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12 May 2009, 07:55

Updated graphics drivers for Ubuntu 9.04

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Ubuntu users can install updated driver versions for graphics hardware by Intel, AMD/ATI and other vendors, from a special repository. This may allow the owners of integrated Intel graphics hardware to solve some of the problems encountered with these chips under the current version of Ubuntu. The Intel driver is available as a pre-release of the forthcoming version 2.8 driver, which reportedly fixes some of the problems encountered with the current default driver version 2.6.3.

The repository can be added in the Synaptic package manager, or through the meu option Administration/Software Sources, or directly in /etc/apt/sources.list as

deb jaunty main

The new Intel driver allowed us to enable 3D acceleration on an Intel GM965 after we commented out the chip's blacklist entry in /usr/bin/compiz. In a first test, the system proved stable in this set-up. Whether the new driver will offer improvements for all Intel chips, permanently allow stable 3D effects on the desktop and resolve various performance issues, however, cannot be guaranteed – these are experimental drivers which have not yet, officially, been integrated into Ubuntu 9.04.


Users will also need the PPA key for the xorg-edgers repository to download the package. This can be retrieved by running the command

sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver 8844C542

followed by sudo apt-get update and then sudo apt-get dist-upgrade to update and then install the new packages.

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