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Currently, a causal browse through a number of Linux distros show spotty Poulsbo drivers at best. Has any headway been made recently towards either convincing Intel to coax the driver source out of PowerVR or an acceptable (I can install it without low frame rates, involved steps and without fear that a kernel update will break it) OSS driver solution? I would love to put Linux on my little Acer netbook but I rely on it too much to install a nerfed driver.

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2 Answers 2

There are open-source gma500 drivers in kernel-3.2 by Alan Cox from Intel. They are lacking 2d/3d/video acceleration but hardware should intialize properly. Not sure you'll find it user-friendly, but it is at least "hacker-friendly" - i.e. allowing to hack-in the missing features (acceleration).

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I've tried Ubuntu 10.4, Linux 9 (same difference) Jolicloud Pre-beta, 1.0. 1.1, & 1.2, Fedora 12 & 13. Ubuntu 10.4 has been by far the most stable, but kernal updates are risky and I've had to back track a few times. Jolicloud just gets worse and worse. 1.1 and 1.2 failed completely and support started to sound like they were almost at the point where they were blaming Ubuntu or Grub! I've ran Mandriva 2011 Spring live and it all seems in place, recognising the Poulsbo and offering to download the (non-free) driver. Unfortunately I was out off the office so no net connection to try this out. Plan to install it in a second partition alongside Ubuntu 10.4.

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I wish you luck. My Win7 install on my netbook is starting to experience bit rot and I would like to replace it with linux. –  Bob Roberts Apr 5 '11 at 18:54

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