Stable kernel interfaces be damned.
Both the X.org Intel drivers and DRI driver and libraries can be compiled out-of-tree and be
I've done that before when trying out different features that are only avialable via cvs.
(like texture/memory management features for the 915tex driver). Especially with the DRI
libraries. Using LD_PRELOAD tricks it's very possible to change between 3D driver versions
while running a single X session.
There is almost no need to ever have to overwrite anything provided by your distribution. The
whole X server can be compiled seperately from distro-provided stuff if you like. If the CVS
breaks everything then just go back to what is provided by your distribution.
Worst case is that you have to compile a custom kernel to take advantage of some features
because of patches to DRM or AGPGART stuff.
Soo... If you actually care about trying out patches and filing usefull bug reports then there
is nothing that is stopping you. Especially about 3D drivers.
Remember almost all of it, except for the DRM or AGP stuff, is userspace. Not much at all
depends in any way on the kernel (unlike your proprietary drivers) your using and you can use
different LD tricks and chroots to run any of it like any other application.
And remember now that X is now _modular_. The drivers themselves can be compiled seperately
from X. If your using a relatively recent version of X you can try out the latest 2D Intel
driver by just copying over the existing intel_drv.so file! If your worried about breakage
then just keep a backup to copy back.
This is a little out of date:
For example a most of the stuff has moved away from CVS to Git, but for the most part it still
applies. This tells you how to compile and run latest versions of Mesa libs, and DRI without
Have you never had more then one version of a program or libraries installed on your computer
If your using Gutsy and the Intel stuff is crapping out on you then bitch to Ubuntu for
shipping something broken. On my Debian Unstable/Testing is is pretty stable, not perfect, but
it works well. A freind at work has a X3000 chipset and is using Fedora Core 8 and it runs
Compiz pretty well except for the 2D and 3D overlay problem/ugliness.