[ubuntu-x] i8xx, again!

Christopher James Halse Rogers raof at ubuntu.com
Mon Sep 6 05:29:08 BST 2010

Hello X wranglers!

It's that time of the release, again(!), where it's too late for a
magical fix for i8xx to appear, and we need to work out the least-bad
option to use as the default.

It, again(!), looks like there's hope for the next release with Chris
Wilson's accel-less shadow branch, but there are still problems with
that branch, it's not mainline, and it's too late to switch for

This, as I count it, leaves us with 3 options:

1) Blacklist KMS on the cards, as we did for Lucid, and let VESA drive
them.  This is my current favourite, and what we've got in the kernel

 * Users get the VESA driver, which should work.

 * Laptops might not have the panel's native modes in their VESA bios,
leading to suboptimal resolution or -vesa not working at all (there's a
report of -vesa failing completely).
 * Users need to fiddle with grub options or modprobe config to load the
intel driver.

2) Don't blacklist KMS, but drop these cards from X's autoload list.
This will let fbdev take over.

 * If KMS brings up the native mode, users get the native mode.
 * Resolution can be set on the kernel command line.
 * Dual-head will work in clone mode if second head is connected at boot

 * Can't change resolution at runtime
 * Non-default resolutions *must* be set on the kernel command line.
 * User needs to generate an xorg.conf to use the intel driver.

3) Do nothing, let the intel driver load on kms.

 * If it doesn't crash, everything works.

 * Lots of crashes.

I favour option (1).  I think that the ability to switch resolution is
likely to be more important than starting in the best possible
resolution.  I also think that users are more likely to be familiar with
the VESA driver, and be more likely to ask useful questions.

We'll release-note this, again(!).

Does anyone have any further insights or better ideas?
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