Linux on GMA 500

NOTE. If you are a linux user with gma 500 video card ,please, add a comment with your experience ;)
Let's start saying that GMA 500 works better with Microsoft products but anyway linux distros may be faster than Win 7. (I'm talking about system speed but i'm not so sure vs winxp and win 8.1 on US15 platform)
Linux is a freeware opensource OS but,unfortunately, this has determinate the emergence of billions of distros that sometimes may confuse users migrating from other OS like MS or Mac...anyway leaving my thoughts let's talk of GMA 500 vs Linux.
I will not speak about the problems in linux with drivers (you can find some bugfix googling: like how to restore backlight,correct the resolution,resolve black screen). but i will show you a first look of the driver situation on Linux (April 2014)

First step "How to install a Linux distro"
1)Download UNetbootin
2)From the program choose if download a distro (check the list) or simply insert an iso  (if you have downloaded before)
NOTE.Min Requirements  Ubuntu 12.04's distro: CPU 300MHz;  384MB RAM; 1GB Hard Disk; Display 640x480

Available Drivers
Taking a look at actual situation "seems" to be available 2 main working driver with US15 platform:
1)gma500_gfx, an updated version of psb_gfx, that is included since ubuntu 12.04
2)EMGD official that support Fedora 14 (Kernel version 2.6.35)
3)EMGD derived versions for linux that work only with kernel <3.0 (build max May 2011)
4)IEGD, old embedded driver, supports Fedora 7 

Why there is no open-source driver: Unfortunately we are not able to support all of the various distributions of Linux that are available. It is simply not practical to do that, and we are not able to provide 100% of the source code due to some IP involved in the media and 3d acceleration portions of the driver.

N.B.Reading from ubuntu pages: upgrade to ubuntu>12.04 isn't suggested for poor performance with the gpu

Main Difference: 
-gma500_gfx is Software Accelerated Driver (so performance depends by your CPU better with Atom >Z530 or overclocked CPU)
-EMGD\IEGD is Hardware Accelerated (better performance and less power consumption)
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NOTE for Terminal:
RAM available  "free"
Driver Installed "lsmod | grep gma" check that gma500_gfx is installed if you are not using EMG
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[TESTs]
Device: Asus 1101ha @1.33GHz, 2GB RAM, GMA 500, 1366x768 display

A)Ubuntu 12.04 (screen resolution 1366x768 is auto detected):
YouTube.com  WINDOWED - FULLSCREEN
1080p:             3  FPS             2FPS
720p:               3  FPS             3FPS
480p                9  FPS             5FPS
380p                25FPS             7FPS

AVI Trailer with default player:
1080p <1FPS
720p   <1FPS

Adding Suggested Tips: Ubuntu WIKI
A)"MPlayer"
<<Due to the lack of Hardware accelerated video playback in the gma500_gtx kernel driver, at current video playback can be very slow, it can freeze, jump and the audio and video can desynchronise, However it is possible to avoid this by using mplayer with multithreading>>
1. Install mplayer: sudo apt-get install mplayer
2. Go into the directory containing your video: in my case was "cd /home/eeepc/Scaricati" where eeepc is my username and Scaricati is Downloads folder
3. Play the video: "mplayer -lavdopts threads=4 -framedrop yourvideofile.avi" in my case was born.mp4 fullhd video 
This will drop frames when needed, and use 4 threads (You should change this depending on your Atom Processor) meaning playing HD video is possible.
Result: Better situation than default player but 720p video runs still 1FPS
B)Adding more RAM to the GPU:
sudo gedit /etc/default/grub   This will open grub with administrator rights
Add one of these lines and save the file:
For 1GB devices  GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="mem=896mb"
For 2GB devices  GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="mem=1920mb"
sudo update-grub 'To update grub informations

Conclusion: Poor Multimedia Performance (Windows wins without any dubt)

B)Fedora 14 (codename Laughlin, November 2010) this version is directly supported by IEMGD but i haven't still test this driver.
Comments without IEMGD: Slow boot, with basic driver max resolution is 1024x768;  old basic video driver has slow performance; RAM USAGE 170MB

C)Lubuntu 13.10 (Autodetect 1366x768 display)
Really better than Ubuntu 12.04 and Fedora 14, system is fast but anyway GPU driver is gma500_gfx so it's only Software Accelerated.
RAM USAGE: 100MB with default driver
This Distro is faster than Win7 and is suggested only for DESKTOP USAGE.

VIDEOs:
DIVX full Supported (<720p)
720p: Atom Z520 CPU Usage 98%, watchable but audio async
1080p: Lags, a lot of frame skips (not suggested)

YouTube.com  WINDOWED - FULLSCREEN
1080p:             3  FPS             2FPS
720p:               10  FPS             3FPS
480p                15  FPS             6FPS
380p                25FPS             10FPS
Note don't play anything else!

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INSTALLING EMGD and Enabling VAAPI on Ubuntu 10.04 (Guide by Linux-Tipps.blogspot.com)
Other Infos about Ubuntu 9.10: HERE
1)Download and install EMGD
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gma500/ppa
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gma500/fix
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install poulsbo-driver-3d

2)Reboot OS
3)Set up Xorg.conf:
Section "DRI"
Mode 0666
EndSection


Section "Device"
Identifier "GMA500"
Option "AccelMethod" "EXA"
Option "DRI" "on"
Option "MigrationHeuristic" "greedy"
Option "IgnoreACPI" "yes"
Driver "psb"
EndSection

4)Reboot OS
5)VideoPlayers:
wget http://www.splitted-desktop.com/~gbeauchesne/mplayer-vaapi/mplayer-vaapi-20100114.i686.tar.bz2
unp mplayer-vaapi*

sudo apt-get install mplayer libgtop2-7
mplayer -vo vaapi -va vaapi testfile.avi

VLC: 
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:c-korn/vlc && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install vlc

My conclusion: 
Linux actually, in this kind of platform, is good for desktop usage but not for Multimedia purpose (there are still too many websites with Adobe Flash). System can run via Software Rendering Adobe Flash but on youtube ,without CPU overclock, only 480p windowed videos are supported.
The 3D Rendering is absent in gma500_gfx driver.
The EMGD for linux is still the best choice for multimedia goal but is outdated, not compatible with all distro and not so stable (excellent combo!)
Example of other Distro with Software Decoding: Linux Mint 15-16

Take a look at these EXTERNAL LINKs for more infos:
https://launchpad.net/~gma500
https://launchpad.net/~thopiekar/+archive/emgd
https://github.com/EMGD-Community/intel-binaries-linux 
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PoulsboObsoleteDrivers
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1229345

EMGD driver


Release
Kernel
Xorg
EMGD Version
2D accel
3D compiz
Normal Video Playback (Xv)
Hardware Video Acceleration1

Oneiric (11.10) +
3.0.0-x
1.10
1.10+
N/A

3.0.0-x
Downgraded 1.9
1.8
Acceptable
Excellent
Excellent
Acceptable

Natty (11.04)
2.6.xx
1.10
1.10+
N/A

2.6.38-x
Downgraded 1.9
1.8
Acceptable
Excellent
Excellent
Acceptable

Lucid (10.04)
2.6.32-x
Upgraded 1.8
1.6
Acceptable
Excellent
Excellent
N/A

PSB driver


Release
Kernel
Xorg
2D accel
3D compiz
Normal Video Playback (Xv)
Hardware Video Acceleration1

Oneiric (11.10)
3.0.0-x
1.10
N/A

Natty (11.04)
Upgraded 2.6.39-rc1
1.10
N/A

2.6.38-x
1.10
N/A

Downgraded 2.6.35-x
1.10
Excellent
Bad
Acceptable
Excellent

10 commenti:

  1. Thank you for giving us a detail information about GMA500 in various linux version. I installed linux and windows xp in my poor gma500 netbook(Hanvon B16). Actually, I feel linux runs slower than XP.

    Did you know this linux distro http://www.pixielive.org/dotclear/, it says support GMA500 well. It uses a special EMGD driver, but it can't directly be installed on hard disk.

    You can have a test for that.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Hi, this post is only to give a basic info about GMA500 and linux
      I have not still tested Pixielive: but as described brings both EMGD 1.18 binary drivers and gma500_gfx
      Which kind of linux did you install? i've find Ubuntu too slow on Asus 1101ha but, as i described, Lubuntu is really light.

      Elimina
    2. PixieLive4 to HDD as "normal" distro
      http://pixielive.org/dotclear/index.php?post/2013/12/19/PixieLive4-to-HDD-as-normal-distro

      Elimina
  2. Hi, I installed ubuntu 10.04 with psb driver

    RispondiElimina
  3. Hi,
    After many try (kubuntu,Xubuntu, Lun tu, Bento) i decided to keep Lubuntu 14.04 on 1101ha. It's the only dietro that can play youtube videos within Firefox and also without flash plugin installed, quite smoothly.
    It all works out of the box, just needed to Fix backlight (Google it) dedicated more memory to video card (i have installed 2gb ram) and still having an error message about gma500 at boot but without effects.
    Plus the system is really reactive, the best I see till now. It can be graphically improved a lot using Docky and MacBuntu Project.
    Finally, Very happy for now!
    Hope this helps.

    RispondiElimina
  4. Thank you for posting your experience!

    RispondiElimina
  5. Mint 17 Rosa here on eee 1101ha 2gb ram. Great responsiveness for the specs, but youtube sucks on html5. Haven't tested flash or video rendering. Have not dedicated more ram to gpu, will update if it makes significant difference. Probably gonna switch to windows :( thanks for sharing anyway.

    RispondiElimina
  6. Hi, I installed emgd on an Ubuntu 16.04. I did it according to this tutorial (first part with PPA):
    http://andre.blaatschaap.be/tag/gma500/

    I also had to install a package named emgd-driver ;-) During the installation, the gma-500 and other stuff were blacklisted.

    I had to do the last part of tutorial, for sound. It is on an Acer Aspire One AO751h. Coudn't manage brightness keys for now.

    matograine

    RispondiElimina
  7. Using mint here...i think 40hz display refresh lock which results in all programs that assume some 60hz or thereabouts updates all have issues. all of them. upscale on lower resolution operations are vertically stretched and therefore cut off portion of the screen, no offered alternative resolutions are even correc ratios to native resolution

    RispondiElimina
  8. Using here
    Fatdog64-710
    with boot parameter
    drm_kms-helper.edid_firmware=edid/1920x1080.bin

    Quirky Pyro64
    with /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/gpudriver.conf containing

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "card0"
    Driver "modesetting"
    Option "SWCursor" "ON"
    EndSection

    on an Asrock AD2550-ITX

    RispondiElimina