For all those who are wondering how great the Linux support with the new Sandy-Bridge CPUs are, I can let you know, It works great!
As the guys from Phoronix already showed in www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=intel_sandy_speed&num=1 Linux runs quite well, as long as you connect the right hardware together. In my case, I put myself a new PC together with the following main components:
- Intel Mainboard DH67GD
- Intel Sandy-Bridge CPU i5 2500K, 3.3GHz, 4 Core
I tested it with Kubuntu 10.10 (Maverick) as well as Kubuntu 11.04 beta1 (Natty).
Instead of additional graphic cards I am using the new HD3000 Graphics Processing Core which is directly build into the Sandy-Bridge processor. In both OS’s I updated to the latest graphic card drivers and kernel.
In both tested Linux, the graphics looked good out of the box. Only the context menus got distorted. A bug report and a solution is already shown in bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/natty/+source/xserver-xorg-video-intel/+bug/732304. You will have to create a xorg.conf file and add the option „shadow“:
Section "Device" Identifier "Sandybridge" Driver "intel" Option "Shadow" "true" Option "DRI" "false" EndSection
This might disable the 3d acceleration, but makes the GPU work correctly. I am sure there will be a better solution soon. As for new the Sandy-Bridge CPUs are still new and not yet very much used.
Update (13. April 2011):
With the latest kernel (2.6.38-8-generic) this hack is not needed anymore!
In Kubuntu 11.04 even some of the Compiz effects work. Not all of them, but some nice ones like transparency work very well.
As I also prefer to work with more than one monitor, I had a look into dual screen options. In Kubuntu 10.10 I could only get it working when I removed the „shadow“ option in the xorg.conf file. In Kubuntu 11.04 however it worked with the „shadow“ option enabled. Like I already mentioned in one of my earlier posts (Kubuntu 10.10 and dual screen) that Kubuntu always resets the dual screen option on a restart of the X server. This again can be solved with some command lines in the file /etc/kde4/kdm/Xsetup:
xrandr --output HDMI1 --primary xrandr --output HDMI1 --mode 1920x1080 xrandr --output HDMI3 --mode 1280x1024 xrandr --output HDMI3 --left-of HDMI1
Of course you will have to adjust the names of the devices. After that the X server should start directly with dual screen support and no menu distortion.