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I run Ubuntu 11.10 on a Dell Latitude D505 with the supposedly dreaded intel 855 graphics card/processor. I am having problems with several 3D modeling programs, including Blender and K-3D. Whenever I try to create an object with more than around twenty vertices in either program, the program immediately quits. I suspect this to be a hardware or driver problem as two programs both suffer from this problem. I can play some 3D games, but those modeling programs do not work well. Could it be something to do with not being able to allocate a large enough dynamic vertex buffer? How might I get those modeling programs to work?

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Try running Blender with software rendering. It might be slower than using hardware acceleration, but it avoids many driver bugs. The official releases contain a script to run with software rendering: blender-softwaregl.

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I noticed that there was software-gl, and it runs perfectly with it, but more sluggishly (my CPU's around 1.6 gHz). – makuto Jun 12 '12 at 15:49

I fixed a similar problem by installing driconf (its in the repos) and selecting the option to 'force vertex shader support'.

Its caused by the open source Intel driver been so primitive that it cant handle features yet that windows driver has been doing since 1999.

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Would you clarify how I might do this? – makuto Jun 12 '12 at 15:47

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