development tools for Intel graphics drivers on Linux

I love discovering new tools.

Lately my work on Ubuntu Linux kernels has had me paying closer attention to the Intel open source graphics drivers.

I’ve come across a few tools that are handy to developers and people with more advanced troubleshooting skills. One of those is intel_reg_dumper, which (not surprisingly) dumps the values of a whole bunch of internal registers from the graphics card. This comes as part of the xserver-xorg-video-intel-dbg package.

On Ubuntu you can install that with this rune:

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intel-dbg

[UPDATE] this tool will be moving to the intel-gpu-tools package. Thanks to tormod on IRC for that info!

Note to self: See what other goodies are in that package

Why is this tool useful? I discovered the tool because I was following an email thread on a development list about high power consumption during suspend. By comparing register contents before and after the problem appeared, the troubleshooter was attempting to see whether there were associated register changes.

I can also see this being useful if you’re trying to debug problems with monitor capabilities – by examining the output you can tell a lot about the video timing that’s been selected – here’s an excerpt:

(II):             HTOTAL_B: 0x05a704ff (1280 active, 1448 total)
(II):             HBLANK_B: 0x05a704ff (1280 start, 1448 end)
(II):              HSYNC_B: 0x054f052f (1328 start, 1360 end)
(II):             VTOTAL_B: 0x0336031f (800 active, 823 total)
(II):             VBLANK_B: 0x0336031f (800 start, 823 end)
(II):              VSYNC_B: 0x03280322 (803 start, 809 end)

(there are over 200 registers dumped for my graphics card)

About Steve

I'm Steve Conklin, AI4QR I'm employed by Salesforce, on the SRE team for Heroku. Interests include Linux, open source software and hardware, electronics and music, and amateur radio.
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