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Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and 12.10 beta 2 on Intel Ivy Bridge-powered computer

There have been reports of display issues concerning Linux distributions and Intel’s third generation processors. Codenamed Ivy Bridge, these processors were launched this year, so they are brand new to the market.

Like their predecessors, they come with Intel HD Graphics (integrated graphics), and there have been reports of freezing and lines on the screen (mostly freezing) when running many Linux distributions.

Since I just built a new system with a Core i3 3220 processor, one of the low-end models, I decided to see what the heck is going on between the Linux and Ivy Bridge. Note that the Core i3 has an Intel 2500 integrated graphics, but almost all the reports I have read have been with Core i5 and i7 processors with Intel 4000 integrated graphics.

But I can only test with what I have, so I first installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, then Ubuntu 12.10 beta 2 on the same hard drive (a 120 GB SSD) in dual-boot fashion. This is just a two-day test so it might not necessarily reflect the same issues for people who have been using their systems for weeks. Note that my version of Ubuntu 12.04 is still running Linux Kernel 3.2, while Ubuntu 12.04 beta 2 is powered by Linux kernel 3.5.

Running either 12.04 or 12.10 beta 2, I have so far not experienced any freezing, and there have been no lines on the screen. The only issue I have experienced on both systems, is the same thing I experience on my Gateway machine powered by an Intel Quad core processor: At a screen resolution of 1024×768, the edge of the desktop shifts about 1″ (one inch) to the left, so that there is that much dark space visible on the right edge of the desktop. But only at the screen resolution, never at any above.

For me, it is discomfort because that is the screen resolution I always like to use. But I am not allergic to working under higher screen resolutions, so I am writing this article from the system using the next higher screen resolution – 1152×864.

The following screen shots are from the test installations of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Ubuntu 12.10 beta 2 on the Ivy Bridge system, starting with those from Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

This one is of the default desktop. No lines on the screen. And no freezing.
Ubuntu Desktop

The Dash.
Ubuntu Desktop1

The Software Center.
Software Center

From Ubuntu 12.10 beta 2. The default desktop. Look, ma! No lines. And no freezing – yet.
Desktop 12.10 Beta 2

Ubuntu 12.10 beta 2 Dash.
Dash 12.10 Beta 2

The Software Center in Ubuntu 12.10 beta 2.
Software Center 12.10 Beta 2

An open shell terminal windows in Ubuntu 12.10 beta 2.
Terminal 12.10 Beta 2

If something else happens regarding the display, an update will be posted.

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