Intel SandyBridge graphics status?

Raimo Niskanen ratmapper at
Wed Oct 10 13:51:27 PDT 2012

Hi list, this is my first post.
Pardon the long prelude.


I have a fairly modern laptop from my work that is equipped with an i5
and thereby
Intel SandyBridge graphics, aka Intel HD 3000.

This kind of graphics card seems to be an Achilles' heel for the BSD family,
but I really would like to not having to boot it into leadfooted corporate Win7
to be able to show an xterm on an external projector, a task that seems
to require the xf86-video-intel driver and xrandr (according to intel(4)).

The latest xf86-video-intel driver from is currently 2.20.9. Reading
it's NEWS file it seems to require libdrm-2.4.22 or better and the version in
DFBSD's pkgsrc tree is 2.4.39 so that looks promising. Intel driver version
in current (master branch, 1b324e) pkgsrc tree is 2.7.1 so that is quite a
version diff.

That video driver also requires KMS (Kernel Mode Switching) since
it's version 2.10.

KMS seems to be the weak point, or rather the driver source
code that only talks about linux kernel versions with KMS. (Have they
gone completely Linux:ified?!) The feature appears to not be implemented
in any BSD yet, or is it?

DFBSD had KMS as a project in Google Summer of Code 2010 but I
have not found out what happened with that work. Did it make it into
the kernel sources?


Is there any chance for me to take the current intel 2.20.9
driver and make
it compile in the current pkgsrc tree or will the KMS issue make this futile?

Or should I try the same with driver version 2.9 instead? That should be before
the hard requirement on KMS, but just might have better support than 2.7.1
for SandyBridge. Maybe.

Best Regards
Raimo Niskanen

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