Kernel 3.16 makes Google Maps practical again
, 04 Aug, 2014
Which patch exactly made it, I do not know (this one?) but since Kernel 3.16.0 Google Maps is usable again in my Chrome and Firefox browsers. Before there was incredible slowness, rendering times of 3 seconds and more per map layer and CPU load of 100% per core. By the way, turning on Maps’ Lite mode did not work out for me.
Yes, I activated the acceleration “methods” VDPAU/VA-API. There are discussions about it, especially when you consider the hacks you have to make in Linux browsers, but as the results were phenomenal for video decoding with supporting formats (like MPEG-2/-4, H.264), I can recommend the changes.
The fragmented situation of acceleration methods, architectures and interfaces under Linux are confessions of failure of the major graphics developers, therefore I cannot guarantee this solution will work with every system but maybe only to the ones similar to mine, which has:
- a newer Intel graphics core (Haswell),
- a manually installed Intel graphics stack and
- manually configured browsers (run Firefox with
VDPAU_DRIVER=va_gl, activate override software rendering list in Chrome’s flags).
There are more system configurations which will accepts these tweaks and become faster but as I am not able to test them all, I can only recommend the one mentioned above.
When I tweaked my graphics back then I used the information from Webup8 (which appear not to be up-to-date anymore). In principle it should still work anyway. See here and here.
PS: Note the warnings on the sites and Chrome’s flags page. It is still experimental code you want to install. Also, Intel’s new graphics stack runs in place of the stack your distribution delivers.
Nevertheless, I could not detect any problems so far.