Intel GMA

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This guide is about Intel's onboard graphics adapter called 'Graphics Media Accelerator'.

Kernel Configuration

Enable the chipset driver under /dev/agpgart, then enable the Direct Rendering Manager appropriate to your card.

If you would like the i915 driver to be built into your kernel (instead of being loaded as a module), check for the ACPI Button and Video choices to be set to 'built-in': The entry for "i915 driver" will disappear from the menu if the ACPI items are set to "module"!

Linux Kernel Configuration: Enabling Intel KMS
Power management and ACPI options  --->
  [*] ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) Support  --->
     -*-   Button
     -*-   Video
Device Drivers  --->
  Graphics support  --->
    <*> /dev/agpgart (AGP Support)
      <*> Intel 440LX/BX/GX, I8xx and E7x05 chipset support
    <*> Direct Rendering Manager (XFree86 4.1.0 and higher DRI support)  --->
      <*> Intel I810
      <*> Intel 830M, 845G, 852GM, 855GM, 865G (i915 driver)  --->
        <*> i830 driver
        <*> i915 driver
          [*] Enable modesetting on intel by default

make.conf configuration

Set the following in make.conf.

File: /etc/make.conf

Then re-build the X drivers;

emerge -DN1 x11-base/xorg-drivers

User Configuration

For Hardware Acceleration and DRI access you need to add the user to the video group. It should work by default.

gpasswd -a YourUserName video

X11 Configuration

Note: The X Server needs much less manual configuration than it did in the past. Try running X first without setting the below in xorg.conf

If you find yourself needing to tell X11 to use the intel driver, set Driver to "intel" in /etc/X11/xorg.conf as in the example below,

File: /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Section "Device"
        Identifier           "My Intel Video Card"
        Driver "intel"

For further options see the intel man pages,

man intel

Dual Monitors

See X.Org/Dual Monitors for information.



If you have blackscreen on boot, it may be because you've built both Framebuffer Console support and the i915 driver (with KMS enabled) as modules. The blackscreen is a result of the i945 driver probing for displays before the fbcon module is loaded. As it can't find any console display(because the fbcon driver isn't loaded yet) it simply turns it off.

To solve this you have to set the fbcon module to load at boot:

File: /etc/conf.d/modules

Backlight off at boot on 4500M

There is an issue for Acer Aspire 5736z with a GMA 4500M graphics chip, this seems to affect other laptops too. When you boot this laptop the screen is blank because the backlight is extinguished (you can read it with a good flashlight). This issue is present in at least kernels 2.6.39 and 3.0.3, but seems to affect other versions also. The issue arises when you configure the kernel with the i915 drivers and kernel mode setting.

You can get a display by appending "nomodeset" to the Grub boot command, but this may stop X from working and you will only have low resolution.

One solution is given here : run "setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=00" as root to turn the backlight back on. You may be able to do this over ssh, depending on your setup, otherwise you will have to do this with the dark screen.

You can do this automatically on boot : make a script with this line in "/etc/local.d/fixbacklight.start" for example. Make sure to begin your script with "#!/bin/sh" and make it executable ("chmod +x /etc/local.d/fixbacklight.start"). When your machine comes out of hybernation the issue may repeat.

This issue is independent from the problem that occurs when the drivers are built as modules and appears even when they are built into the kernel. This issue exists as of august 2011 and doesn't seem new, it should hopefully be fixed in future kernel versions.

A second solution seems to be to add "acpi_osi=Linux" kernel parameter at boot.

Discussion of this issue here : In kernel bugzilla : bug :


The TV is just another screen to the X server. So it can be configured like another monitor. By default the TV format is set to NTSC. If you want to change it e.g. to PAL, add this to your /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

File: /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Section "Monitor"
	Identifier  "TV"
	Option      "TV Format" "PAL"

Section "Device"
	Option      "Monitor-TV"   "TV"

Install Intel 2010Q4 graphics package

Enable VAAPI (Video Acceleration API) for hardware decoding.

File: /etc/make.conf

Install the latest Intel graphics driver, associated libraries, & kernel:

File: /etc/portage/package.keywords/intel-keywords
emerge --update -av xf86-video-intel mesa libdrm cairo libva xorg-server gentoo-sources
emerge --newuse --deep -av world

On 2011.01.31 all software packages with exception of x11-libs/libva have the same version as in x11-libs/libva-0.31.1_p4 is installed. Intel recommends the libva-1.0.7 release.

These settings have been used for the CPU Intel i5-2500K and the i7-2630QM, both with HD Graphics 3000. They might be also useful for other CPUs of the 2nd Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 Processor family with Intel HD Graphics 2000/3000.