CURRENT: Intel Haswell KMS support?

O. Hartmann ohartman at
Wed Dec 31 20:48:39 UTC 2014

Am Wed, 31 Dec 2014 21:02:35 +0100
Matthias Apitz <guru at> schrieb:

> El día Wednesday, December 31, 2014 a las 08:30:11PM +0100, O. Hartmann escribió:
> > I've already switched a bunch of  Haswell-based notebooks to a Linux system due to the
> > lack of iGPU support. It is ridiculous to purchase outdated hardware (IvyBridge and
> > less or outdated graphics hardware).
> Is VESA an option for you until Haswell support comes up in FreeBSD? The
> question is serious, because I'm on the way to install -HEAD in an Acer C720 
> cromebook with Haswell too.
> As well I do run (just for tests) Xorg with VESA on my current netbook
> Acer D250 (which has an old Intel chip) and I do not note any
> difference.
> 	matthias

On a Lenovo ThinkPad E540/L540 with Haswell i5-4200M or i5-4210M with iGPU 4600 and
nVidia 740M Optimus GPU I hadn't success using the VESA driver. The display has a
HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixel, which seems to make VESA unusable. I had to use
x86-video-scfb - which is a pain in the ass: extremely slow, keystrokes sometimes pass
through from the console to the graphics screen (it looks like this, I have no better
desription for that phenomenon). Under load, X11 is unusable since the CPU has to render
the whole screen alone.

A similar situation arose with Lenovo ThinkPad X240 with high resolution screens and
Haswell/HD4600 iGPU.

I'm not familiar with the VESA driver. I left that path due to its resolution
limitations. We deal with modern hardware and I'm not willing to purchase outdated
hardware for the sake of the OS. On most laptops with Haswell CPUs we migrated to Linux
- with great success. As a sideeffect things run more smooth right now. Lenovo offers a
new type of WiFi NIC which also isn't supported by FreeBSD. The problem with Lenovo is
that their UEFI doesn't allow to simply swap the miniPCIe WiFi NIC for a supported
device. With most recent and modern products from Lenovo and FreeBSD (even CURRENT) we
ended up dead in the water. 

In general there is a serious problem with the graphics support in FreeBSD. Recent
hardware from AMD and Intel isn't supported, only nVidia offers support via their BLOB.
FreeBSD dropped also the nouveau driver. 

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