Another perspective on Poulsbo

I come at the Poulsbo problem from, pretty much, a plain old 'frustrated user with the time to try and build random things' perspective. The redoubtable Matthew Garrett comes at it from the 'equally frustrated, very smart kernel developer' perspective. His post on the mess is well worth reading for a different angle on the whole deal.

An update on the situation, BTW: I haven't worked on cleaning up the packages for the driver for F11, as I said I would, because of some later experience with it. For both me and a couple of others who've successfully built and got it working, it causes the system to hang solid, quite reliably, about half an hour after you turn it on. Which is a bit of a big problem. With benchmarking, it also seems to be slow even for basic 2D operations, almost as slow as the vesa driver; so it's not providing much of a benefit besides the RandR 1.2 support for external monitors.

An email I got from within Intel hints that some of the proprietary special sauce is required even for basic 2D acceleration to work right. I can't find any indication of this in the logs, but it may be that - even though I sucked as much of the proprietary stuff as I could into the packages - I missed some, or it somehow doesn't quite play right, and hence the 2D acceleration isn't working. I'm not sure.

So for now I'm just using the vesa driver and sucking it up. Sigh. BTW, through this whole three week UK trip I'll be doing all my work from the P. So far this is going pretty well, despite the slow graphics!


hubick wrote on 2009-06-27 19:39:
Although I haven't had a chance yet, I was really looking forward to getting your package working on my Panasonic CF-U1. The vesa driver doesn't have a resolution/mode to match my LCD touch screen, which totally screws everything up, so to me, that is a huge and critical benefit to having a working psb driver. Without that driver, my CF-U1 is basically a brick to me with Linux, so this makes it look like I might have to switch to Ubuntu for any kind of support :(
adamw wrote on 2009-06-28 00:16:
vesa probes modes, just like any other driver. it just needs tweaking for some kind of idiosyncracy of your hardware. poke ajax, and provide X logs. or, to go about it the proper way, file a bug at or, and provide X logs. :) when I mentioned this same problem on my P to ajax, he had vesa fixed in about two minutes flat...
ReX1983 wrote on 2009-06-28 23:03:
Hello Adam. Yesterday I installed the latest psb-module, 2d and 3d drivers and firmware on my Ubuntu 9.04. Now 2d and 3d accellerations work, also Compiz starts and runs. But... it's the slowest graphic card I've ever seen: glxgears gives me 220-250fps and Compiz is too slow to be used (really really slow). Also with Compiz disabled the 2d graphic is really slow. I don't know why it's so slow also with official firmware for Ubuntu 9.04. It's strange because the gma500 works very very well in Windows XP and also in Windows 7, with Aero interface enabled.
pabr wrote on 2009-06-28 23:06:
Does your system hang like mine, i.e. the display freezes and the logs say “[mi] EQ overflowing. The server is probably stuck in an infinite loop” ? Also, how do you benchmark psb versus vesa ? In my experience X11 applications are *much* more responsive with the psb driver. Even glxgears gets a nice framerate boost despite the 2D-only acceleration.
ReX1983 wrote on 2009-06-28 23:29:
No, it doesn't hag. Before PSB I had something like 20-30fps with glxgears, now I have 220-250fps, so I think that 3d module and firmware work well, but it's also too slow compared to all the Intel integrated graphic cards I've ever seen (also 945). They obtain 800-1000fps and Compiz runs well (I've tried with an Apple Macbook, first model)...