Ubuntu 9.04 and UXA acceleration in X.Org

With the recent release of Ubuntu 9.04 and the brand new X.org stack, finally I have got quick and usable windows effects in my KDE 4.2 install (using Kwin, not Compiz).
My workstation is a Dell Optiplex 745 with an Intel grapphic chipset

$ lspci|grep -i vga
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82Q963/Q965 Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 02)

with the default install I had serious problems with X, and with serious I mean textures corruptions, artifacts with KDE/Qt4 applications and all sort of graphic glitches.. really a PITA. Then the great idea: Ubuntu 9.04 now ships with a DRI2 enabled kernel, GEM for graphic memory management and this new Intel-sponsored acceleration framework called UXA, which is supposed to improve XAA and EXA. So, if everything is already screwed, why not give it a try?

So I fired up my vim editor and changed my /etc/X11/xorg.conf to look exactly like this, no more no less:

Section "Monitor"
 Identifier      "Configured Monitor"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "Default Screen"
        Monitor         "Configured Monitor"
        Device          "Configured Video Device"
EndSection
Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Configured Video Device"
        Option          "AccelMethod" "UXA"
EndSection
Section "ServerFlags"
        Option  "DontZap"       "False"
EndSection

restarted X and the magic was done. I activated the composited effects in KWin and everything worked like a charm, really flying as it never did and as it is supposed to do (Vista on the same hardware works the same).
So, if you have a similar hardware, I encourage you to try the same. If anything goes wrong, removing this line

Option "AccelMethod" "UXA"

will fall back the configuration to its default state.

HTH

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8 thoughts on “Ubuntu 9.04 and UXA acceleration in X.Org

    • I noticed that with the “server” kernel and UXA enabled, X.org won’t simply start, but I supposed it was related to DRI2 not enabled in the “server” version,
      Anywhere another (big) drawback is that there is an infamous memory leak in Jaunty X when UXA is enabled that in some hours simply kills your machine :/

      • I’m not sure about the server version, but I’ve compiled with the config from a generic compilation by ubuntu. only modifying Processor (for core2) & High Memory (64gb) and X fails. UXA calls DRI2, so it’s active but X doesn’t care, it just blackscreens me… If I compile the same source with the same config but without the 64GB option it works like a charm. I thus conclude that that is the problem and that they are not compatible.

        I am unsure what you’re talking about when you refer to Jaunty getting killed. I have my pc running for more than 24 hours straight without a glitch. I get better performance with UXA in 9.04, about 5 times faster than EXA.

  1. @Vlad: cool that you had the chance to further investigate the blank screen issue. So it’s 100% related to HiMem support cause “server” kernels in Ubuntu enable it. So if you have >3GB RAM it’s mandatory to use the 64bit version if you want UXA and all your RAM.

    I’m experiencing the memory leak on this machine and another, with stock jaunty intel driver and newer 2.6.99 version. What’s your lspci output? Just out of curiosity…

  2. Hello! Thank you for this post, it was very useful for me while installing ubuntu on my asus eeepc 1005ha.
    I’ve written a little blog about how to do the install here: http://ubuntuon1005ha.wordpress.com/
    And I’ve mentioned your post as a source of information.

    Its in spanish and english :)

    Once again, thanks! And if you feel something its incorrect or should say anything more, please tell me!

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