Widescreen Intel video BIOS hack no longer needed

Many of us with widescreen laptops which have Intel graphics chipsets have been unable to use wide display resolutions without running hacky programs (such as 855resolution or 915resolution) on every boot to patch the video BIOS.

The new xf86-video-intel-2.0.0 driver no longer uses the video BIOS, it does native mode setting. In other words, the 855resolution/915resolution utilities are no longer needed.

For Gentoo users: xf86-video-intel is named xf86-intel-i810 in the portage tree.

8 Responses to “Widescreen Intel video BIOS hack no longer needed”

  1. chunderbunny Says:

    Wait, does the driver not use the Video BIOS /at all/?

    This might have interesting implications for those of us running Linux on an Intel Mac. Up until now Linux had to be booted from an emulated BIOS in order that the X driver could be used to accelerate the display. It was always possible to boot from the native EFI firmware but only VESA driver would work. Unfortunately the emulated BIOS places a constraint on the number of partitions available on the disk (maximum of 4 primary partitions, no extended partitions).

    If we can do away with the emulated BIOS then it should be possible to have many partitions and still keep the accelerated X, which would be neat.

  2. er Says:

    xf86-video-intel-2.0.0 doesn’t work for me. It makes xorg crash. I don’t have a wide-screen setup, just a 82845G/GL running at 1024×768.

  3. alex Says:

    Tried it. Unfortunately, it only detects the highest-resolution mode for my screen, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to force the driver to use custom modes. Which I suppose is OK for 2D desktops but sucks if you want to play full-screen games at lower resolution.

  4. dsd Says:

    chunderbunny: sounds like you are emulating the system BIOS rather than the VBIOS (especially if it limits the partitions…). That aside, I can’t say definitively that the updated driver doesn’t depend on the VBIOS. All I know is that it doesn’t use the VBIOS for mode setting any more.

    er/alex: your issues belong on your distro bugzilla (or if you can handle building the driver yourself, the freedesktop bugzilla)

  5. chunderbunny Says:

    Ok, thanks for that. The Mac Mini firmware emulates both the system BIOS and VBIOS. I guess the fastest way to see if this works is to try it!

  6. alex Says:

    I think I figured out how to set custom modes; with the new driver, you need to use the (undocumented) “Monitor-LVDS” option in the Intel card’s device section in xorg.conf.

    More details here: http://www.tetromino.net/blog/2007/04/25/manual-modesetting-for-xf86-video-intel/

  7. Jokey Says:

    seems that it crashes on macbooks when you use external display and enable dualmode+xinerama, downgrade fixed it temporarily :(

  8. 915resolution not needed anymore with Gentoo « rsalveti’s random thoughts Says:

    [...] Daniel for this [...]

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