIs, this chipset family includes support for programmable vertex, geometry, and fragment shaders. By open sourcing the drivers for this new technology, Intel enables the open source community to experiment, develop, and contribute to the continuing advancement of open source 3D graphics.' The new drivers, available from the Linux Graphics Drivers from Intel website, are licensed under the GPL for Linux kernel drivers, and MIT license for XOrg 2D & 3D rendering subsystems."

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Now... (5, Funny)

infosec_spaz (968690) | more than 7 years ago | (#15876992)

If only a company who makes GOOD graphics cards would do the same!

Re:Now... (1, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877028)

If these Intel chips are any faster than my current GF2, mext time I upgrade neither ATi nor nVidia are getting my money.

Now...It's dead, Jim. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877063)

So now This project [newsforge.com] is dead?

It's alive! (2, Informative)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877145)

No. Intel is open sourcing their driver not their entire card. Even so, this project could use open source resources from other sources and get a boost in the arm from something like this. You don't seem to understand how open source works.

Re:Now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877037)

That comment really belies very little knowlege of the graphics market.

Re:Now... (-1, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877252)

That comment really belies very little knowlege of the graphics market.

I disagree. Intel video really is shit. Of course, it's onboard video, but you do have other choices for embedded video, so the GP's point still stands, and stands well.

Re:Now... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877269)

Yes, yes, I am a cocksucking NVidia-fanboi, too. Let's all have a great satisfying circle-jerk and write applications for janitor-jobs at the Googleplex!

Re:Now... (1, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877313)

Yes, yes, I am a cocksucking NVidia-fanboi, too. Let's all have a great satisfying circle-jerk and write applications for janitor-jobs at the Googleplex!

The simple fact is that nVidia makes the best consumer-grade graphics cards. ATI's cards might be every bit as powerful as nVidia's, but we'll never know, because ATI can't write a driver a letter, let alone writing a fucking driver.

It's funny, every time I tell this story, people tell me I had shitty hardware in spite of the fact that with an nVidia card in place, the system passes every test I can throw at it, but I had an Athlon XP 2500+ system with a Radeon 9600XT in it. If I installed catalyst control center, the system would bluescreen on every boot; if I didn't, it worked "fine" (some graphics munging that I never had with the admittedly much slower GF4Ti I had in there before.) I recently met someone else who had precisely the same problem as I did. Like me, uninstalling the CCC would make it work fine.

To paraphrase cartman, ATI couldn't write their way out of a nutsack.

Wow. (2, Interesting)

bobintetley (643462) | more than 7 years ago | (#15876994)

This is a great move by Intel - I know which vendor I'll be picking for my next 3D card. I HATE that I only have the choice of Nvidia or ATI's "mystery binary blobs" to play games.

Re:Wow. (5, Informative)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877014)

Well, this isn't for discrete graphics cards, right - it's for the built-in graphics in the 965 family chipsets. That's my understanding, anyway.

Still, a very nice move.

They already have the core designed. (1)

stonefoz (901011) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877074)

I'm sure Intel doesn't want to seperate their processors from this, but a discrete card using Intel's 3d would be a quick buy for many linux users. It's a shame I'd have to get a new system to use any newer gpu, but right now the old ati 8500 still works great with open-source drivers. Someone need to nudge Intel into moving their gpu off the chipset.

I think we're missing the point here. (4, Interesting)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877194)

Many, MANY home users out in the field use on-board video for everything. Now, I'm not saying this'll have them all converting to an Open Source OS, but this is yet another advance that would make sending the average noob user over to Linux without any sort of performance hit.

Taking a 180 degree turn and looking right back at your interpretation of the story, I find it very likely that Intel will be teaming up with nVidia sometime soon. Now that AMD owns ATI, Intel should be wide open to purchase nVidia if they want, and (although I'm not saying they'll need it), pairing Intel's massive resources with nVidia's enthusiast motherboard chipsets and universal video options, things could improve rapidly for the both of them. However, if Intel is going to enter the market as a third video force, that seems unlikely, although we could see Intel graphics cards interfacing well only with intel boards and intel CPUS, and the customer could likely lose if such a situation becomes possible.

Anyway, I think I've speculated enough. The bottom line is that open-sourcing these drivers is a very interesting and likely harmless move for intel to make, and it should make the jobs of many OS coders easier in the open source OS circles.

Re:Wow. (2, Insightful)

Abreu (173023) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877172)

Still, this might have a positive effect on Linux Laptop users, wouldnt it?

Re:Wow. (2, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877337)

Still, this might have a positive effect on Linux Laptop users, wouldnt it?

Excellent point. Have they released drivers for their wifi components yet?

Re:Wow. (2, Informative)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877040)

Not that you'll be playing any games with Intel integrated graphics, either..

Re:Wow. (2, Informative)

PastAustin (941464) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877181)

Actually in my experience many games play very well with Intel Integrated.

Granted an nVidia would slaughter an Intel but the fact that it is on the motherboard it really really nice, additionally thanks to DVMT you can tune the video card so if it is an office user who isn't going to be doing much graphics intensive things it can be simply 64mb or 128mb but you can turn it up to 256mb when someone is going to be gaming or doing advanced graphical renderings. I was very pleased with my 915GAG with the 915G chipset. The only game that didn't play was CS:Source and that was because of their lack of support for DVMT.

Re:Wow. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877216)

Well, it has programmable shaders. Anybody care to guess what the roughly equivalent card to this new 965 express would be? I'd like it if I didn't need an add-in card to do some gaming on my PVR box, and my TV is only NTSC so fillrate isn't a huge deal.

OT: Moderation (-1, Offtopic)

bobintetley (643462) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877073)

WHY is it that every time I post a comment some total tool mods me overrated? It was a relevant comment to the discussion, one I think many people share (we're sick of there being no decent 3D cards with non-proprietary *nix drivers).

Whoever gave me that overrated mod. Fuck you, I hope you get cancer you power-drunk knob-jockey.

Re:OT: Moderation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877433)

Because it was a one-liner lacking any depth... yet had been modded up.

Thus, overrated.

Re:Wow. (2, Insightful)

DCstewieG (824956) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877107)

Yeah! Damn those blobs, giving you all that performance!!

Y'know, I understand members of the Linux community choosing to buy this on principle, but come on. The Intel graphics are so incredibly far behind nV and ATI that it's ridiculous...unless you're not planning to play ANY recent games. I could see going with ATI over nVidia if they open sourced theirs (or the reverse) but going Intel just for that would be nuts.

Re:Wow. (3, Insightful)

bobintetley (643462) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877136)

Yeah! Damn those blobs, giving you all that performance!!

Why would an open source driver be slower than blobs if the manufacturers created it?

The way I see it, by giving ATI/Nv my money I'm saying "hey, it's ok to pollute my system with code I can't look at" (and yes, I am capable of looking at it, but even if I wasn't *someone* is and that's the point). So Intel will be getting my money when I buy a new motherboard.

And it's not just about games - Xgl/compiz, xcompmgr, etc. etc.

Re:Wow. (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877166)

If you're not playing games the open source nv drivers will work fine for you [hint: I use it on my workstation].

But it isn't just the drivers that hold intel graphics back. It's the fact that GPUs from ATI and NV are huge and overdesigned for the task. Intel graphics chips are much smaller [re: fewer pipelines, non-dedicated memory, etc].

The only way Intel could win is if they had more transistor real estate and a dedicated memory bus for the GPU.


Re:Wow. (1)

DCstewieG (824956) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877178)

I didn't mean it would be faster because it's a blob, but because it's powering an ATI or nV card. And like I said I understand your buying on principle, but it's going to cost you performance.

Re:Wow. (1)

outZider (165286) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877396)

I think he's implying that those blobs support ATI and nVIDIA cards, which are, on average, of a higher performance than any chipset Intel has out.

Re:Wow. (3, Informative)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877160)

Not for Linux users.

Given that ATI and nVidia's support for Linux is next to nil, and that their mystery blobs are somewhat error-prone, (not to mention the inherent issues in using a generic binary - link conflicts, non-optimized machine code, etc.), I don't see how choosing an Intel card would be rediculous.

Sure, they're behind, but the 965 series is better than, say, ATI's 8500 (the highest of their cards that is properly supported in Linux). Seems to me that Intel's just jumped ahead of the game by becoming available to a niche market.

Meanwhile, I don't exactly trust the business-motivated hacks found in blobs from graphics card vendors (re: the quake.exe debacle). Having source makes a bechmarking far more auditable.

Re:Wow. (3, Informative)

Tet (2721) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877236)

Sure, they're behind, but the 965 series is better than, say, ATI's 8500 (the highest of their cards that is properly supported in Linux).

Actually, the 9250 is the fasted fully supported ATI card under Linux. The r300 driver (9600, 9800 and X800) will probably soon be stable enough for widespread use, too. How the 965 compares to those, I don't know. But I suspect it'll be more than good enough for 99% of all users.

Re:Wow. (2, Insightful)

bhalo05 (865352) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877282)

Not everyone is a hard-gamer. If it is good enough to have decent OpenGL performance and it's valid for XGL, then choosing it because of open source drivers would be a no brainer. And I'm sure many others will agree.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877247)

A third party has already announced plans for a clone product "KillerGraphic" will deliver the pixels to your screen 150% faster.

Re: Wow (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877303)

Why nVidia or ATI should bother? The Linux gaming sector is plain dead when compared to its Windows counterpart, back since the days of Loki's demise; there is no need for most Linux users to purchase expensive modern video cards unless game developers all of a sudden target their mainstream production to Linux. On the other hand, there is a tendency to beautify the plain old desktop with all the fancy things around - Vista's Aero, Novell's xgl - and to make use of all this stuff one needs at least basic 3d acceleration. So here's where VIA/S3 might join Intel with their S25 thing, because it's S25 that targets this same market of eye candy desktop. And since S25 is a stripped down version of S27, afaik, that's the power video card I expect to become Linux friendly in the near future, not any of those Radeons or GeForces.

Happy now? (2, Interesting)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#15876997)

I can't say I particularly care (not using any on-board graphics), but this is a nice move on their part. Also, it would be interesting to see how this affects the performance/features in the long run.

Re:Happy now? (5, Informative)

Ruie (30480) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877226)

I can't say I particularly care (not using any on-board graphics)

One area where on-board graphics is important are notebooks - especially those thin and light ones. A choice of video card is rare, especially if one cares about battery life.

Traditionally, Linux support of new notebook video chips was very uncertain, as it is not possible to get a new notebook with a 2 year old graphics controller. Thus the fact that all-Intel notebooks are a safe choice (with not only 2d, but also 3d and wireless working under Linux) is a truly wonderful news.

Also, the new Xserver features have to be implemented on something before there are binary blobs that support them. So having an open code to experiment with, say, Render, impacts other graphics cards as well.

Re:Happy now? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877237)

How is this comment rated 5?

I might as well post:
Good job intel! I love open source, I love linux, I welcome our open source overlords, long live intel beowulf clusters, in russia they open source YOU

Re:Happy now? (0, Flamebait)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877309)

Read the entire thread. This isn't the only post like that. It's not the correct, or informative posts that are modded up. It's the cheerleader/fanboy posts.

It's a symptom of the fact that 99% of the people reading this article simultaniously know practically nothing about what they're talking about, and think they are experts.

Re:Happy now? (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877310)

U dunno, I just wanted a first post without being -1 troll, so that's just a bonus. I think of it as a compensation for being modded down multiple times when not praising linux or gpl.

Competition from AMD/ATI? (5, Interesting)

thre5her (223254) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877004)

Hopefully AMD/ATI will compete by open-sourcing the drivers for their integrated chipsets. Some healthy competition would definitely help the Linux desktop.

Re:Competition from AMD/ATI? (1)

jezreel (261337) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877044)

As I read today somewhere on /., ATI won't play along because some portions of their code are licensed to SGI and they are legally unable to open source it

Re:Competition from AMD/ATI? (4, Interesting)

Mr. Jaggers (167308) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877335)

That's a stupid excuse, though. They could always isolate the SGI-laden parts, LGPL the rest, and let the community at least have a fighting chance at replacing what's behind the proprietary API's. I'm not claiming that our homebrew routines would *ever* be better, but I suppose it is within the realm of possibility. Oh, and when I say "always", I do really mean *always*... at any point, even right this minute, they could do so.

The non-licensed parts of the code don't have to compile to be released. Besides, when bugs are traced back into the dark proprietary code, that would also make ATI the good guys and SGI the bad guys. ATI could claim that the licensed part is really fast and awesome and sweet, but proprietary, and that the community is welcome to try and replace it with something fast and awesome and
sweet, but open. Or even something slow and crappy, but rock-solid stable, that plays nice with Xorg and the kernel.

I suppose they might have licensed other companies code and signed away their right to ever release any code they ever write that uses the licensed bits. That would be a collosal blunder, but would partially account for silence on the subject.

I'm fairly certain that the real reason lies not the code ATI has licensed, but the code/tech they've worked hard on and feel they need to keep secret or else lose their edge against nVidia. Of course, it seems that same statement could be made, swapping the names of the two companies, and still be true. In fact, the "trade secret" and "intellectual property" argument is almost certainly the biggest reason for closed-source driver code. Besides, how can a company who is losing money afford to give anything away for free? At least it always seems like the investors and board of directors of tech companies seem to believe that they are perpetually bleeding cash, even when they file record profits with the SEC.

Anyway, that's quite enough ranting and unsubstantiated libel for one post.

Re:Competition from AMD/ATI? (4, Informative)

FlipmodePlaya (719010) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877055)

http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=15446 [osnews.com] Looks like they're at least considering it.

Re:Competition from AMD/ATI? (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877255)


First of all, that's really, seriously, just a rumor.

Secondly, there is already an open source driver with a 'functional subset' of features for both ATI and nVidia cards. If they were to do this, nothing would change. Do you really think anybody who is upset about the current state of Linux graphics drivers would be satisfied in any way by crippled open-source drivers?

Re:Competition from AMD/ATI? (1, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877200)

They like to compete instead by actually having good performance.

Besides, graphics drivers are the least of Linux's desktop problems. In the home it's major roadblock is the Microsoft business development executives in charge of DirectX, and in the workplace it's Exchange/Outlook. Get those things covered, and desktop Linux succeeds. Get just the DirectX issue covered (including marketing and developer outreach) and the graphics drivers will follow.

Don't believe me? Notice how MacOS doesn't seem to have the same driver issues as Linux dispite similar market share... When there is a unified graphics API, the driver writers have a finite set of things to test, and quality follows. It's not like ATI and Nvidia aren't trying... And sure, Intel's graphics drivers aren't as buggy... They don't perform either though.

Image quality? (0, Troll)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877010)

I've noticed an entire industry of low end graphics cards has sprung up to replace the fuzzy pictures from integrated intel graphics.

bravo, intel (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877015)

will amd/ati take a hint? if not, it seems like intel is going to own the linux market. they already provide good drivers for their wireless cards (i'm using one right now).

Re:bravo, intel (2, Insightful)

Jake73 (306340) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877235)

All it takes to "own the linux market" is good drivers. Not open-source ones. Most people will gravitate towards that which works. Having the source code available is only important for a small group of people.

That said, having source code available may help improve quality, but it certainly isn't a foregone conclusion.

Pwn The Market? (3, Insightful)

KagatoLNX (141673) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877338)


Closed-source Linux drivers can work well enough for a single kernel version in a controlled environment. You still don't get support from most distros that would want to build their own. Sure, if you cooperate you get in Novell and Red Hat's offerings, but not much further. You also get the onus of sinking the money into it to keep it working. Not to mention you pretty much guarantee being a problem to your users--think things like software suspend that never work right with closed drivers because certain problems can't be debugged or fixed (in which case improved quality *IS* a foregone conclusion).

You either get SLES / RHEL, or you get SLES / RHEL / Debian / Ubuntu / everything else... Not to mention improved operation. Of course, gravitating toward what works is why people are using open source in the first place. Sometimes "what works" is defined in terms of avoiding vendor lock-in and extortionate licensing.

first reaction: (4, Interesting)

mihalis (28146) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877033)

Fantastic. Great work Intel. This puts your products in a different, more positive light for me personally. This could be really good for X11. I worked with it for about 10 years and have been very despondent about its chance in a world of proprietary drivers from ATI and NVIDIA being the only way to use modern graphics hardware. Maybe there's a chance for open source desktop after all.

For verily I say unto you.... (0, Flamebait)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877233)

Fantastic. Great work Intel.....
....even as you rejoice at the fact he may at last have seen the light of the true faith, be watchful and suspicions! Never forget the words of the bearded prophet that bears the mark of the sacred GNU: "The Antichrist is sly and caniving ......"

Re:For verily I say unto you.... (1, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877286)

Caniving? WTF does that mean, biting something with sharp teeth?

Re:For verily I say unto you.... (0, Flamebait)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877422)

Caniving? WTF does that mean, biting something

No, it's a comparatively common spelling error of the word 'conniving'. But then you knew that already. Now be a good boy and go do something constructive like suing me for assaulting your sense of grammatical perfection.

Maybe we'll start seeing Intel graphics clones... (3, Insightful)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877052)

The argument against nVidia and ATI opening up their drivers was always that it would give other vendors a headstart in cloning their chipsets. They'd be able to tell how they work (from a hardware API level at least), and have a driver ready to go if they copied that API.

Now that there's a working Intel 3D driver with source, does this mean that other vendors might start making cheap clones of the Intel graphics chips? Or was the above argument really a red herring.

And if they did, what's to stop them from making chips that use the same API, but work much better?

Re:Maybe we'll start seeing Intel graphics clones. (4, Informative)

l2718 (514756) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877079)

Well, Intel's integrated graphics chipset is a far cry from the nVidia / ATI high-end accellerators. Cloning it will be next to useless (who'll buy a separate graphics card to replaace an on-board solution?) since most other chipset manufacturers already have on-board solutions of their own. I doubt this will change the high-end makers rationale for keeping their drivers secret.

Re:Maybe we'll start seeing Intel graphics clones. (1)

krmt (91422) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877122)

The biggest issue with Intel's GPU versus ATI and NVidia is that it is onboard. The onboard ATI and NVidia GPU's don't really fare any better. The reason is that off-board cards have dedicated memory and buses, meaning that it doesn't have to fight for bus space with the CPU. If Intel made a non-integrated GPU with the same core, it'd do just fine.

I'll also note that the i915 is just fine for running XGL/AIGLX and compiz.

Re:Maybe we'll start seeing Intel graphics clones. (2, Insightful)

l2718 (514756) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877183)

It's true that the onboard ATI & nVidia solutions aren't much better than Intel's. I suspect, however, that they share significant API with the high-end non-integreated cards from the same companies which are the real cash cows and therefore the technology they are trying to keep secret.

Re:Maybe we'll start seeing Intel graphics clones. (4, Interesting)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877110)

I'd be willing to bet the REAL reason they don't open their drivers is because they're using stuff they know is the intellectual property of others. Just a guess, though; I have no real information on this, but I'd be very surprised if they can't dig into each other's hardware under a microscope to figure out what the other guy is doing, and reverse engineer each other's drivers. These are some very smart folks we're talking about here.

Re:Maybe we'll start seeing Intel graphics clones. (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877135)

the REAL reason they don't open their drivers is because they're using stuff they know is the intellectual property of others
Very good, it's called licensing. Yes it happens, yes there are things in the binary drivers from nVidida and ATi that neither own.

Re:Maybe we'll start seeing Intel graphics clones. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877153)

Chances are the you are correct. It is not that hard to reverse engineer. And yes, they all have ppl on board doing just that (now a days, they do it out of the country).

As to intellectual propery, I would not be surprised. I know of several large companies that have outright ripped off GPL work. Funny thing is, that the company that I currently works at, has directors that are pushing this while at the same time they sitting on a ethics committe. Sad state.

Re:Maybe we'll start seeing Intel graphics clones. (1)

TheDugong (701481) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877175)

Would they need to open the existsing drivers?

Surely just releasing API specs would be enough?

Re:Maybe we'll start seeing Intel graphics clones. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877195)

They also may be using intellectual property from outside entities under license that they are not allowed to reveal. I know that this is the number one issue keeping many legacy applications from being open sourced.

Re:Maybe we'll start seeing Intel graphics clones. (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877131)

Are you suggesting a company reverse engineer a graphics core based on driver source?

That is pretty much impossible.

Re:Maybe we'll start seeing Intel graphics clones. (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877191)

It won't spawn cheap clones, at this graphics chip already is cheap.

Re:Maybe we'll start seeing Intel graphics clones. (1)

RalphBNumbers (655475) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877238)

Laptop chipsets with Intel's integrated graphics cost $3 or $4 more than otherwise equivalent chipsets without graphics as of July according to their price list.

Good luck getting cheaper than that with your knock-off.

Props to Intel (0, Troll)

TheAvatar666 (670893) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877053)

The linux community has been all talk about open source graphics drivers and all crap. Let's see what they make out of this open shit now, or if it's gonna be the next OpenDarwin. I hope they make it work well, so maybe it will influence NVIDIA or AMD. We shall see.

Nice (5, Insightful)

Morkano (786068) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877056)


I bet they're trying to preempt AMD doing the same with an integrated ATI chip.

Well played, Intel. Well played.

Linux Laptops! (5, Interesting)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877080)

Ok here is the thing...ATI and nvidia can be a bit of a pain...but on a desktop you buy one or the other and you plug it in and go. Laptops on the other hand your selection is FAR more limited and you have to juggle hardware, and more often than not, something just won't work right or well. This makes the Intel integrated laptops even more attractive now instead of the ATI/nvidia ones. I really hope they go backwards with this to and open their recent chipsets up completely as well.

Re:Linux Laptops! (1)

tailend (466155) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877199)

If only this were true. Try and find a good driver for one of the more recent ATI cards, such as the x1600, and you will be out of luck. The radon driver does not work at all and the latest ATI binary driver is still broken for xv leaving the card useless for MythTV. Strangly, support for old ATI cards is reasonable, but if you are thinking of running Linux with a new ATI card then expect problems.

Re:Linux Laptops! (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877306)

Exactly...when I was doing research on my latest laptop purchase it basically came out that all the ATI cards xXXX series wouldn't work right at all,some could do shared memory mode, but their hard memory wouldn't work. All of the laptops I looked at with nvidia cards had another issue that made them worthless in linux, however, i don't remember off the top of my head what it was. I went to multiple stores with linux live CDs trying to boot and test all of the laptop configurations I was interested in and got pretty pathetic results. I ultimately ended with a Dell e1505 with an intel GMA 945 that basically everything works with minimal headache. The only thing I don't know is the SD card slot (kernel seems to see it fine, but I don't have any SD cards to test with), and the modem (presumably a win modem, but I haven't had a need for a modem in a few years so its pretty low on the priorty list).

Re:Linux Laptops! (1)

aschlemm (17571) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877391)

This was the same issue I faced with a Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop purchase last year. There was an option for either Intel or ATI for graphics and I went with the Intel 915GM since I knew I could get X11 running with that chip. I had no idea whether the ATI card would actually work with Linux. I installed SuSE Linux on the thing and haven't looked back.

Re:Linux Laptops! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877292)

Here's the other, more important thing. At my company probably 20,000 desktops and servers are on platforms employing the Intel graphics chipset. It's just as likely true of thousands more enterprises. Stronger out-of-the-box support for an industry standard graphics solution is a another step forward for Linux in the workplace. Intel's implied nod in that direction is one more.

Prediction (1)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877113)

This chipset has been a source of problems for people running Linux. I predict this move will smooth those problems out in pretty short order, because we can deal with the problem ourselves rather than wait on Intel to allocate the resources to the problem.

who needs open source drivers? (5, Insightful)

trb (8509) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877129)

besides the desire/preference to have open source drivers for license compliance and moral/ethical reasons, there is a more practical reason why source access to drivers is handy. sometimes you need to recompile drivers from source in order to have them play well with operating systems features. for instance, if they need to respect the constraints of real-time systems such as rtlinux, rtai, or xenomai. these systems need to redefine cli/sti (clear/set interrupt) instructions (using macros) so that the real-time micro-kernel handles the interrupts rather than linux. open source drivers let you recompile with #include files that make this possible.

Re:who needs open source drivers? (1)

legirons (809082) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877245)

"there is a more practical reason why source access to drivers is handy"

As if being able to run OpenGL on a default ubuntu install wasn't reason enough...

or some new linux user getting the black screen of death when nVidia'a proprietary graphics drivers screw-up the whole system after a dist-upgrade

Who cares what frame-rate nVidia claims with their windows drivers? if their cards can't achieve that frame-rate using open-source drivers, they're not worth shit.

Re:who needs open source drivers? (4, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877413)

Also, though not important for this particular driver, you have the advantage of using the same driver source on "unsupported" platforms. For instance, very few vendors support Linux with binary drivers for PPC, or even AMD64. Open drivers usually Just Work.

Kudos to Intel! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877141)

This is good news. Open Source won't fix a bad product (hello Netscape), but you can have an army of eager (unpaid!) geeks happily extending your product. The idiocy of companies that hold their driver source proprietary is beyond belief; Does nVidia and ARI really seriously believe it gives them an advantage? Hardly. nVidia's drivers are buggy and crash prone. I am sick of my nVidia card hanging, and the saps at nVidia's support merely send you an automated email "Have you installed the latest driver." Yes, and it also crashes. If I had the source, I could fire up MSDEV. But I don't.

Intel made an earlier foray into 3D with the i740 which didn't do that well in the marketplace. But now they're back, and this is a nice first step. If they drive nVidia and ATI (and especially nVidia) out of business, I wouldn't shed a tear. Truth is even Microsoft by taking over Shaders with HLSL has done a better job that nVidia with their proprietary Cg language. Open sourcing their drivers shows good faith. Come on Intel!

Interesting....Linux on Mac Mini? (1)

xjerky (128399) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877180)

I know it's a "why bother?" thing, but with this announcement, perhaps I'll be able to run compiz under Linux, booted off of an exteral drive (I think rEFIt allows for this), at maximum speed. For the time being, I wouldnt want to bother, since last I checked there were no accelerated Intel drivers for Linux.

mod 04 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877190)

Many of us are than a fractiO8 And as BSD sinks another troubled

Wow. (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877202)

What incredibly sensible move by Intel and what a great way to differentiate themselves from the competition.

I hope this puts pressure on nVidia and AMD/ATI to follow suit. Although they probably don't want each other seeing how many of their respective patents have been violated or that their code is full of benchmark-enhancing hacks.

This is a VERY important development (5, Insightful)

sweetnjguy29 (880256) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877207)

I know that all of us techies turn our noses up at integrated graphic chipsets, but I think that an enormous number of computers out there, including laptops, that utilize this technology. One of the more common complaints from people switching to linux is that the monitor resolution and graphics are sucky. A BSD and GPL licenced driver solution would be perfect to help more people make the switch!

Which brings up the question... (2, Interesting)

japhering (564929) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877222)

Are they making my plans to open source the rest of their graphics drivers ?

Re:Which brings up the question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877331)

All Intel graphics drivers are open source at this point.

Wait a minute,,, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877271)

Yes, But does it run on Linux?

Slow down cowboy (1, Informative)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877276)

Remember ... to use this GPU [totally unrelated to the CPU] you *MUST* use an Intel processor.

So before y'all get too far ahead patting Intel on the back remember that you are not free to use the GPU with say an ARM, MIPS, PPC or other x86 processor [via/amd/etc]. Not only that, but IIRC Intel GPUs are tied to Intel chipset motherboards.

So while it's all good and said that the drivers are open source, that helps users, it doesn't help the industry and society as a whole. Making their GPUs independently available outside of their x86 processor line would [e.g. as a discrete chip others could license or as an add-on PCI-E card].


Re:Slow down cowboy (2, Informative)

eklitzke (873155) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877367)

Of course not -- you can only use the GPU on motherboards that support it, namely those with an Intel chipset. But since the hardware specs and drivers have been released under a free license, you are more than welcome to try to get the GPU to run on any hardware that you can dream of.

Re:Slow down cowboy (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877379)

Yeah that sounds nice and smartassy except I doubt Intel will license the spec to [say] AMD or Via to include in their products. And failing to get a license you better learn how to remove the surface mounted ICs from your mobo so you can um I dunno, magically transplant them.

OMG I can't get over how stupid your reply was... My head asploded!


License (1)

cerelib (903469) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877288)

Can somebody please explain this dual licensing scheme. Why do they even have the GPL in there? If you can obtain the source code under the MIT license, can't you do whatever you want with it, including dropping it in a GPL project?

Re:License (1)

Whatsisname (891214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877336)

I would bet the Kernel modules are GPL because the Linux kernel is GPL, and they would use the MIT license for the X modules, because X uses an MIT license. Makes perfect sense to me.

Re:License (1)

Keichann (888574) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877404)

GPL for the kernel module won't taint, and allows it to be included by default in distributions like Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora etc.

As for the MIT license, see the first paragraph of:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_License [wikipedia.org]

"The MIT License, also called the X License or the X11 License..."

Well done Intel! (1)

echusarcana (832151) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877298)

This would influence my buying decision as well.

There are many businesses that require long product life cycles that only open source can provide. If I buy a brand X hardware, who is to say it will work with next year's version of Windows? Who will say the company still supports the product?

There are many long life-cycle assets out there: heavy industry is an obvious example. ...nuclear stations, oil refineries, subway systems, military... These businesses want their IT to last as long as the machinery it controls does (decades).

It is also a pain to buy a computer and get 95% of it working under Linux. Even major vendors like HP don't really tell you what works and what doesn't. The same can be said for Windows, because shipped drivers are usually terrible, but at least you can get new ones from the web site.

I'm impressed and encouraged.. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877383)

I'm wandering if apple's adoption of intel had anything to do with that..

this coupled with apple's opening of their kernel source for osX86 has made the horizon of computing seem a bit less bleak than before.

Bought. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877417)

I will definitely buy one of these motherboards now. The best solution right now is the ATI R200 series (Radeon 9250) cards. My R200 will hopefully last me until I can get one of these Intel chips. Maybe with a quad Kentsfield.

Ultimate. Linux. Workstation.

Stupid Question (1)

SengirV (203400) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877426)

I know this isn't the right place to ask. But is the 965 available for the older yonah chip? Or the new merom on up?

I'm just trying ot figure out if Apple could update the GPU in the Macbooks and stick with the yonah to still differentiate the Macbooks from the Macbook Pros/
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