Can't configure Intel video card: hard freeze or fallback to VESA

Nicolas Kovacs info at
Thu Mar 23 13:57:10 UTC 2017


I'm relatively new to FreeBSD, after having used GNU/Linux (mostly
Slackware) exclusively over the last fifteen years. I'm the manager of a
small IT company in South France, and I'm regularly working as a Linux
trainer. Recently I've become more and more curious about FreeBSD, since
I'm a bit wary of the never-ending puzzle of the Linux world, and I'm
looking for something sane and well-documented.

I'm reading the fine FreeBSD handbook, but right now it looks like I
have a showstopper. In my office I have a "sandbox" network consisting
of three Dell Optiplex 330 PCs. This kind of hardware is extremely
common in schools or administrations in France.

All three PCs have the following video card.

vgapci0 at pci0:0:2:0:   class=0x030000 card=0x02201028 chip=0x29c28086
rev=0x0a hdr=0x00
    vendor     = 'Intel Corporation'
    device     = '82G33/G31 Express Integrated Graphics Controller'
    class      = display
    subclass   = VGA

To set it up, I basically followed the X11 chapter in the FreeBSD
handbook. There seemed to be no way to make this card work with the
'intel' video driver. Either the system would make a hard lock up or
fall back to the vesa driver.

My first attempt was based on FreeBSD 10.3 amd64. After a number of
failed attempts, I gave 11.0 and even 12.0 CURRENT a spin, with the same

I tried to install a TrueOS system, and this worked correctly. I can't
say what's the magical combination the TrueOS developers applied here,
and before I launch into some more trial and error and more guesswork, I
thought I'd rather ask here. Ideally, I would like to run FreeBSD 10.3
as a desktop on these machines. I would be thankful for any pointers on
how to configure this kind of hardware. I'm not a lamer for RTFM, by the

Cheers from the sunny South of France,

Niki Kovacs

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