Intel Releases First Arc Graphics Driver Package For Ubuntu

Intel
(Image credit: Intel)

As reported by Phoronix, (opens in new tab) Intel has released its first Arc GPU driver package designed specifically for Linux. The new driver package eliminates the learning curve required to manually install Intel's Arc drivers on Linux, allowing anyone to conveniently install Intel's Arc GPU drivers on supported Linux OSs. But, for now, the new driver package is designed solely for Ubuntu version 22.04 LTS and will not work on any other version.

For the uninitiated, graphics drivers in Linux do not consist of just a single driver - as you might think. Instead, to get a physical GPU fully operational within a Linux environment requires several different drivers, including DRM kernel drivers, OpenGL drivers for OpenGL rendering applications, and an ANV driver for Vulkan-supported video games - to name a few. These drivers are required on top of the actual Intel graphics driver, to make Arc GPUs fully operational with Linux.

Before Intel released its new Arc driver package, users with an Arc GPU had to ensure all these additional drivers were installed and the correct versions were also installed. On top of this, users also need to know which Linux kernel and Mesa 3d Graphics Library versions Intel supports, which will make or break compatibility with Intel's Arc GPU drivers.

With Intel's new Arc graphics driver stack, all this extra work goes away since the driver package comes with all the necessary drivers you'll need in the first place. In addition, it will make driver installation far easier for both novices and experienced Linux users alike - with a similar installation method as Windows-based driver installations.

Unfortunately, the Linux driver package only supports Ubuntu version 22.04 LTS at this time, with no word on when Intel will push out more packages for other Linux versions - for both Ubuntu and non-Ubuntu distros. There's also no word on how fast Intel will keep its graphics driver packages up to date, which could become problematic. It depends on how committed the company supports its Linux consumer base.

So depending on how things play out, you might be forced to update drivers manually if Intel does not update its driver packages regularly with the latest driver updates. But for now, we're glad to see Intel providing a driver package at all, as it will significantly reduce the learning curve required to get Arc GPUs operational for users running Ubuntu version 22.04 LTS.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • Eximo
    Neat.
    Reply
  • mitch074
    to be fair, on most distros the matter of installing any graphics drivers requires you to:
    get the latest kernel
    get the latest Xorg release
    get the latest Mesa release
    And many distros have repositories with bleeding edge builds of these elements. Configure the repository(ies) and update your packages, reboot : more often than not, that's enough to make your brand new GPU work.
    Reply
  • anticeon
    mitch074 said:
    to be fair, on most distros the matter of installing any graphics drivers requires you to:
    get the latest kernel
    get the latest Xorg release
    get the latest Mesa release
    And many distros have repositories with bleeding edge builds of these elements. Configure the repository(ies) and update your packages, reboot : more often than not, that's enough to make your brand new GPU work.

    i think Manufacture driver is better because it is not limited to the Open Source code, maybe some of the code especially Hardware Acceleration for Decoding and Encoding Video is not Free.
    also GPU Decoder code for certain DRM content might also be not open source
    Reply
  • mitch074
    Yeah, no - that was debunked a decade ago. AMD actually recommend the open source driver for all uses except certified CAD work - and even then only the user space components are closed source. Intel didn't bother with a closed source driver at all.
    Reply