Intel graphics driver -- thanks!

Brett Johnson brett at
Sun Feb 11 15:00:35 PST 2007

On Wed, 2007-02-07 at 19:46 -0500, Andrew Barr wrote:
> It would be nice to see more e-mails like this one to let Intel know
> they are actually making sales based on the free drivers that they are
> developing. It provides encouragement to those doing the work and may
> help influence future decisions regarding the freeness of code for other
> Intel products.

OK, I'll bite.

I just bought 14 laptops with intel graphics and wireless (they have
broadcom wired NICs, but I didn't really have a choice there).  I'm
deploying them as pure linux machines in the lab I work in.  I chose to
buy the configuration I did precisely because of the open driver issue.
So Intel's decision to open up their drivers is certainly working in
that respect, at least to some extent.

I'm convinced that I made the right long-term decision, but it's rather
painful right now due to the inability to have a reasonable external
video (i.e. docking station and/or projector) setup.  The intel graphics
driver is making very rapid progress, thanks to the near heroic efforts
of Eric, Keith, and many others I haven't interacted with.  But my
experience with both nvidia and ati laptops leads me to believe that the
intel driver is far from being as stable and/or mature as either of
those binary drivers.

This isn't a criticism of the project, or the people working on it.
It's more of a simple reality check of the situation right now.  Given
the fast pace at which the driver is improving, I'm convinced that
within 6mo to a year, the intel graphics driver will be much more stable
and featureful than either of its main closed competitors.  I can't say
where it'll be WRT performance, because I don't know what the intel
hardware is capable of.  But long term, there's no question in my mind
who is going to have the best-supported graphics chipset on Linux.

Brett Johnson <brett at>

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