6. Video cards

Linux will work with all video cards in text mode, VGA cards not listed below probably will still work with mono VGA and/or standard VGA drivers.

If you're looking into buying a cheap video card to run X, keep in mind that accelerated cards (ATI Mach, ET4000/W32p, S3) are MUCH faster than unaccelerated or partially accelerated (Cirrus, WD) cards.

"32 bpp" is actually 24 bit color aligned on 32 bit boundaries. It does NOT mean the cards are capable of 32 bit color, they still display 24 bit color (16,777,216 colors). 24 bit packed pixels modes are not supported in XFree86, so cards that can do 24 bit modes to get higher resolutions in other OS's are not able to do this in X using XFree86. These cards include Mach32, Cirrus 542x, S3 801/805/868/968, ET4000, and others.

AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) support is growing fast. Most of the X-servers (both freely available and commercial versions) have more or less support for AGP.

6.1. XFree86

Please note that this section has not been updated recently!

For the most recent information about cards and chipsets supported by XFree86, see the Driver Status page and the XFree86 3.3.6 card list.

The following information was last updated for XFree86 3.3.2.

6.1.1. Accelerated

  • ARK Logic ARK1000PV/VL, ARK2000PV/MT

  • ATI Mach8

  • ATI Mach32 (16 bpp supported for cards with RAMDAC ATI68875, AT&T20C49x, BT481 and 2Mb video ram)

  • ATI Mach64 (16/32 bpp supported for cards with RAMDAC ATI68860, ATI68875, CH8398, STG1702, STG1703, AT&T20C408, 3D Rage II, internal, IBM RGB514)

  • Chips & Technologies 64200, 64300, 65520, 65525, 65530, 65535, 65540, 65545, 65546, 65548, 65550, 65554

  • Cirrus Logic 5420, 542x/5430 (16 bpp), 5434 (16/32 bpp), 5436, 544x, 546x, 5480, 62x5, 754x

  • Diamond Viper 330

  • Gemini P1 (ET6000 chip)

  • IBM 8514/A


  • IIT AGX-010/014/015/016 (16 bpp)

  • Matrox MGA2064W (Millennium)

  • Matrox MGA1064SG (Mystique)

  • Number Nine Imagine I128

  • Oak OTI-087

  • S3 732 (Trio32), 764 (Trio64), Trio64V+, 801, 805, 864, 866, 868, 86C325 (ViRGE), 86C375 (ViRGE/DX), 86C385 (ViRGE/GX), 86C988 (ViRGE/VX), 911, 924, 928, 964, 968

    • see Appendix A for list of supported S3 cards

  • SiS 86c201, 86c202, 86c205

  • Trident 9440, 96xx, Cyber938x

  • Tseng ET4000/W32/W32i/W32p, ET6000

  • Weitek P9000 (16/32 bpp)

    • Diamond Viper VLB/PCI

    • Orchid P9000

  • Western Digital WD90C24/24A/24A2/31/33

6.1.2. Unaccelerated

  • Alliance AP6422, AT24

  • ATI VGA Wonder series

  • Avance Logic AL2101/2228/2301/2302/2308/2401

  • Cirrus Logic 6420/6440, 7555

  • Compaq AVGA

  • DEC 21030

  • Genoa GVGA

  • MCGA (320x200)

  • MX MX68000/MX68010

  • NCR 77C22, 77C22E, 77C22E+

  • NVidia NV1

  • Oak OTI-037C, OTI-067, OTI-077

  • RealTek RTG3106

  • SGS-Thomson STG2000

  • Trident 8800CS, 8200LX, 8900x, 9000, 9000i, 9100B, 9200CXr, 9320LCD, 9400CXi, 9420, 9420DGi, 9430DGi

  • Tseng ET3000, ET4000AX

  • VGA (standard VGA, 4 bit, slow)

  • Video 7 / Headland Technologies HT216-32

  • Western Digital/Paradise PVGA1, WD90C00/10/11/30

6.1.3. Monochrome

  • Hercules mono

  • Hyundai HGC-1280

  • Sigma LaserView PLUS

  • VGA mono

6.1.4. Alpha, Beta drivers

  • EGA (ancient, from c. 1992)

6.2. SuSE X-Server

Note: Xsuse has been integrated into XFree86. This section will be removed when the XFree86 section is updated.

SuSE is building a serie of X-servers based on the XFree86 code. These X servers support new video cards and are bug fix releases for XFree86 X servers. SuSE is building these X servers together with The XFree86 Project, Inc. These X servers will be in the next XFree86 version. These X servers can be found at SuSE's web site. At this moment SuSE X servers are available for the following video cards.

6.3. Commercial X servers

Commercial X servers provide support for cards not supported by XFree86, and might give better performances for cards that are supported by XFree86. Contact the vendors directly or check the Commercial HOWTO for more info.

6.4. Kernel Framebuffer (fbdev)

The kernel supports a graphical console on some video cards. This support was originally designed for non-x86 architectures which generally do not have text-capable video cards. It was integrated into the kernel in 2.2, and now supports various video cards.

More information can be found at linux-fbdev.org.

The following cards are supported:

6.5. SVGALIB (graphics for console)