Intel releases open-source drivers

Intel has released open-source software to give Linux full-fledged support for 3D graphics, a move that could give its graphics chips a leg up over rivals.

Way to go Intel … open source/GPL compliant hardware drivers … very good news for all flavors of *nix users.

I think this could well be an important trendsetter and I commend Intel for taking the lead.

The new website has tar balls of the new drivers, but they recommend “Compiling and/or upgrading video drivers in Linux is a complex and error-prone task. If you are not experienced doing this, we recommend that you get precompiled packages from one of the many Linux distributions.”

Hope the *nix distributions will pick up on this very quickly as this may be a big boon for Linux on laptops in particular as well as Intel based desktops.

According to the documentation page the new driver will support the following:

The Linux graphics drivers from Intel support the following Intel® chipsets:

Short name Full name

965G G965 Integrated Graphics Controller
965Q Q963/Q965 Integrated Graphics Controller
946GZ 946GZ/GL Integrated Graphics Controller
945G 945G Integrated Graphics Controller
945GM Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller
915G 82915G/GV/910GL Express Chipset Family Graphics Controller
915G 82915G Express Chipset Family Graphics Controller
915GM Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller
865G 82865G Integrated Graphics Controller
855GM 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device
852GM 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device
845G 82845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE Chipset Integrated Graphics Device
i830M 82830 Chipset Graphics Controller
815 82815 Chipset Graphics Controller
810 82810 Chipset Graphics Controller
810-DC100 82810-M DC-100 System and Graphics Controller

Thanks to ebrke at Scots Newsletter Forums for this update.

Not only that, but according to the ZDNet article, Intel says that the drivers will be available simultaneously with other OS drivers, such as Windows:

Intel released the graphics software just before the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, which begins Aug. 15. But the main impetus for the open-source driver timing was that Intel needed to support its 965 “Broadwater” chipset. The chipset is used in conjunction with Intel’s new Core 2 Duo “Conroe” processor and is being released next week, Hohndel said.

“We’re releasing drivers before the hardware gets released, which is a nice change of pace,” he said.

Indeed, after Intel’s release of open-source Centrino wireless-network drivers lagged Windows by more than a year, Intel pledged to make its Linux support simultaneous.

Excellent news indeed.

Much more in the article including some speculation on nVidia and ATI as well as how AMD might play into this now that they may well be obtaining ATI.

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