S3TC is a patented graphics mechanism for compressing textures. It's so widely patented that distributions (Ubuntu included) does not ship it with its free drivers. Closed-source drivers have this enabled because the companies (AMD/Nvidia) pay the patent royalties and assume the liability.
But I'm currently using an Intel graphics chipset. Specifically, the i915. The drivers are completely free and open source. While I believe the hardware can handle S3TC, the drivers are those that shipped with Ubuntu (or through the updates) so S3TC is turned off.
From what I read (fairly old posts) turning S3TC on requires getting the source for
mesa, patching in S3TC, reconfiguring it and then recompiling it all. In short, it sounds like a mess.
- Is this still the case?
- Has somebody out there been nice and created a PPA with S3TC turned on?