Ubuntu: Is it recommended to install “LTS Hardware Enablement Stack” for Intel GMA-500 Issues?


I have Xubuntu-12.04 LTS on my Sony VAIO P with Intel GMA-500 graphics for more than a year. I have solved some issues using the fixes suggested in the Poulsbo-wiki but unfortunately some issues still remain ... most importantly: I'm unable to use external displays for presentations!

The kernel version of my installation is 3.2. I've read and heard that most problems regarding the Intel GMA-500 graphics cards are solved with the 3.4 Linux kernel and newer versions. Also, I've read about the "LTS Hardware Enablement Stack" for 12.04, which provides back-ports of the stable-kernels + X-stacks of 12.10 Quantal (Linux-Kernel-3.5) and 13.04 Raring (Linux-Kernel-3.8) for 12.04 LTS. It seems that even the new-kernel + X-stack of 13.10 Saucy will also be made available for 12.04 LTS, but at the current time, I only see the kernel in repos, and not the X-stack.

More detailed info: LTS Hardware Enablement Stack

So my question is :
Is it recommended for me to install this "LTS Hardware Enablement Stack" in hope of resolving my issues with Intel GMA-500 graphics ?! If yes, which one is more recommended (Quantal or Raring) ?!


Since nobody answered, the only way to find out was to test the "LTS Hardware Enablement Stack" and see if it works or breaks ...

I installed Raring's stack (kernal + Xorg) with the following command:

sudo apt-get install linux-generic-lts-raring xserver-xorg-lts-raring  

And reboot ...

The system booted fine and almost everything worked, even some-things that didn't work before, such as brightness controls. But one major problem showed up: with every other boot, Xorg consumed a lot of CPU capacity (about %25), and the system was super slow and laggy! I don't know what was the cause, but it was either a bug in Xorg or a bug in the kernel module for Intel GMA-500 graphics.

So I thought to try Saucy's stack in hope of solving the problem, since it has a newer version of the Linux kernel. The thing is that the kernel-package of Saucy is available but not its X-stack. According to this link, it is not a good idea to use a kernel with a different X-stack but in my situation I had no other choice, so I gave it a try ... I installed Saucy's kernel with the following command, and Raring's X-stack remained:

sudo apt-get install linux-generic-lts-saucy  

And reboot ...

Everything worked fine! :) Now all the problems of my Xubuntu-12.04 installation on the Sony VAIO P with Intel GMA-500 graphics are solved without the need for any tweaking:

  • The screen works fine with the standard resolution and adequate performance;
  • External VGA port works and secondary monitors are handled fine;
  • Brightness controls work;
  • Suspend/Resume works;

Now I'm a happy Xubuntu user on my Sony VAIO P which is way more faster and responsive than the standard Windows-7 which came pre-installed on it!

Of course there is one limitation: the graphics performance on Linux is much lower than the performance on Windows. For example, I almost can't watch any kind of video format on Xubuntu, while all video files with resolutions below HD (720p) play fine in Windows ... Although this is a problem I can live with, it would be really great to sea this fixed in Ubuntu-14.04 LTS.

Finally, my general recommendation is that if practical, do a fresh installation of the latest version of Xubuntu (which currently is 13.10 Saucy). When the next LTS version is released (14.04 Trusty) perform an upgrade or again do a fresh installation. But if your situation is like mine and you can't afford a fresh installation right now, installing Suacy's kernel with Raring's X-stack can fix a lot of problems.


Since the release of the 14.04 Trusty, the most recent LTS release, it is recommended to use its HES:

sudo apt-get install linux-generic-lts-trusty  

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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