[ubuntu-x] -intel version 2.9 for Lucid

Bryce Harrington bryce at canonical.com
Tue Mar 9 21:21:26 GMT 2010

Hi all,

Off and on we've been hashing out whether to ship the 2.9 or 2.10 -intel
graphics driver in Lucid.  At this point I think we're pretty much in
consensus so this email will serve to document the rationales.

The main change for 2.10 is the removal of UMS.  It also has some
changes for improving Xv and a few bugfixes.

KMS is *pretty* stable for everyone, but there are still corner cases
where the user is going to need to go back to UMS.  For instance,
certain 8xx chips are poorly supported, and some monitors require quirks
that are in UMS but not KMS, or lack EDID (such as if their KVM filters
it out).  It may be a while before every one of these issues is solved,
and since Lucid is an LTS this will give future users at least an
ultimate fallback in case of continued problems.

The kernel team has announced incorporating the .33 drm to Lucid, which
is a good move.  We've been testing this in preparation, and while we
find it fixes a number of bugs, still many (esp. 8xx bugs) remain.  So
having the newer drm mitigates the situation but doesn't obviate the
need for a fallback completely.

We took a similar move with Hardy when we held off deprecating the i810
driver.  A number of 8xx owners took good advantage of that, and I think
we'll gain a similar benefit from hanging onto UMS a bit longer.

The bug fixes in the 2.10 (and 2.11) -intel can be backported I think
without too much trouble.  The Xv improvements are also targets to
consider backporting, although I don't want to make any specific
promises there as my plate is already pretty full.  The other option
would be something like an -intel-legacy driver, but I think in this
case backporting makes more sense and will be a lot easier from a
support perspective down the line.

If you're interested in seeing the situation with the Intel driver
further solidified, I would encourage you to become involved by
forwarding bug reports for issues that can still be reproduced with the
latest bits.  This has been our biggest bang for the buck bug activity,
we just have not got the resources to stay atop the inflow of bug
reports to Ubuntu.  Even if you just forward bug reports you have
reported (or can easily reproduce) it will help considerably.


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