I have been one of the frustrated owners of an Intel GMA 500 card – see how kick your friends face gma500 for details.
Support for this card in Linux has historically been poor, at best, and X typically fails when you boot most distros. For example, the GMA 500 is excluded from Fedora Intel Test Days .
Many people have resorted to attempting to reverse engineer various closed source (PSB and IEGD) and more recently the EMGD driver with mixed results. Support has been best for Ubuntu, and spotty at best for other distros.
In February of this year , Alan Cox started working on a driver gma500: Intel GMA500 staging driver and I have been using this driver on Gentoo for the past few months.
The advantage of the psb-gfx driver is that it is in the Linux kernel and performance is quite acceptable. The driver is 2D, No 3D, Xv, Hardware Accelerated Video.
With some minor changes to the kernel configuration, the psb-gfx driver should soon be working, at native resolution, out of the box, without any end user configuration in both Fedora and Ubuntu.
Note: When starting the live CD/Flash drive, X is distorted when it starts. You need to re-start X (log out an the log in screen is fine, ctrl-alt-backspace in Fedora). Once you install, it helps to disable the boot splash.
Thank you to Alan Cox for developing the psb-gfx driver and to the Fedora and Ubuntu teams for making the adjustments to the default distribution kernel.
Screen shots – click on the images for a larger picture.