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

Bob Willcox bob at
Thu Mar 23 14:44:37 UTC 2017

On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 02:50:23PM +0100, Nicolas Kovacs wrote:
> Hi,
> 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
> results.
> 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
> way.
> Cheers from the sunny South of France,
> Niki Kovacs

I'm no expert on this, but have been struggling with Intel GPU support in
FreeBSD for some time now. If your Dell Optiplex 330 has one of the newer
Intel CPUs (e.g., Broadwell, Skylake) then the current official versions of
FreeBSD don't support the internal GPUs in them. I am running an Intel NUC
with a i7-5557U CPU (Broadwell) and it isn't supported. Currently I'm running
the 'work in progress' freebsd-base-graphics version of FreeBSD (a spin-off
from 12-current) that seems to be doing ok (just been running it now for two
days). Here's some info regarding this version and how to fetch/install/build

Good luck, hope you get FreeBSD working for you.


Bob Willcox    | You're dead, Jim.
bob at |       -- McCoy, "The Tholian Web", stardate unknown
Austin, TX     |

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