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 Loading
- 4 Module-based Powersaving Options
- 5 Tips and tricks
- 6 Troubleshooting
- 6.1 SNA issues
- 6.2 Blank screen during boot, when "Loading modules"
- 6.3 X freeze/crash with intel driver
- 6.4 Adding undetected resolutions
- 6.5 Weathered colors (color range problem)
- 6.6 Backlight is not adjustable
- 6.7 Disabling frame buffer compression
- 6.8 Corruption/Unresponsiveness in Chromium and Firefox
- 6.9 Kernel crashing w/kernels 4.0+ on Broadwell/Core-M chips
- 6.10 Skylake Support
- 7 See also
Install the package. It provides the DDX driver for 2D acceleration and it pulls in as a dependency, providing the DRI driver for 3D acceleration.
To enable OpenGL support, also install multilib repository.. If you are on x86_64 and need 32-bit support, also install from the
There is no need for any configuration to run Xorg.
However, to take advantage of some driver options, you will need to create a Xorg configuration file similar to the one below:
Section "Device" Identifier "Intel Graphics" Driver "intel" #Option "DRI" "3" #Option "TearFree" "true" #Option "AccelMethod" "uxa" #old stable Option "AccelMethod" "sna" #new default #Option "AccelMethod" "glamor" #experimental EndSection
Additional options are added by the user on new lines below
- You may need to indicate
AccelMethodwhen creating a configuration file, even just to set it to the default method (currently
"sna"); otherwise, X may crash.
- You might need to add more device sections than the one listed above. This will be indicated where necessary.
For the full list of options, see the man page for
The Intel kernel module should load fine automatically on system boot.
If it does not happen, then:
- Make sure you do not have
vga=as a kernel parameter, since Intel requires kernel mode-setting.
- Also, check that you have not disabled Intel by using any modprobe blacklisting within
Enable early KMS
Kernel mode setting (KMS) is supported by Intel chipsets that use the i915 DRM driver and is mandatory and enabled by default.
KMS is typically initialized after the initramfs stage. It is possible, however, to enable KMS during the initramfs stage. To do this, add the
i915 module to the
MODULES line in
MODULES="... i915 ..."
i915to suppress the ACPI errors. The order matters because the modules are activated in sequence. This might be required for resuming from hibernation to work with changed display configuration!
If you are using a custom EDID file, you should embed it into initramfs as well:
Now, regenerate the initramfs:
# mkinitcpio -p linux
The change takes effect at the next reboot.
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 -p i915
To check which options are currently enabled, run
# systool -m i915 -av
You will note that the
i915.powersave option which "enable[s] powersavings, fbc, downclocking, etc." is enabled by default, resulting in per-chip powersaving defaults. It is however possible to configure more aggressive powersaving by using module options.
The following set of options should be generally safe to enable:
options i915 enable_rc6=1 enable_fbc=1 lvds_downclock=1 semaphores=1
You can experiment with higher values for
enable_rc6, but your GPU may not support them or the activation of the other options .
Framebuffer compression, for example, may be unreliable or unavailable on Intel GPU generations before Sandy Bridge (generation 6). This results in messages logged to the system journal similar to this one:
kernel: drm: not enough stolen space for compressed buffer, disabling.
Tips and tricks
Enable Glamor Acceleration Method
Option "AccelMethod" "glamor"
Direct Rendering Infrastructure 3 (DRI3)
Option "DRI" "3"
To verify that DRI3 is enabled you can check the Xorg log files after restarting.
The SNA acceleration method causes tearing for some people. To fix this, enable the
"TearFree" option in the driver by adding the following line to your configuration file:
Option "TearFree" "true"
See the original bug report for more info.
- This option may not work when
- This option is problematic for applications that are very picky about vsync timing, like Super Meat Boy.
- This option does not work with UXA acceleration method, only with SNA.
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>
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
Setting brightness and gamma
man 4 intel:
- There are a couple of backends available for accelerating the DDX. "UXA" (Unified Acceleration Architecture) is the mature backend that was introduced to support the GEM driver model. It is in the process of being superseded by "SNA" (Sandybridge's New Acceleration). Until that process is complete, the ability to choose which backend to use remains for backwards compatibility.
SNA is the default acceleration method in configuration file:. If you are experience issues with SNA (e.g. pixelated graphics, corrupt text, etc.), try using UXA instead, which can be done by adding the following line to your
Option "AccelMethod" "uxa"
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 Kernel mode setting#Early KMS start section.
Alternatively, appending the following kernel parameter seems to work as well:
If you need to output to VGA then try this:
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
NoAccel option - add the following lines to your configuration file:
Option "NoAccel" "True"
Alternatively, try to disable the 3D acceleration only with the
Option "DRI" "False"
If you experience crashes and have
Option "TearFree" "true" Option "AccelMethod" "sna"
in your configuration file, in most cases these can be fixed by adding
to your boot parameters.
If you are using kernel 4.0.X or above on Baytrail architecture and frequently encounter complete system freezes (especially when watching video or using GFX intensivelly), you should try adding the following kernel option as a workaround, until this bug will be fixed permanently.
Adding undetected resolutions
This issue is covered on the Xrandr page.
Weathered colors (color range problem)
Kernel 3.9 contains a new default "Automatic" mode for the "Broadcast RGB" property in the Intel driver. It is almost equivalent to "Limited 16:235" (instead of the old default "Full") whenever an HDMI/DP output is in a CEA mode. If a monitor does not support signal in limited color range, it will cause weathered colors.
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.
Unfortunately, the Intel driver does not support setting the color range through an
xorg.conf.d configuration file.
A bug report is filed and a patch can be found in the attachment.
Backlight is not adjustable
If after resuming from suspend, the hotkeys for changing the screen brightness do not take effect, check your configuration against the Backlight article.
If the problem persists, try one of the following kernel parameters:
acpi_osi=Linux acpi_osi="!Windows 2012" acpi_osi=
Disabling frame buffer compression
Enabling frame buffer compression on pre-Sandy Bridge CPUs 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.enable_fbc=0 to the kernel line parameters. More information on the results of disabled compression can be found here.
Corruption/Unresponsiveness in Chromium and Firefox
If you experience corruption or unresponsiveness in Chromium and/or Firefox set the AccelMethod to "uxa".
Kernel crashing w/kernels 4.0+ on Broadwell/Core-M chips
A few seconds after X/Wayland loads the machine will freeze and journalctl will log a kernel crash referencing the Intel graphics as below:
Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: BUG: unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at (null) Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: IP: [< (null)>] (null) ... Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: CPU: 0 PID: 733 Comm: gnome-shell Tainted: G U O 4.0.5-1-ARCH #1 ... Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: Call Trace: Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: [<ffffffffa055cc27>] ? i915_gem_object_sync+0xe7/0x190 [i915] Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: [<ffffffffa0579634>] intel_execlists_submission+0x294/0x4c0 [i915] Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: [<ffffffffa05539fc>] i915_gem_do_execbuffer.isra.12+0xabc/0x1230 [i915] Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: [<ffffffffa055d349>] ? i915_gem_object_set_to_cpu_domain+0xa9/0x1f0 [i915] Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: [<ffffffff811ba2ae>] ? __kmalloc+0x2e/0x2a0 Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: [<ffffffffa0555471>] i915_gem_execbuffer2+0x141/0x2b0 [i915] Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: [<ffffffffa042fcab>] drm_ioctl+0x1db/0x640 [drm] Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: [<ffffffffa0555330>] ? i915_gem_execbuffer+0x450/0x450 [i915] Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: [<ffffffff8122339b>] ? eventfd_ctx_read+0x16b/0x200 Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: [<ffffffff811ebc36>] do_vfs_ioctl+0x2c6/0x4d0 Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: [<ffffffff811f6452>] ? __fget+0x72/0xb0 Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: [<ffffffff811ebec1>] SyS_ioctl+0x81/0xa0 Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: [<ffffffff8157a589>] system_call_fastpath+0x12/0x17 Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: Code: Bad RIP value. Jun 16 17:54:03 hostname kernel: RIP [< (null)>] (null)
This can be fixed by disabling execlist support which was changed to default on with kernel 4.0. Add the following kernel parameter:
This is known to be broken to at least kernel 4.0.5.
For linux kernels older than 4.3.x,
i915.preliminary_hw_support=1 must be added to your boot parameters for the driver to work on the new Intel Skylake (6th gen.) GPUs. On a fully updated system running kernel 4.3.x and up, this step is unneccesary.
The i915 DRM driver is known to cause various GPU hangs, crashes and even full system freezes. It might be neccesary to disable hardware acceleration to workaround these issues. One solution is to use the following Xorg configuration.
Section "Device" Identifier "Intel Graphics" Driver "intel" Option "DRI" "false" EndSection
Otherwise, specific applications such as Chromium and Firefox browsers can be instructed to disable hardware rendering directly.
Another option that seems to work for some users is to add the
i915.enable_rc6=0 kernel boot parameter, which will cause the CPU/GPU to remain in high-power modes, but seems to resolve most cases of GPU hangs and system freezes.
- https://01.org/linuxgraphics/documentation (includes a list of supported hardware)