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#1 2017-04-04 21:38:35

Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 12  

Devuan stable and Skylake (and Kaby Lake?) integrated GPU - backports

  • 2017-05-23 – Removed instructions for pinning backports, updated the apt install instructions


The default kernel (3.18) provided with Jessie does not properly support the integrated GPU of recent Intel CPUs. This leads to sub-par performance at best, and crashes at worst (even when doing something as mundane as switching between a VT and X). One solution consists in upgrading to Ascii, but it is not yet supported by the Devuan devs and there are issues at times. Another, more satisfying (IMHO) solution, is to use the jessie-backports branch.

Adding jessie-backports

This is as simple as adding a line in your sources.list, for convenience's sake I'm adding it as a separate file because I like to keep track of what I added to the system's defaults (you can replace auto by your country's code if you like):

# echo 'deb jessie-backports main contrib non-free' \
    > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jessie-backports.list

Now you can update your list of packages:

# apt update

Installing the newer packages

What we need is a recent kernel and a recent X driver, we install them with the following command:

# apt install -t jessie-backports linux-base linux-image-amd64 xserver-xorg-video-intel

By appending a slash followed by the branch name, we force apt to pull packages from that branch, despite their lower priority.

Now you just need to reboot your system, and enjoy a well-deserved stability and performance.

Notes and drawbacks

Using a newer kernel implies that some packages need to be at the correct version too. On my laptop, I need to install the corresponding firmware package in order to be able to use my Intel wifi card (note that it is in the non-free section):

# apt install -t jessie-backports firmware-iwlwifi

But it can also break some other packages. For instance virtualbox, for which the best solution is to directly use their own repository for jessie (cf the "Debian-based Linux distributions" section at

Last edited by malinas (2017-05-23 13:37:25)


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