X.org Debugger Kit for Intel Graphics Chips

Apr 28, 2009

Eric Anholt of Intel's Open Source Technology Center has announced Intel GPU Tools 1.0 on the X.org mailing list. The toolset should help driver development for, and error detection of, Intel graphics chips.

The GPU toolset includes programs for debugging, testing and performance measurement. If the graphic hangs, the program emits intel_gpu_dump messages that should help developers. The testing and measurement programs have direct access to the kernel through direct rendering manager (DRM) hardware.

Graphic mode changes per kernel-based mode setting (KMS) detection has been around since Kernel 2.6.29. Intel Linux developer Carl Worth added the GPU dump messages for those experiencing GPU hangs and bade the community to use intel_gpu_dump to send in bug reports. Worth: "I know it's not much fun for you, but I'm delighted that you have such a repeatable way to cause your GPU to hang." Caveat: running the GPU tools requires code in a version of the Intel i915 kernel driver that is still in development in the 2.6.30-rc2 kernel, around since mid-March.

The GPU tools are available for download as bz2 or gz archives along with their checksums from the X.org mailing list.

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