Intel SandyBridge graphics status?

Francois Tigeot ftigeot at
Wed Oct 10 22:51:43 PDT 2012


On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 10:51:27PM +0200, Raimo Niskanen wrote:
> 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,
> 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?!)

Sadly, yes.

> The feature appears to not be implemented in any BSD yet, or is it?

FreeBSD has apparently implemented just enough of DRM2+KMS+GEM to be able
to run the i915 kernel mode driver.
I believe OpenBSD people have also done some work to backport some of the
newest i915 KMS code (including Sandy Bridge hardware support) to the Xorg
UMS intel driver.

> 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?

Some parts did, like r600 DRM support.
David Shao keeps a "gsocdrm_github" branch on Github here and merges it periodically with

I gave it a try but it does nothing on my machines; it most likely only
supports old intel chipsets.
I then started to port the new FreeBSD KMS code but this work is currently
stalled for lack of time. WIP branch:

> 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?

It will not work without KMS, Intel removed user-mode switching support from
the Xorg driver.

> 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.

I _think_ 2.9 has only hw support for Arrandale but I could be wrong.
The fastest way to get something working is probably to go the OpenBSD route
and add back UMS support to the newer Xorg drivers.

Francois Tigeot

More information about the Users mailing list