Thursday, 16 July 2009

MSI X320 graphics driver update

After upgrading to kernel 2.6.28-14 the graphics driver could not be found. I got an error message that the system does not find the corresponding module and can run only in low res mode. Reinstall or uninstall and install of the poulsbo drivers does not fix the problem.

To fix this, simply install psb-kernel-sources and reboot.
sudo apt-get install psb-kernel-source
sudo shutdown -r now
Reason for this is that the kernel modules are hard coded in a directory:
/lib/modules/2.6.28-13-generic/updates/char/drm (drm.ko and psb.ko).

Installing the psb kernel sources creates a directory:
/lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/updates/char/dkms and in there the files drm.ko and psb.ko.

Why the kernel modules were hard coded in the first place is beyond me. Should work in the future.


Anonymous said...

Thank you! You solved my problem with 2.6.28-14.

Rick said...

I also have an MSI X320 and I have wireless and graphics up and running. I can't help but notice that Ubuntu is much slower than Vista, even when just using the Poulsbo 2d driver. When activating the glx- or 3d driver, I am left with an even slower system.

Do you have the same experience with your setup or is Ubuntu Jaunty with the 2d Poulsbo driver just as snappy as the pre-installed Vista operating system?

Wolf Rogner said...


I can't say I all to exstatic about the speed of the drivers. Connection to wireless is dead slow, the graphics in 2D work ok, 3D is a drag.

Unfortunately I have no real comparison to Vista on the machine.

I hope that driver support will become better with KK (9.10).

Rick said...

Browsing and scrolling websites is really slow on my current setup. As I am a part-time webdesigner, I really need my browser to be fast. Then again, everyone who goes online should have a fast browser for any reason.

I hope Ubuntu 9.10 will give some relief, but judging the Alpha's, I am not putting any money on it just yet.

I have found a nice PPA that should help out the wireless issues:

I works like a charm for me.

Anonymous said...


I (re-)installed the kernel sources for psb after experiencing the issue after upgrading to kernel 2.6.28-14 & still experience the error when booting. My workaround is to go into grub & choose kernel '13'. I'll just be patient for the next kernel release, perhaps a fix will be in there.


Rick said...

I followed this procedure for 2.6.28-14:

Boot up in 2.6.28-13
remove psb-kernel-source


Boot up in 2.6.28-14
Choose terminal login (or something similar)
install psb-kernel-source


Boot up in 2.6.28-14
System functions like before, so no real appearant improvements over 2.6.28-13. It just runs.

Rick said...

I tried to install the Dell version of Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy as I heard that this version does support the GMA500 better.

Sadly I was without much succes.

I got USB Startup Disk Creator to install the image correctly on my USB key. (you have to install lupin-casper, ubiquity-casper and casper before installing the image on the key.) The X320 booted normally from the USB key and I tried installing the Intel version.

This step wipes the harddrive completely!! So be advised.

Somewhere during the install something went wrong and the process got stuck. Perhaps someone else has more luck and can hopefully discover if performance is better under the Ubuntu/Dell 8.04.

Here is the download link for the image (2.1 GB):

justaguy said...

The psb-kernel-source uses DKMS (Dell Kernel Modules System) to automatically update drivers for new kernel versions. Each kernel version must have its own set of compiled modules. So once you install this package it "should" be fine for every new kernel version as the modules will rebuild when the macjine boots on the new kernel. The only problem I see is that the DKMS AUTOINSTALL flag is not set and therefore it gets ignored which is silly.

The PPA for the Ralink 3090 also uses DKMS but it has the AUTOINSTALL flag set.

If you want you can just go into the dkms.conf file in /var/lib/dkms/psb-kernel-source/.../sources and add a line like AUTOINSTALL="yes"

Thanks for the posts, helped me get my X320 up and running quickly ;-)

Rick said...

I found a how-to online to make compiz and 3d faster on the X320. Browsing (scrolling) is still very slow but the desktop effects are now working, not lichtning fast, but nice still.

Full screen video works as well.

check it out here:

Wolf Rogner said...

Thanks for the link.

Even though I don't understand what restricting the memory should have to do with graphics performance, I tried it. I see no improvement in speed (and why should that be. Shared graphics memory has to be requested by the graphics hardware subsystem).

Tricking compiz into loading (adding to the white list) works till the next update of compiz (the compiz wrapper script gets updated and does not include the changes then). I've used this in the early days of ATI (but much to my amazement forgot about it).

As the 3d drivers load the psb-firmware the 3d mode is snappier.

Thanks Rick

Bozidar said...

Hi i have a MSI X320 and i have a problem with watching movies, the are vey slow showinh when in full screen mode, a downloaded a plenty of codecs and still the same. Can anyone help please?

Anonymous said...


Just saying hello while I read through the posts

hopefully this is just what im looking for looks like i have a lot to read.