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(I have tested XFCE but not GNOME 3.)
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'''Update''' - January 28, 2012.  The latest kernel 3.2.2-1.fc16 includes the open source gma500 driver.  It is working well on my Dell Inspiron Mini 12.  Suspend and resume are also working now.  I still have to press Ctrl-Alt-Backspace when the login screen appears to fix the display resolution.
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''The instructions below are no longer necessary to use the gma500 driver in Fedora 16.''
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Using the new open source gma500 driver, I have been able to run Fedora 15 and 16 on a Dell Inspiron Mini 12 netbook with a display resolution of 1280x800.  I am using the XFCE Desktop.  I haven't tested GNOME 3 with this driver.
 
Using the new open source gma500 driver, I have been able to run Fedora 15 and 16 on a Dell Inspiron Mini 12 netbook with a display resolution of 1280x800.  I am using the XFCE Desktop.  I haven't tested GNOME 3 with this driver.
  

Revision as of 22:47, 28 January 2012

Update - January 28, 2012. The latest kernel 3.2.2-1.fc16 includes the open source gma500 driver. It is working well on my Dell Inspiron Mini 12. Suspend and resume are also working now. I still have to press Ctrl-Alt-Backspace when the login screen appears to fix the display resolution.

The instructions below are no longer necessary to use the gma500 driver in Fedora 16.


Using the new open source gma500 driver, I have been able to run Fedora 15 and 16 on a Dell Inspiron Mini 12 netbook with a display resolution of 1280x800. I am using the XFCE Desktop. I haven't tested GNOME 3 with this driver.

To do this, I compiled a custom kernel which enables the gma500 driver and disables some framebuffer drivers. (I'm not sure why this has to be done. Maybe it is because there is no DDX driver for the gma500 kernel module.)

To build a custom kernel, see Building a custom kernel. You do not have to run make menuconfig or apply any patches. However, you should modify the SOURCES/config-generic file. Search for each of these options in the file and modify them to be the same as in the following listing.

CONFIG_DRM_PSB=m
# CONFIG_FB_VGA16 is not set
# CONFIG_FB_VESA is not set
# CONFIG_STUB_POULSBO is not set

For the 3.1 kernel, you also need to add three more options to the config-generic file. How you set these depends on what version of the GMA 500 hardware you have.

# CONFIG_DRM_PSB_MRST is not set
# CONFIG_DRM_PSB_MFLD is not set
# CONFIG_DRM_PSB_CDV is not set

When I boot the computer with the custom kernel, the display is not correct at the GDM Login screen. If I press Control-Alt-Backspace, the display becomes correct.

Suspend doesn't work yet for me, but otherwise this driver seems to be working quite well.