Help interpreting lshw and inxi outputs


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Jan 26, 2022
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I'm trying to figure out what graphics driver is currently in use by my system (Ubuntu 21.10 on an Intel NUC).
When I run sudo lshw -c video i get:
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: TigerLake-LP GT2 [Iris Xe Graphics]
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 2
       bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0
       logical name: /dev/fb0
       version: 01
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pciexpress msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list fb
       configuration: depth=32 driver=i915 latency=0 mode=1920x1080 visual=truecolor xres=1920 yres=1080
       resources: iomemory:600-5ff iomemory:400-3ff irq:180 memory:603c000000-603cffffff memory:4000000000-400fffffff ioport:3000(size=64) memory:c0000-dffff memory:4010000000-4016ffffff memory:4020000000-40ffffffff

and when i run inxi -Fxxz the graphics portion outpus:
  Device-1: Intel TigerLake-LP GT2 [Iris Xe Graphics] driver: i915 v: kernel
  bus-ID: 00:02.0 chip-ID: 8086:9a49
  Display: server: 1.20.13 compositor: gnome-shell driver:
  loaded: modesetting unloaded: fbdev,vesa tty: 80x24
  Message: Advanced graphics data unavailable in console. Try -G --display

Is modesetting the same as i915? Or is i915 not being used at all? I'm fairly new to this and don't really know what I'm talking about, but any help would be appreciated.

Yes, this is telling you you are using the Intel embedded GPU on the CPU.
Welcome to the forums, the inxi tells you/us that you have an intel cpu with on board graphics, the graphics chip is using the i915 v: kernel generic driver and the 1.20.13 compositor: gnome-shell driver: for your display

conga_giant wrote:
Is modesetting the same as i915? Or is i915 not being used at all? I'm fairly new to this and don't really know what I'm talking about, but any help would be appreciated.
i915 is the driver that the kernel uses to enable the Intel graphics card to work on the computer whose output is shown.

"modesetting" is a separate process governed by a driver built into the kernel which uses the video card's capabilities to run the virtual console in graphical mode rather than just in text mode. It uses a driver such as fbdev to do that. fbdev is called the framebuffer driver, the framebuffer being a graphical world of its own for the console separate and apart from the X graphical system or wayland which are the main ones in use in the linux universe. The kernel, according to your output has unloaded the framebuffer drivers which it does because it's been configured to load X or wayland to provide the Graphical User Interface used by, what looks like gnome and X in this case. The 80x24 in the output refers to the initial text screen on the virtual console when the computer boots. It shows an output display running 80 characters across the screen, and 24 lines down the screen. In the usual booting situation, if you watch the computer booting up in text mode, this display size (80x24) runs for a short time and then changes into a smaller font which is the result of the kernel loading a framebuffer driver (fbdev) which then allows a mode to be set, something like 800x600, which is a measure in pixels 800 across the screen and 600 down the screen. This new resolution enables more text on the screen. The framebuffer driver and the modesetting will be unloaded in the usual case to allow X or wayland to be loaded to do the graphical work. Hence the unloading seen in the output you've provided.

To see the text and framebuffer displays, you may need to make some adjustment to your booting process, usually change the default kernel parameters that grub is usually configured with.

The user doesn't need to do anything about these drivers if everything works. For example, if the computer boots into a graphical login and gnome, enables the log in, and there are no graphical issues, there's nothing that needs to be done on this front. On the other hand, all of these drivers and processes are configurable by use of options which can be looked into if there are graphical issues, but you haven't identified any.

It looks like the video card is built into the motherboard. It may or may not rely much on the CPU for outputting video.

If you are just trying to "figure it out", there is such a wealth of information available online. It's easy to drown in it.

If you really want a lot of info about your video card, you could do the following;
lspci | grep -i vga
and then take the bus number from that output and run something like the following in the terminal as root:
lspci -vv -s 01:0.0
Last edited by a moderator:
There is an alternative piece of software for CPU-Z, called CPU-X for Linux and it has been designed for GNU/Linux and FreeBSD. It shows you all information about your hardware including processor, motherboard, memory and graphic card. It is here and you can install it on Ubuntu using by typing the command sudo apt install cpu-x on terminal
Hello @conga_giant,
Welcome to the Forums, enjoy! :)
You've already received some good information.
NorthWest's response was very good. One addition I'd make, due pretty much exactly to the slight confusion between what the Device driver (i915 in this case) and the driver (modesetting in this case) refer to, current inxi now shows in the Display line:

drivers: X: modesetting gpu: i915

This was done to make it clear since many users do not understand that there are often two drivers at work running the desktop, the x driver, and the actual device driver. With Wayland so far I have not found that to be the case, though data is still not complete, but that's the assumption inxi works under currently. In other words, for a straight wayland or xwayland + wayland, no xorg, desktop, you'd never see the X driver, only the gpu: driver listed.

Some drivers are the same for xorg and device, like nvidia non free.

  Device-1: AMD Cedar [Radeon HD 5000/6000/7350/8350 Series] driver: radeon
    v: kernel
  Display: x11 server: X.Org v: with: Xwayland v: 22.1.0 driver:
    X: loaded: modesetting gpu: radeon resolution: 1: 1280x1024~60Hz
    2: 1280x1024~60Hz

In this case, the device driver is radeon, the xorg driver modesetting. The xorg driver could also be radeon in this case, that would depend on how xorg is configured to run, modesetting I am told tends to be better developed and more stable overall, so I am using that.

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