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)

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About Steve

I'm Steve Conklin, AI4QR I'm employed by Canonical, Inc as a Linux Kernel Engineer. Interests include Linux, open source software and hardware, electronics and music, and amateur radio.
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