Expérimental X11 intel driver

Just a small post to tell you that I’ve recently switched to the experimental X11 driver called “intel” on my Mandriva Linux 2007 Spring system. This X11 driver, usable with most of the intel graphic cards, is improved and is shipped in the 2007 Spring edition. In order to use it, it is necessary to update your xorg server (which, as a bonus, gives you access to randr extensions 1.2) and to do some manual operations which are explained here in a very straight-forward way :


I really appreciate this driver instead of the previous one (i810) for several reasons :

  • I don’t have this “blurred” appearance I had before, probably due to an incorrect refresh rate
  • I can now hotplug my television to my linux box, but unfortunately, the picture is black and white (even after several tries with xrandr, I can’t get the color)…
  • It is now possible to change resolution dynamically. It was possible before with krandrtray, but now Xorg has a good support for it
  • The awful 915resolution service isn’t useful anymore at every boot. It was used to launch a program hacking the BIOS in order to have the X11 driver correctly guessing the resolution. But, well, it’s really a hackish solution, as you’d admit.

However, I still have two little problems with it, but they don’t bother me, personally :

  • Beryl, compiz & compiz-fusion (yes, it is now available in 2007 Spring if you activate backports) don’t work : back to my favorite KDE theme : Serenity)
  • Logging out is enough to see X crashing (but it doesn’t crash when I’m inside the session, even when displaying at the same time a filem, a 3D application and flash sites)

That’s it.


10 Responses to “Expérimental X11 intel driver”

  1. FACORAT Fabrice Says:

    To avoid the lockup, configure GDM/KDm to restart the X server.

    For GDM, add in /etc/X11/gdm/custom.conf in the daemon category :

    It should be add in the wiki.

  2. yoho Says:

    Thanks for the tip ! I switched from KDM to GDM too, so that’s why I didn’t think about it.

  3. José JORGE Says:

    Your TV may support only SECAM color standard, and TV out is PAL?

  4. Austin Says:

    I don’t know why, but some laptops only show black and white TV-out unless the TV is connected at boot time. Both my laptop and my gf’s do that (both intel video). Might be a BIOS issue?

  5. Adam Williamson Says:

    I remember the 2007 Spring driver worked with Compiz for me…what exactly goes wrong for you when you try it?

  6. yoho Says:

    @TV : that’s what I thought, but my TV supports both standards and moreover, I can see the color display when I use Windows instead, on the same machine.

    @Austin : I’ll try that, thanks for the suggestion

    @Adam : All windows are borderless. The window manager crashes and the fallback wn is not launched.

  7. yoho Says:

    @TV -> @José, sorry 😉

  8. tarek heiland Says:

    I had the black and white issue and finally found a solution that worked for me after a lot of trying on my mythtv frontend machine.

    I am using gentoo, xf86-driver-i810-2.1.1 driver (intel 2.1.1)

    Get X running with black and white TV out

    Run command

    xrandr –output TV –set TV_FORMAT PAL

    I get errors running this command and it appears to do nothing, however if I then run a mode set eg

    xrandr –output TV –mode 1024×768

    Lo and behold I get colour!

    The first TV_FORMAT command appears to be essential despite the error. (maybe I can combine the two instructions eg xrandr –output TV –mode 1024×768 –set TV_FORMAT PAL – something to try when bored)

  9. yoho Says:

    Sorry tarek, I only noticed your message today !

    Yes, you’re right, someone told me the same thing elsewhere and you’re right, it’s solving the problem. The question is why can windows autodetect this settings whereas linux driver isn’t able to do it ?

  10. intel driver Says:

    it seems you have a lot of problems to solve, why not use a driver detective? it can fix such problems automatically.

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