Re: Intel Haswell support - Any updates?

From: Damjan Jovanovic <>
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 13:35:43 +0200
On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 12:15 PM, O. Hartmann
<> wrote:
> On Thu, 17 Sep 2015 18:55:10 +0900
> "Lundberg, Johannes" <> wrote:
>> Looking at those pages it seems like development has basically been
>> standing still for the last couple of years.
>> DragonFlyBSD claims to have support for Haswell, maybe it can work as a
>> stand-in while waiting for FreeBSD if you need the GPU for development or
>> something..
>> On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 6:41 PM, Andreas Nilsson <> wrote:
>> > I guess interested parties could keep an eye on
>> >
>> > and
>> >
>> > Best regards
>> > Andreas
>> >
>> > On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 11:20 AM, Lundberg, Johannes <
>> >> wrote:
>> >
>> >> I am wondering the same.. I am sure the very few developers we have are
>> >> working as much as they can on this.
>> >>
>> >> However, the lack of support for the most common hardware since three
>> >> years
>> >> back is, I believe, preventing many new users, beginners as well as
>> >> professionals, from coming to FreeBSD, and I hope the foundation would
>> >> pour
>> >> some money into this to speed up the development...
>> >>
>> >> Making it possible to use Wayland on FreeBSD would open up for a whole new
>> >> category on devices (mobile, IVI, etc) where many people are now wondering
>> >> whether to go Linux, Android or something else.. FreeBSD has the license
>> >> and the stability making it very attractive, all that's missing is a
>> >> modern
>> >> graphics stack..
>> >>
>> >> If I had the skills or resources I would pitch in but currently I don't so
>> >> all I can do is complain to the foundation.
>> >>
>> >> I would love to see FreeBSD become the de facto OS in these new areas and
>> >> it feels like it could be within reach... Or maybe my feeling is way off,
>> >> correct me if I'm wrong :)
>> >>
>> >> Sorry for the rant...
>> >>
>> >> Johannes
>> >>
>> >> On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 5:00 PM, Anders Bolt-Evensen <
>> >>>
>> >> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> > Hello!
>> >> >
>> >> > I'm just curious about how Intel Haswell GPU support in FreeBSD is
>> >> coming
>> >> > along?
>> >> > What's the ETA of when the driver can be tested?
>> >> >
>> >> > Anders
> [...]
> It seems FreeBSD has massive problems catching up with the progress in
> graphical device support. While "Linux" is concentrated on one single kernel
> development, the *BSD have drifted appart over the past decade. My
> feeling is that developers start focoussing on one specific *BSD due to the
> diversity in their basic architecture.

> FreeBSD lacks behind in WiFi chipset support, iGPU support, graphics support in
> general as GPUs has become more important over the past years in HPC
> environments and not only for displaying. That is a political issue, I guess.
> X11 is now claimed by the Linux folks - that is the impression I have - the
> spirit of a multiplatform, open system is gone. With systemd on Linux, even
> FreeBSD is falling more and more behind. I think this needs to be addressed
> on political terrain. Linux wanted to have ZFS - now they participate in
> OpenZFS. How long until those L-people move the BSD people aside?

ZFS was on Linux years ago, but only as a third-party solution, it
won't gain much traction there since kernel devs refuse to keep it in
the upstream kernel due to licensing issues and distribitions refuse
it install it by default, and people are either still waiting for the
vapourware Btrfs or losing heir data to it instead :-D. On FreeBSD,
ZFS is integrated into our tree (as is other outstanding CDDL licensed
software from Sun, like DTrace which puts Linux's systemtap to shame),
and we already boot from it :-). Oh and doesn't FreeBSD also
participate in OpenZFS?

Systemd is not so much "on Linux" nor a big success there, when
Slackware doesn't use it, Debian was forked to run without it, Gentoo
doesn't use it by default, and it is broadly hated to the degree that
it is driving Linux users to FreeBSD :-).

> Well, asking for Haswell support is a bit weird - Skylake ante portam.
> Broadwell is already there. Two years ago, we purchased Laptops with Haswell
> GPUs. They are now about to be replaced by Skylake-based systems. Running
> FreeBSD on Laptops with modern WiFi and iGPU hardware is almost impossible.
> Dead hardware or extremely slow. So we decided to switch to Linux.

Broadwell at best half-works on Linux and has major issues: crashes,
broken suspend/resume, poor support for multiple monitors, and broken
console view (
NVidia on the other hand supports FreeBSD and works well.

Linux copies many WiFi drivers from OpenBSD.

Have you tried the WiFi card's Windows driver with NDISulator? What we
could also do in future is use a similar idea to use Linux WiFi
drivers on FreeBSD.

> Interesting to hear that DragonFlyBSD seems to have solved several iGPU issues
> and FreeBSD not.

Interesting how DragonFlyBSD only supports a single architecture: amd64.

> The www pages on that matter are outdated and badly maintained - I try to
> consult them on news on a regular basis. One has to digg through piles of
> mailing lists. The culture of keeping his clients informed hasn't reached
> FreeBSD development yet and that makes me wondering.
> Well, a stopgap for nVidia Nouveau support seems to be the PRIME support in
> FreeBSD's kernel. I do not understand much of that matter, but the kernel is
> not well fitted for moving buffers from/to different GPU adaptors. That seems
> also to be important for future architectures concerning OpenCL and GPGPU - a
> matter I was interested in due to a physical modelling interest. But in that
> matter there leads no way around Linux.
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Received on Thu Sep 17 2015 - 09:36:03 UTC

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