When compared to ‘Nvidia’ or ‘ATI’, Intel isn’t the most strongest while designing GPUs. However they too have pretty decent GPU products that give mediocre performances which suits for basic computing tasks nonetheless. And interestingly, unlike both Nvidia and ATI, Intel is drifted towards the open source system and releases their GPU drivers under two main open source licenses (‘MIT’ and ‘GNU GPL v2′).
And because of this, Intel is less criticized by the core GNU/Linux OS developers, but then again, according to some experts, there are few Intel GPU products that ‘lack’ proper documentation as well . Anyway, these days almost all CPU cores come with an embedded GPU into it and as a result, their GPUs are quite widely used too.
Usually, it’s the gamers who go crazy about the getting the latest GPU drivers , but for both performance improvements and fixing bugs, you should update your Intel GPU driver in GNU/Linux too.
But these updates do take their time to get into the Ubuntu’s official OS update repositories (until they’re properly tested and proven to be stable, I think), but if you can’t wait till then, then you can use following PPA provided by ‘Stefan Glasenhardt’ for that.
'Stefan' seems to be updating his PPA quite frequently (updates usually arrive within few days Intel has released them) which is why I prefer this PPA.
It holds packages for Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10, 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot and 12.04 Precise Pangolin. But its the current release of Ubuntu (currently it’s ’12.04 LTS’) that will receive the up-to-date drivers (as of writing this post it holds the ’8.04′ version of the 3D package and version '2.20.2' of the 2D package which were released only a few days ago). Other Ubuntu users will get older drivers (newer than the ones included by default in the OS anyway).
So, to install these Intel GPU drivers in Ubuntu, open your Terminal and enter the below commands.
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:glasen/intel-driver sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intel
If you use Ubuntu 12.04, then you can enable the 'SNA' feature (disabled by default) of Intel Sandy Bridge architecture which improves both 2D and 3D performance. For that, enter the below command in your Terminal window to open the text editor with administrative privileges.
Then, copy and paste the below text content into text editor.
Now, click on the 'Save' icon and rename it to 'xorg.conf' and save it in the '/etc/X11/' location and close the text editor window. Now reboot your PC to apply the changes. That’s it.
Section "Device" Identifier "Card0″ Driver "intel" Option "AccelMethod" "sna" EndSection
If that gives you problems, then enter the below command to remove it and again, reboot your PC.
sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf