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Graphics glitches with Intel HD Graphics 520 in Core i5-6300U - Alex Belits
Graphics glitches with Intel HD Graphics 520 in Core i5-6300U

My laptop at work is Lenovo Thinkpad T460s with Core i5-6300U. Its CPU happens to have a "unique" version of a buit-in graphics adapter, Intel HD Graphics 520. When I first got that thing in 2016, it could only run Linux with DRI completely disabled -- it looked like Intel drivers did not properly support that adapter, even though things improved later. Nevertheless occasionally I got the dreaded
"[drm:intel_pipe_update_end [i915]] *ERROR* Atomic update failure on pipe A"
message, and graphics went into some broken state. The box was running Debian, however no upgrades to either Debian or Ubuntu packaged kernel had any effect.

It turned out, there was firmware update missing, or to be more precise, firmware files skl_guc_ver6_1.bin and skl_huc_ver01_07_1398.bin were supplied with firmware-misc-nonfree package, however they were not loaded by default. To do that, one had to enable loading manually, so I had to add a file /etc/modprobe.d/i915.conf:
options i915 enable_guc_loading=1 enable_guc_submission=1

and remove blacklisting of microcode loader ("blacklist microcode") entries from other files in /etc/modprobe.d.

After making those changes on Debian or Ubuntu it's necessary to rebuild the ramdisk with
update-initramfs -u -k all
and reboot.

Everything is running well ever since -- of course, for the values of "well" applicable to Intel built-in graphics adapters. They usually do the right thing, however performance is nothing special, appropriate for a general-purpose work laptop.

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