Intel SandyBridge graphics status?

Raimo Niskanen ratmapper at
Thu Oct 11 00:46:45 PDT 2012

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 7:51 AM, Francois Tigeot <ftigeot at> wrote:
> Hi,
> 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
> -master
> 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

As bad as I expected, then.
Thank you for an illuminating answer.
Raimo Niskanen

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