Building latest Intel support for 945G

Cliff Lawson cliff at
Fri Dec 12 04:25:18 PST 2008



We're trying to get an Ubuntu 8.04.1 system running based on the Intel
Atom based motherboard D945GCLF. This will use the VLC plugin to Firefox
to play mpeg files which, with the player configured to output via X11
and having DRI enabled seems to do a fine job. HOWEVER we also want to
possibly run the system with the screen rotated so we use "xrandr -o
left" to rotate it 90 degrees and now, when an attempt is made to play
the same video there's a certain amount of "tearing" seen which appears
to be because screen updates are occurring without synchronisation to
Vsync. In order to try and combat this and because the Ubunut 8.04.1 is
using a fairly old set of DRM support I'd like to try the latest 2.5.1
set of Intel video drivers as there's some suggestion on various fora
that this may be better for this kind of problem.


The issue I've got is knowing exactly how to go about doing this. I
pulled the latest xf86-video-intel and built that and as it had a
pre-requisite for a >2.4 version of libdrm I pulled that too and built
it. At first I tried to follow the instructions at:


but some of that didn't work as it talks about ./ and yet the
packages I picked up needed ./configure instead. Also the instructions
mentioned a "linux-core" and yet the .tar.gz I picked up did not have
this. I did get to the point of X starting and the log file identifying
that "intel" version 2.5.1 was being used but at this point the backend
stuff in the kernel was "out of date" compared to it as I hadn't
replaced drm.ko or i915.ko


So I used GIT to get a libdrm that did include the linux-source part of
the tree but when I built it the i915.ko did not build and looking at
the Makefile it would appear to be because OS_HAS_GEM was not defined.
It was a search for the solution to that which brought me to a post in
the archive of this mailing list where I realised that a simple "export
OS_HAS_GEM=1" before building was NOT the solution to use.


So I'm tempted to switch and use the GIT based building method at or even the jhbuild, more
automated process documented at but what I'm not clear about
is whether this will actually get me 2.5.1 or just some older version.
In fact one thing I'm having a problem with is determining the version
numbers of .so and .ko's that I'm building anyway. I was kind of hoping
that a modinfo on a .ko might identify the version but I don't see it
there and I'm not sure how to determine exactly what version of user
space libs are being built. If I can get X to start then
/var/log/Xorg.0.log is very useful. But that requires me to get a
coherent system that will start up but to do that I really need first to
know that I'm gluing together the right version numbered components when
I build things like the kernel-DRM (i915.ko) then the libdrm, the
intel_drv.ko and so on.


I guess what I'm really asking is what's the sure-fire way to get an
Ubuntu running with 2.5.1 level graphic driver support?


BTW, as this is just for "2D" video playback I'm assuming I can ignore
building Mesa up to date - or is that a prerequisite too?


Cliff Lawson


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