Zorin 16 support for Iris Xe Graphics

Hello,
I intend to purchase ASUS VivoBook S14 with i5-1135G7 and Intel Iris Xe graphic on board. Does Zorin OS 16 fully support this graphics out of the box? Installation will be single boot (no windows, no other distro). As it is based on kernel 5.11 it should,just would like to make sure of it.

Hi and welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

The best way to check it out is to create a live USB stick and run a live session to see the hardware compatibility.

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Hi,
thank you, glad to be here.
There have been reported issues with this graphic card under Ubuntu, but prior to the latest 20.04.3 release based on 5.11 kernel (same as in Zorin 16).I have to choose between machine with preinstalled Windows or with no system. I prefer the latter. However, I would like to be sure that Zorin 16 fully supports out of the box Iris Xe graphics before purchasing the laptop, to avoid discovering issues after I get the machine and to discover that proper installation is not possible or that system/installation requires implementation of some modifications. If anybody has had experience with Asus VivoBook S14 with Iris Xe graphics or other laptop with this graphic card working under Zorin 16 would be grateful for info.

I quickly glanced over this document by Intel.
https://dgpu-docs.intel.com/devices/iris-xe-max-graphics/index.html

It looks like a very new hardware.
Due to the pace of the Open source development, Linux in general runs easier on older hardware than new ones. I've heard distros such as Manjaro or Fedora or OpenSuse Tanbleweed has better support for the latest hardware.

I think @marko94 has more experience in those distros. I hope he can drop in to help you.

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thank you, I have already read this document earlier, but it includes mention that " While support for the Intel Iris Xe Graphics processor has already been integrated into Linux* and integrated into Linux-based distributions such as [Ubuntu 20.04.1]." As far as I know, but could be wrong, ubuntu 20.04.1 was shipped with kernel 5.4 and later updated to 5.6xx. According to release info kernel 5.11 included support for Iris Xe Linux Kernel 5.11 Released With Support for Wi-Fi 6E, RTX 'Ampere' GPUs, Intel Iris Xe and More - It's FOSS News therefore theoretically Zorin 16 should support Iris Xe but lie brings surprises which I would like to avoid. I prefer to install Zorin, as it provides the experience I like (I have machines operating under Zorin 15.3 core) and hoped that somebody here on forum already had experience with ZOrin 16 and this graphic card and could share info. For various reasons Fedora, Open Suse and Manjaro are not an option.

If that is the case, I will ask other members on this forum for help. One of them might have a better idea than myself.

@Aravisian @Storm @337harvey @zabadabadoo @jgordon @tomscharbach @StarTreker

Do you know anything about this new Intel GPU?
All my hardware is more than 5 years old and I am completely lacking the working knowledge on the latest hardware.

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I have no direct experience**, but Dell is selling a slew of XPS laptops with Intel Iris Xe Graphics and Ubuntu 20.04 installed as the OS.

Here are the specs from one of them:

image

Based on that, and the fact that Dell is a reputable company and has offered Linux computers for many years, I think that it is a safe bet that the @user1875 won't run into issues.

================

** My newest computer is Intel i7 10th Gen with Intel UHD 630 graphics.

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Intel Iris Xe graphic:

Supports 1080P at 60FPS in gaming. Supports up to 8K with HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos for streaming. Supports 4K content creation. Comes with Intel's AI deep learning engine.

Linus Tech Tips has shown off this little device before, and so has Gamers Nexus too I think. Its kind of Intel's first leap into making their own dedicated GPU.

Anyways, point is, the 5.11 kernel supports modern hardware, its the reason why I switched to POP OS, when Zorin OS got severely delayed in coming out with OS16.

My gaming machine running POP OS, is also running the 5.11 kernel, and its supports my 10th gen machine that came out at the beginning of this year. Yours should be supported too.

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thank you, nice tip, UHD is a safe choice, I would consider buying Asus with UHD then to be on the safe side, I don't know if Dell ships laptops with preinstalled ubuntu exactly as it is or if they make some modifications and tweaks.

I have not considered POP OS as alternative for Zorin, will give try if Zorin 16 fails. Thank you for tip. Anyway I would also reconsider the machine with UHD graphics.

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I don't know whether Dell modifies/tweats Ubuntu in any way on preinstalls. I do know that the hardware is identical between Windows and Ubuntu versions because I compared the detailed specs for identical XPS 9310 models, one Windows and one Ubuntu.

That makes sense if you can't satisfy yourself that the Ubuntu 20.04 kernel supports Iris XE. UHD 630 is the onboard for 10th Gen Intel processors; Iris XE is the onboard for 11th Gen Intel processors. Intel has a good track record getting their drivers into the kernel; the question is whether Ubuntu has as good a record with keeping the kernel current. As a general rule, the kernel is slow to adapt to new hardware, and buying a generation behind the leading edge is a good strategy.

The Dell support community has a thread that suggests that there were issues with Iris XE screen flicker 6-9 months ago. From scanning the thread, it looks like the flicker issue affected Windows versions of the computer as well. As usual, the thread goes all over the place, but it might be worth a look.

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https://linux-hardware.org/ Maybe this help when you use live.

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thank you, I think that's the point, well in theory Zorin 16 with kernel 5.11 should support Iris Xe, but it could not necessarily work in real life :slightly_smiling_face:, considering the applications range this laptop is intended for the UHD graphics shall still be fine. I will probably give up the idea of S series and just take the machine with "safer" hardware setup on board.

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thank you, very useful website, found 5 devices probed with Zorin 16 and Iris Xe e.g. and 4 are marked as "works". There are two machines probed for kernel 5.11 "5.11.0-27-generic" "5.11.0-25-generic" marked as works but two other are equipped with kernel lower than "5.10.0-1034-oem" "5.8.0-53-generic" 5.10.0-1044-oem I'm not sure how to understand the status "works" The support for Iris Xe was implemented in kernel 5.11 (at least acc to release info), OEM kernels are modified by OS/equipment vendors. I will use generic kernel. Ubuntu 20.04 users complained for Iris performance, so not sure how the status "works" in this test refers to actual performance. But anyway very useful site, thanks.

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I hope you will enjoy your new laptop, whatever you elect to purchase. New computers are fun!

Thanks for bringing up the topic.

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Yes new computers are fun, but they heat up more if they are gaming/production machines. I recommend using a notebook cooling pad.

I am using an AFMAT cooler, has two blower fans in it, filtered intake's, gasket seal to seal pad to notebook for better airflow cooling. And it comes with led lights for your inner gamer, but you can turn them off if you don't like lights. And cooler has 3-fan speed modes.