Intel graphics

Since Intel provides and supports open source drivers, Intel graphics are essentially plug-and-play.

For a comprehensive list of Intel GPU models and corresponding chipsets and CPUs, see Wikipedia:List of Intel graphics processing units and Gentoo:Intel#Feature support.

Note: PowerVR-based graphics (GMA 3600 series) are not supported by open source drivers.


Install the package, which provides the DRI driver for 3D acceleration.

  • For 32-bit application support, also install the package from the multilib repository.
  • For the DDX driver which provides 2D acceleration in Xorg, install the package. Beside this functionality, this package is generally not recommended, see note below.
  • For Vulkan support (Ivy Bridge and newer), install the package.

Also see Hardware video acceleration.


The Intel kernel module should load fine automatically on system boot.

If it does not happen, then:

  • Make sure you do not have nomodeset as a kernel parameter, since Intel requires kernel mode-setting.
  • Also, check that you have not disabled Intel by using any modprobe blacklisting within /etc/modprobe.d/ or .

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.

Refer to Kernel mode setting#Early KMS start for instructions on how to enable KMS as soon as possible at the boot process.

Enable GuC / HuC firmware loading

Starting with Gen9 (Skylake and onwards), Intel GPUs include a Graphics micro (μ) Controller (GuC) which provides the following functionality :

  • Offloading some media decoding functionality from the CPU to the HEVC/H.265 micro (µ) Controller (HuC). Only applicable if using for hardware video acceleration. Introduced with Gen9.
  • Using the GuC for scheduling, context submission, and power management. Introduced with Alder Lake-P (Mobile), within Gen12.

To use this functionality, the GuC firmware must be loaded. With regards to HuC support, some video features (e.g. CBR rate control on SKL low-power encoding mode) require loading the HuC firmware as well . The GuC and HuC firmware files are both provided by .

GuC functionality is controlled by the kernel parameter. Its usage is as follows:

enable_guc valueGuC SubmissionHuC Firmware LoadingDefault for platformsSupported on platforms
0Tiger Lake, Rocket Lake, and Pre-Gen12 All
1YesAlder Lake-P (Mobile) and newer
2YesAlder Lake-S (Desktop) Gen9 and newer

If GuC submission or HuC firmware loading is not enabled by default for your GPU, you can manually enable it.

Firstly, ensure that is installed.

If your system is configured for late KMS start (default), you can manually enable these features by setting as described in Kernel parameters.

Otherwise, if you have added the i915 module (see Kernel mode setting#Early KMS start) to initramfs, then you must instead set these options through a file in /etc/modprobe.d/, e.g.:

And then rebuild your initramfs.

On next boot you can verify both GuC and HuC are enabled by using dmesg:

If they are not supported by your graphics adapter you will see:

Alternatively, check using:

# cat /sys/kernel/debug/dri/0/gt/uc/guc_info
# cat /sys/kernel/debug/dri/0/gt/uc/huc_info

Xorg configuration

There may be no need for any configuration to run Xorg.

However, if Xorg does not start, and to take advantage of some driver options, you can create an Xorg configuration file similar to the one below:

Additional options are added by the user on new lines below . For the full list of options, see the man page.

Note: You might need to add more device sections than the one listed above. This will be indicated where necessary.


You may need to indicate when creating a configuration file, the classical options are UXA, (default) and .

If you experience issues with default (e.g. pixelated graphics, corrupt text, etc.), try using UXA instead, which can be done by adding the following line to your configuration file:

Option      "AccelMethod"  "uxa"

See the "AccelMethod" option under .

Module-based options

The 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 many options default to -1, resulting in per-chip powersaving defaults. It is however possible to configure more aggressive powersaving by using module options.

Framebuffer compression (enable_fbc)

Making use of Framebuffer compression (FBC) can reduce power consumption while reducing memory bandwidth needed for screen refreshes.

To enable FBC, use as kernel parameter or set in :


Note: This parameter is enabled by default for Skylake and newer as well as Bay- and Cherry-Trail (VLV/CHV) since Linux 5.1.

The goal of Intel Fastboot is to preserve the frame-buffer as setup by the BIOS or bootloader to avoid any flickering until Xorg has started.

To force enable fastboot on platforms where it is not the default already, set as kernel parameter or set in :

options i915 fastboot=1

Intel GVT-g graphics virtualization support

See Intel GVT-g for details.

Enable performance support

Starting with Gen6 (Sandy Bridge and onwards), Intel GPUs provide performance counters used for exposing internal performance data to drivers. The drivers and hardware registers refer to this infrastructure as the Observation Architecture (internally "OA") , but Intel's documentation also more generally refers to this functionality as providing Observability Performance Counters .

By default, only programs running with the CAP_SYS_ADMIN (equivalent to root) or CAP_PERFMON capabilities can utilize the observation architecture . Most applications will be running without either of these, resulting in the following warning:

MESA-INTEL: warning: Performance support disabled, consider sysctl dev.i915.perf_stream_paranoid=0

To enable performance support without using the capabilities (or root), set the kernel parameter as described in sysctl.

If setting the value to 0 in a file results in the following error at boot:

sysctl: cannot stat /proc/sys/dev/i915/perf_stream_paranoid: No such file or directory

you should load the i915 module early with KMS.

Tips and tricks

Setting scaling mode

This can be useful for some full screen applications:

$ xrandr --output LVDS1 --set PANEL_FITTING param

where can be:

  • : resolution will be kept exactly as defined, no scaling will be made,
  • : scale the resolution so it uses the entire screen or
  • : 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

where is one of "Full", or .

Hardware accelerated H.264 decoding on GMA 4500

The package only provides hardware accelerated MPEG-2 decoding – and not H.264 decoding – for some GMA 4500 series GPUs. To check whether that affects your particular GPU, install both that driver and the libva-utils package, then check the output of the tool for the presence of entries that start with .

The H.264 decoding support is maintained in a separated g45-h264 branch, which can be used by installing package. Note, however, that this support is experimental and its development has been abandoned. Using the VA-API with this driver on a GMA 4500 series GPU will offload the CPU but may not result in as smooth a playback as non-accelerated playback. Tests using mplayer showed that using vaapi to play back an H.264 encoded 1080p video halved the CPU load (compared to the XV overlay) but resulted in very choppy playback, while 720p worked reasonably well . This is echoed by other experiences . Setting the preallocated video ram size higher in BIOS results in much better hardware decoded playback. Even 1080p h264 works well if this is done. Smooth playback (1080p/720p) works also with in combination with ffmpeg-gitAUR and . With MPV and the Firefox plugin "Send to MPV player" it is possible to watch hardware accelerated YouTube videos.

Old OpenGL driver (i965)

In Mesa 20.0, a new OpenGL driver, Iris, is promoted to be the default for Gen8+. Certain applications run faster with it. You may disable it and revert to use the old i965 driver by setting the environment variable before starting any OpenGL application. This setting does not affect Vulkan applications.

Overriding reported OpenGL version

The environment variable can be used to override the reported OpenGL version to any application. For example, setting will report OpenGL 4.5.


  • nvtop GPUs process monitoring for AMD, Intel and NVIDIA (currently has very basic support for Intel GPUs). || nvtop

Setting brightness and gamma

See Backlight.



The SNA acceleration method causes tearing on some machines. To fix this, enable the option in the driver by adding the following line to your configuration file:

Section "Device"
  Identifier "Intel Graphics"
  Driver "intel"
  Option "TearFree" "true"

See the original bug report for more info.

Disable Vertical Synchronization (VSYNC)

Useful when:

  • Chomium/Chrome has lags and slow performance due to GPU and runs smoothly with --disable-gpu switch
  • glxgears test does not show desired performance

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 in your home directory:

DRI3 issues

DRI3 is the default DRI version in . On some systems this can cause issues such as this. To switch back to DRI2 add the following line to your configuration file:

Option "DRI" "2"

For the driver, this method of disabling DRI3 does not work. Instead, one can set the environment variable .

Font and screen corruption in GTK applications (missing glyphs after suspend/resume)

Should you experience missing font glyphs in GTK applications, the following workaround might help. Edit to add the following line:


See also FreeDesktop bug 88584.

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 i915 and 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:

  Option "DRI" "False"

Adding undetected resolutions

This issue is covered on the Xrandr page.

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="!Windows 2012"

Also make sure you are not using fastboot mode ( kernel parameter), it is known for breaking backlight controls.

Corruption or unresponsiveness in Chromium and Firefox

If you experience corruption, unresponsiveness, lags or slow performance in Chromium and/or Firefox some possible solutions are:

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.

Lag in Windows guests

The video output of a Windows guest in VirtualBox sometimes hangs until the host forces a screen update (e.g. by moving the mouse cursor). Removing the option fixes this issue.

Screen flickering

Panel Self Refresh (PSR), a power saving feature used by Intel iGPUs is known to cause flickering in some instances . A temporary solution is to disable this feature using the kernel parameter i915.enable_psr=0.

OpenGL 2.1 with i915 driver

The update of from version 13.x to 17 may break support for OpenGL 2.1 on third gen Intel GPUs (GMA3100, see here), as described in this article, reverting it back to OpenGL 1.4. However this could be restored manually by setting or options like:

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. Video port names can be listed with xrandr.

No sound through HDMI on a Haswell CPU

According to a Linux kernel issue, sound will not be output through HDMI if . To fix this problem, use the following kernel parameter:


Or alternatively, disable IOMMU:


Crash/freeze on low power Intel CPUs

Low-powered Intel processors and/or laptop processors have a tendency to randomly hang or crash due to the problems with the power management features found in low-power Intel chips. If such a crash happens, you will not see any logs reporting this problem. Adding the following Kernel parameters may help to resolve the problem.

intel_idle.max_cstate=1 i915.enable_dc=0 ahci.mobile_lpm_policy=1
fixes a hang on several Lenovo laptops and some Acer notebooks due to problematic SATA controller power management. That workaround is strictly not related to Intel graphics but it does solve related issues. Adding this kernel parameter sets the link power management from firmware default to maximum performance and will also solve hangs when you change display brightness on certain Lenovo machines but increases idle power consumption by 1-1.5 W on modern ultrabooks. For further information, especially about the other states, see the Linux kernel mailing list and Red Hat documentation.

i915.enable_dc=0 disables GPU power management. This does solve random hangs on certain Intel systems, notably Goldmount and Kaby Lake Refresh chips. Using this parameter does result in higher power use and shorter battery life on laptops/notebooks.

limits the processors sleep states, it prevents the processor from going into deep sleep states. That is absolutely not ideal and does result in higher power use and lower battery life. However, it does solve random hangs on many Intel systems. Use this if you have a Intel Baytrail or a Kaby Lake Refresh chip. Intel "Baytrail" chips are known to randomly hang without this kernel parameter due to a hardware flaw.

More information about the max_cstate parameter can be found in the kernel documentation and about the cstates in general on a writeup on GitHub.

If you try adding in the hope of fixing frequent hangs and that solves the issue you should later remove one by one to see which of them actually helped you solve the issue. Running with cstates and display power management disabled is not advisable if the actual problem is related to SATA power management and is the one that actually solves it.

Check Linux Reviews for more details.

Add support for 165Hz monitor

For some 165Hz monitors, xrandr might not display the 165Hz option, and the fix in #Adding undetected resolutions does not solve this. In this case, see i915-driver-stuck-at-40hz-on-165hz-screen.

Freeze after wake from sleep/suspend with Alder Lake-P

Users with Alder Lake-P 12th gen mobile processor laptops from various vendors experienced freeze and black-screen after waking up from suspending. It is because many laptop vendors ship an incorrect VBT (Video BIOS Table) that wrongly describe the actual ports connected to the iGPU. Considering most vendors will not publish a BIOS update for a laptop with a properly working Windows OS, Linux users could only address the issue on the kernel side. You can mitigate the issue by patching and rebuilding the kernel as a temporary remedy:

as described in freedesktop issues 5531 6401 which have not been solved for months.

Issues with selecting Qt elements within Plasma Desktop on Alder Lake/UHD 770

Users with newer ~12th gen IGP's may see issues where plasma desktop is almost unusable. It appears to be an issue with accelerated items. Running glxgears will report a high frame rate, but the animation will not be updated. A possible solution here is to change the driver under X.

Section "Device"
  Identifier "Intel Graphics"
  Driver "modesetting"

Arc GPU kernel support

As kernels 6.0 and below do not officially support the Arc GPU family yet, the driver needs to be forced to load.

In your boot loader, use the following kernel parameter:


The PCI ID is the output of:

$ lspci -nn | grep VGA | sed -n "s/^.\+\[8086:\([[:alnum:]]\{4\}\)\].\+$/\1/p"

You will also need to set your driver in xorg.conf as follows:

Section "Device"
  Identifier "Intel Graphics"
  Driver "modesetting"

The "fbdev" driver will also work.

Without full driver support, 3D rendering is not available.

For hardware video acceleration, you must install and have a kernel with disabled.

See also

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