Installing Intel 815/852/855 graphics controller drivers on Ubuntu / Debian

If you are new to Ubuntu it may happen that devices won’t work. That’s new, for Windows users. Microsoft Windows is an universal Operating System. That’s why hardware manufacturers have developers working for them to write the drivers. But it doesn’t means those drivers also end up in Linux!. There are various reasons for that:- Linux isn’t being recognized as a grown-up Operating System by certain companies and manufacturers.- Propriety still plays a big role. By default hardware manufacturers are not keen on releasing their product specifications.- Not enough developers in the community to write a driver which sometimes can be complex.These are the most important reasons why driver support sometimes fails under Linux. Also I had to live with that until today. I finally got the puzzle solved in my case.The Intel onboard graphics such as the 810/852/855 family haven’t always been working properly under GNU/Linux distributions. The first stage was a simple driver which made it possible to use your portable with a maximum resolution of 1280×1024. After a while 8xxresolution came into the repositories. With this CLI-application (Command Line Interface) it was possible to configure a pre-made script to use the real maximum resolution your portable and onboard chip supported. In my case that is 1400×1050.As I said before on this blog I’m a beginner myself in many factors and forms. My only advantage compared with an Absolute Beginner is the fact I’ve have been using GNU/Linux distributions since 1999. While writing an other article for my blog (about the happiness of Debra and Ian) I’ve came across an interesting piece! I knew that the Intel 855 drivers where bundled with the drivers for the 810 and 915 chipset drivers but the whole problem was they were only available in .rpm. The Wiki article stated that ‘Alien’ (a small application) is able to create .deb files out of .rpm and other archives. That was exactly what I needed!I did the following terminal work to to install the drivers with enabled hardware acceleration :

  • sudo apt-get install alien

In the meantime I downloaded the driver and browsed in the terminal to the location it would be downloaded to. After the download was complete I used the following commands.

  • sudo alien <filname.rpm>
  • sudo dpkg -i <filename.deb>
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get upgrade

If, in your case you still can’t switch to the maximum resolution you should install 915resolution from the repositories. Please note that you might have to enable the multiverse / universe repositories to download and install this application. 915resolution works exactly like 855resolution, only it supports more (new) Intel onboard chipsets. But even without the maximum resolution your onboard chip should now be as fast as under Windows again. I installed and played Planet Penguin Racer to test the graphics card. It worked as it should even configured at a resolution of 1400×1050 or 1280×1024.


83 thoughts on “Installing Intel 815/852/855 graphics controller drivers on Ubuntu / Debian

  1. Hi,
    Do you have an idea how to enable the direct rendering?
    I have an 82852/855GM graphics device,
    Ubuntu 6.06 installed.
    The 3D rendering is quite poor:

    $glxgears -printfps
    635 frames in 6.0 seconds = 105.761 FPS

    $glxinfo | grep rendering
    direct rendering: No

    Any help would be great!

    Thank you in advance, Antoine

  2. This is an as a great guide and so far the easiest way for installing the latest Intel drivers. Thank you very much, I can now run glxgears without any errors like I was getting before.

  3. Hi,
    dmesg tells me the following:

    “agpgart: Detected an Intel 845G Chipset.”

    and so I followed your instructions, where as I still get choppy graphics when i drag a window over the desktop. what is the solution??

  4. Is it totally required to put after the install:

    # sudo apt-get update
    # sudo apt-get upgrade

    I’ve already updated before.

  5. I play a game called Guild wars and i have set my graphics to the lowest settings and it makes my computer Reboot and makes the screen go black what should i do besides getting a new video card?

  6. Need easier guide, please? Sorry, but we’re running Ubuntu because we dont know how to do anything in Linux in the first place. I cant install, and the README from Intel tells me to install differently…and it doesnt see the file or tells me it is unsecure running the .rpm, and I can only cancel the install. I DLEd from the same link yet got an .rpm and rpm.part files

    I just want to be able to watch movies on my widescreen laptop and not have everyone look artifically fat from the mishandled aspect ratio.

    Theres simply too much info and irrelevant replies on Ubuntu forums to find anything of use.

  7. So ran through the install fine and everything went as described. However, it still doesn’t list any other resolutions available to choose from.

    Hate to say it, but if this doesn’t get worked out, it’s back to that other OS…

  8. Im runnin linux on a vaio vgnfs920, drivers for the 900 Intel Media Accelerator are just fine, but i was wondering how could i configure the vram, like give it or take some from the graphic card.

  9. Is this simply the same as the xserver-xorg-video-intel driver available from Ubuntu’s repositories?

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  11. Hi,
    I’m a new Ubuntu user, and I have installed 8.04 to a HP DC 7100 system with an Intel video card. The resolution now is 1024*768. On windows XP I had 1280*1024. I have tried to download the dri-I915-v1.1-20041217.i386.rpm driver, but I can not even make that work.
    Any ideas to a new fan of Ubuntu. Please e-mail me

  12. Hey there.

    I’m new as well, but managed to change the .rpm to .deb. I ran it in terminal, told it to install and it told me my kernel’s outdated. What gives? I am running the latest gutsy, and I tried hardy before but it kept crashing wine so I am stuck here. Any thoughts on how to get around this?

    Also, I *do* need the actual driver– I was able to change resolutions but I need to enable direct rendering so I can play World of Warcraft. It was the only reason I was still using windows and everyone told me I could get it to run on ubuntu– and I can, just at 4fps. 😦

  13. WTF?? This is an “absolute beginner guide”??? I am an actual absolute beginner and the assumptions about knowledge of code and terminology of many “helpers” here is driving me up the wall. I just want to know how to get and install the driver for my i386 Gateway PC (model 500S). Isn’t there some big directory of drivers on the internet somewhere, and isn’t there some ubuntu program or plug-in that a person could go through and do this with without having to know terminal commands???

  14. Works nicely for a dell c400 with an i810 too .. wasn’t able to log on , after installing the 915 driver it seems to be okay

  15. Hey, I’m sorry but I found it hard to follow these instructions. Got to generating the .deb package but dpkg lost me completely. Not too used to using command lines… Any help would be appreciated. Thanks a lot

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  17. arning: Skipping conversion of scripts in package dri-I915: postinst prerm
    Warning: Use the –scripts parameter to include the scripts.
    Package build failed. Here’s the log:
    find . -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -not -name debian -print0 | \
    xargs -0 -r -i cp -a {} debian/dri-i915
    dpkg-gencontrol: warning: Depends field of package dri-i915: unknown substitution variable ${shlibs:Depends}
    dpkg-deb: error: parsing file ‘debian/dri-i915/DEBIAN/control’ near line 2 package ‘dri-i915’:
    error in Version string ‘v1.1-20041218’: version number does not start with digit
    dh_builddeb: dpkg-deb –build debian/dri-i915 .. returned exit code 2
    make: *** [binary-arch] Error 25
    i m getting this error help me out

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