Fedora 22 was released recently and it has been a rock solid release. However, systems with Pre-Sandybridge era, Intel-based graphics solutions have seen some issues. For example, an Intel 4 series motherboard with G41 chipset and GMA X4500 graphics might produce a display like this screenshot on Fedora 22 :

Image showing an example of distorted graphics on an Intel X4500 MHD graphics card

Example of distorted graphics on an Intel X4500MHD graphics card

This issue appeared because of a Linux kernel change in version 4. The new Intel graphics driver uses SNA (Sandybridge New Acceleration) architecture for graphics acceleration by default. When coupled with the kernel change, the driver causes this issue. Thanks to Fedora’s active community, bugs were filed in Bugzilla (Bug 1226531 and Bug 1226743) and fixes are on their way. An update to Intel driver is already in stable updates, and a kernel update (to v4.0.5) is in updates-testing repository.

Installing the update from updates-testing

To install the update to fix this issue, first ensure that your system is fully up-to-date from the stable repository. This will include the updated Intel driver package:

sudo dnf update

Then update the kernel with the 4.0.5 version from updates testing:

sudo dnf update kernel --enablerepo=updates-testing

Alternative Workaround

Perhaps you don’t want to install the kernel package from the updates-testing repo. You can still work around this problem by switching to the older, albeit slower UXA (Unified Acceleration Architecture). That option seems to work with affected chipsets. Please note this is not a long term solution, as it might impact performance. Once the issue is fixed via stable updates, you should go back to the improved SNA architecture.

To switch the graphics subsystem from SNA to UXA mode, follow the below procedure:

  1. Create a new text file called /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf with your favorite text editor containing the following text. Since this file resides in the /etc folder and not your home directory, you need root or sudo access to create or edit this file:
    Section "Device"
    Identifier  "card0"
    Driver  "intel"
    Option  "AccelMethod"  "uxa"
  2. If the section for Intel card is already present, just add the following line:
    Option   "AccelMethod"   "uxa"
  3. Save the file and reboot.

To revert this change, either delete the added lines, or if you added the entire file delete the file, and reboot.

The system graphics should function properly after this change. Now you can enjoy the awesome Fedora 22 release!