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i810 Video Drivers Update



By: geoffc

January 4, 2008 6:16 am

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Work got me a great new laptop, a Dell Latitude D830. Overall I quite like it, but being new hardware, I am finding getting Linux drivers for it a mixed bag. They decided to get me the Intel onboard video instead of the Nvidia card, so that made drivers even trickier.

I use SLED 10 SP1, did a fresh install, and it used the VESA driver. Which was ok, but I could not control the brightness nor enable XGL to use the fun screen rotating stuff.

The onboard NIC has a driver, but this laptop uses the Broadcom wireless chipset, which quite annoyingly does not completely have a Linux driver. (I understand it is coming in one of the next SLED builds, but still requires a boot into Windows to get some ROM info off the card).

Went with ndiswrapper and so far so good. I have been seeing occasional lock ups when I start up, just as ndiswrapper loads. Hard power down and a start up again and it works. Hoping that the 1.51 version of ndiswrapper (was at 1.48) will help with this problem. If anyone has heard of this and has an idea, I would love to hear about it! Please let me know either through a comment or a private message on this site.

The video issue has been a pain for a while now, and I tried the shipping i810 drivers which are supposed to support many Intel graphics chipsets. Alas, that did not help at all and just did not work.

There are a number of builds floating around, and the openSuse site seems to be keeping and getting the latest builds.

http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/Drivers:/Video:/intel-G33/SLE_10_SP1/repodata/

Backup the path to see the actual files, and to get the 64 bit ones if you need them.

http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/Drivers:/Video:/intel-G33/SLE_10_SP1/

The previous builds were mostly working for me, but using XGL and Designer for Identity Manager, every so often, but way too often, when rotating the screen away from Designer, GDM would crash and restart. At least it restarts, but all my open screens and data would be lost. Very unacceptable.

Possibly worse was that suspend to RAM would not work. I found that with the VESA drivers, if I closed the lid, and in the /etc/powersave/sleep file if I told it to force suspend, then it would suspend. When I opened it, it clearly came back, but to a black display. What I noticed was a Ctrl-Alt F1 would take me to the first console screen, and a Alt F7 would take me back to the GUI console and I was back and running. A bit annoying but much faster than shutting down and rebooting every time for sure!

The good news is that the latest set of drivers specifically claim to address the suspend issue! As far as I can tell it is working.

As for the GDM quitting on me, I turned off XGL and just use 4 workspaces instead.

If you are using an Intel 965M chipset laptop I recommend you try the newest drivers (6.9.0.2-15.1). Make sure you get the agpart, drm, Mesa, modules for the same release, and finally the 915resolution patch.

Ctrl-Alt F1 to get to a console, log in, then:
init 3 (To shutdown the Xserver).
sax2 -r -m 0=vesa (to stop using the current drivers, note that is a zero, not an Oh).
rpm -qa | grep i810 (find the names of the RPMs in use)
rpm -qa | grep 915 (gotta update the 915resolution patch as well)

Now either rpm -e all the installed modules (which is a pain since you cannot copy and paste without the GUI.).

rpm -i all the modules we need.

You may get some dependencies issues, in which case you could try:

rpm -U -nodeps all the modules names at once.

Once you have the new ones in you are ready to switch back.

sax2 -r -m 0=i810
init 5 (To start the Xserver back up).

Hopefully that will work as well for you as it did for me! Best of luck.

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Categories: SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, Technical Solutions

Disclaimer: As with everything else at SUSE Conversations, this content is definitely not supported by SUSE (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).  It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.

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