Since Intel provides and supports open source drivers, Intel graphics are now essentially plug-and-play.
For a comprehensive list of Intel GPU models and corresponding chipsets and CPUs, see this comparison on Wikipedia.
- 1 Installation
- 2 Configuration
- 3 KMS (Kernel Mode Setting)
- 4 Module-based Powersaving Options
- 5 Tips and tricks
- 6 Troubleshooting
- 6.1 Blank screen during boot, when "Loading modules"
- 6.2 Tear-free video
- 6.3 X freeze/crash with intel driver
- 6.4 Adding undetected resolutions
- 6.5 Slowness after an upgrade to libGL 9 and Intel-DRI 9
- 6.6 Black textures in video games
- 6.7 Weathered colors (colorspace problem)
- 6.8 Backlight not fully adjusting, or adjusting at all, after resume.
- 6.9 Disabling frame buffer compression
- 6.10 Corruption in Chrome/Chromium
- 7 See also
Install the package which is available in the official repositories. It provides the DDX driver for 2D acceleration and an XvMC driver for video decoding on older GPUs. It pulls in as a dependency, providing the DRI driver for 3D acceleration.
For 32-bit 3D support on x86_64, install multilib repository.from the
Hardware accelerated video decoding/encoding on newer GPUs is possible through the VA-API driver provided by package also, available in the official repositories.
There is no need for any kind of configuration to get the X.Org running (an
xorg.conf is unneeded, but needs to be configured correctly if present).
For the list of options, type
KMS (Kernel Mode Setting)
KMS is required in order to run X and a desktop environment such as GNOME, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, etc. KMS is supported by Intel chipsets that use the i915 DRM driver and is enabled by default as of kernel v2.6.32. Versions 2.10 and newer of the driver no longer support UMS (except for the very old 810 chipset family), making the use of KMS mandatory. KMS is typically initialized after the kernel is bootstrapped. It is possible, however, to enable KMS during bootstrap itself, allowing the entire boot process to run at the native resolution.
nomodesetfrom boot configuration.
To proceed, add the
i915 module to the
MODULES line in
If you are using a custom EDID file, you should embed it into initramfs as well:
Now, regenerate the initramfs:
# mkinitcpio -p linux
and reboot the system. Everything should work now.
Module-based Powersaving Options
i915 kernel module allows for configuration via module options. Some of the module options impact power saving.
A list of all options along with short descriptions and default values can be generated with the following command:
$ modinfo i915 | grep parm
The following set of options should be generally safe to enable:
options i915 i915_enable_rc6=7 i915_enable_fbc=1 lvds_downclock=1
Tips and tricks
Choose acceleration method
- UXA - (Unified Acceleration Architecture) is the mature backend that was introduced to support the GEM driver model.
- SNA - (Sandybridge's New Acceleration) is the faster successor for hardware supporting it.
The default method is SNA(as of 2013-08-05), which is less stable but faster than UXA. Check benchmarks done by Phoronix . These can be found here for Sandy Bridge and here for Ivy Bridge. UXA is still a solid option, if experiencing trouble with SNA.
To use the old UXA method, create
/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf with the following content:
Section "Device" Identifier "Intel Graphics" Driver "intel" Option "AccelMethod" "uxa" EndSection
Disable Vertical Synchronization (VSYNC)
The intel-driver uses Triple Buffering for vertical synchronization, this allows for full performance and avoids tearing. To turn vertical synchronization off (e.g. for benchmarking) use this .drirc in your home directory:
<device screen="0" driver="dri2"> <application name="Default"> <option name="vblank_mode" value="0"/> </application> </device>
Don't useto create this file, it's buggy and will set the wrong driver.
Setting scaling mode
This can be useful for some full screen applications:
$ xrandr --output LVDS1 --set PANEL_FITTING param
param can be:
center: resolution will be kept exactly as defined, no scaling will be made,
full: scale the resolution so it uses the entire screen or
full_aspect: scale the resolution to the maximum possible but keep the aspect ratio.
If it does not work, try:
$ xrandr --output LVDS1 --set "scaling mode" param
param is one of
KMS Issue: console is limited to small area
One of the low-resolution video ports may be enabled on boot which is causing the terminal to utilize a small area of the screen. To fix, explicitly disable the port with an i915 module setting with
video=SVIDEO-1:d in the kernel command line parameter in the bootloader. See Kernel parameters for more info.
If that does not work, try disabling TV1 or VGA1 instead of SVIDEO-1.
H.264 decoding on GMA 4500
The Arch User Repository. Note however that this support is experimental and not currently in active development. Using the VA-API with this driver on a GMA 4500 series GPU will offload the CPU but may not result in as smooth a playback as non-accelerated playback. Tests using mplayer showed that using vaapi to play back an H.264 encoded 1080p video halved the CPU load (compared to the XV overlay) but resulted in very choppy playback, while 720p worked reasonably well . This is echoed by other experiences .package provides MPEG-2 decoding only for GMA 4500 series GPUs. The H.264 decoding support is maintained in a separated g45-h264 branch, which can be used by installing AUR package, available in the
Setting gamma and brightness
Intel offers no way to adjust these at the driver level. Luckily these can be set with
Gamma can be set with:
$ xgamma -gamma 1.0
$ xrandr --output VGA1 --gamma 1.0:1.0:1.0
Brightness can be set with:
$ xrandr --output VGA1 --brightness 1.0
Blank screen during boot, when "Loading modules"
If using "late start" KMS and the screen goes blank when "Loading modules", it may help to add
intel_agp to the initramfs. See the above KMS section.
Alternatively, appending the following kernel parameter seems to work as well:
If you need to output to VGA then try this:
The SNA acceleration method causes tearing for some people. To fix this, enable the
"Tearfree" option in the driver:
Section "Device" Identifier "Intel Graphics" Driver "intel" Option "TearFree" "true" EndSection
- This option may not work when
- This option is problematic for applications that are very picky about vsync timing, like Super Meat Boy.
- With this option enabled, various Gnome Shell animations are sensibly slow.
X freeze/crash with intel driver
Some issues with X crashing, GPU hanging, or problems with X freezing, can be fixed by disabling the GPU usage with the
Section "Device" Identifier "Intel Graphics" Driver "intel" Option "NoAccel" "True" EndSection
Alternatively, try to disable the 3D acceleration only with the
Section "Device" Identifier "Intel Graphics" Driver "intel" Option "DRI" "False" EndSection
If you experience crashes and have
Option "TearFree" "true" Option "AccelMethod" "sna"
in your config file, in most cases these can be fixed by adding
to your boot parameters.
Adding undetected resolutions
This issue is covered on the Xrandr page.
Slowness after an upgrade to libGL 9 and Intel-DRI 9
Downgrade to Intel-DRI 8 and libGL 8.
Black textures in video games
Users experiencing black textures in video games may find a solution by enabling S3TC texture compression support. It can be enabled throughor by installing .
This "issue" will be fixed very soon in the newer drivers.
Read more about S3TC at:
One of the games that is affected by this issue is Oil Rush and World of Warcraft using Wine.
Weathered colors (colorspace problem)
Kernel 3.9 contains the Intel driver changes allowing easy RGB Limited range settings which can cause weathered colors in some cases. It is related to the new "Automatic" mode for the "Broadcast RGB" property.
One can force mode e.g.
xrandr --output <HDMI> --set "Broadcast RGB" "Full" (replace
<HDMI> with the appropriate output device, verify by running
xrandr). You can add it into your
.xprofile, make it executable to run the command before it will start the graphical mode.
Backlight not fully adjusting, or adjusting at all, after resume.
If you are using Intel graphics and have no control over your manufacturer suplied hotkeys for changing screen brightness, try booting the kernel parameter:
If that doesnt solve the problem, many folks have gotten mileage from either:
in addition to the earlier mentioned parameter.
If neither of those solve your problem, you should edit/create
/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf with the following content:
Section "Device" Identifier "card0" Driver "intel" Option "Backlight" "intel_backlight" BusID "PCI:0:2:0" EndSection
If you are using the SNA acceleration as mentioned above, create the file as follows:
Section "Device" Identifier "card0" Driver "intel" Option "AccelMethod" "sna" Option "Backlight" "intel_backlight" BusID "PCI:0:2:0" EndSection
Disabling frame buffer compression
On some cards such as Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipsets, enabled and forced frame buffer compression results in endless error messages:
$ dmesg |tail [ 2360.475430] [drm] not enough stolen space for compressed buffer (need 4325376 bytes), disabling [ 2360.475437] [drm] hint: you may be able to increase stolen memory size in the BIOS to avoid this
The solution is to disable frame buffer compression which will slightly increase power consumption. In order to disable it add
i915.i915_enable_fbc=0 to the kernel line parameters. More information on the results of disabled compression can be found here.
Corruption in Chrome/Chromium
If you experience corruption in Chromium set the AccelMethod to "uxa"