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Author Topic: X failure with ATI opensource driver  (Read 4535 times)
InTheWoods
Vectorite
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Posts: 302


« on: June 25, 2007, 06:13:36 pm »

The problem:
Whenever I use the open source driver for my radeon 9250 video card, X eventually fails to start (black screen, or gray screen).

I can successfully use the proprietary fglrx  driver and it is permanently stable. However I can not use direct rendering with it. I do get errors when I try to boot xfce from the tui. However they go by too fast for me to see. There appears to be information about changing incorrect font paths and other things. I know the system is changeing itself because it runs well then slowly degrades. Further if I use the fglrx driver for a while, I can later swap out my xorg.conf file for one specifying the radeon driver and it will work again for a while. I am running Vec5.8 standard.

I presume the changes must be logged somewhere. Where would I look to see these errors and changes?
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Joe1962
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2498



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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2007, 06:56:50 pm »

That sounds suspiciously like flaky hardware. I had a Radeon 8500 All In Wonder card that after a few years simply stopped doing 3D accel in Windows. 2 D and TV worked well, except that TV recording framerate got way slow.
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Running: VL 7 Std 64 + self-cooked XFCE-4.10
InTheWoods
Vectorite
***
Posts: 302


« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2007, 11:58:25 am »


Maybe. But it,s been like this right out of the box. It ran well in Windows, and it always runs on a fresh install of Vector failing after approximately the same number of restarts (I haven't actually counted them).

Quote
...simply stopped doing 3D accel...
I could be wrong but if a fresh install repairs the problem immediately and the proprietary driver works fine indefinitely, should not the problem be software. Perhaps I should add that the open source driver fails the same weather or not direct rendering is enabled.

My other thought was that this is a PCI card on a motherboard with on board video. However I have that disabled in the BIOS and have removed the section for the Intel video from my xorg.conf. The radeon driver (open source) has a lot of options for AGP cards which apparently still affect PCI cards. On board video is often connected to AGP circuits even though there is no physical AGP slot. I was wondering if the driver somehow sees the AGP (Intel) video and tries to repair its pathways. Or am I just grasping at straws here?

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InTheWoods
Vectorite
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Posts: 302


« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2007, 06:17:30 pm »


Iv'e been Googling around and this is not that uncommon a problem with this card on 2.6 kernals. Although the card works fine on 2.4 kernals it seems that 2.6 kernals must be custom compiled for success. This is beyond my ability.

There are hopes expressed by people that later 2.6 kernals will support this card. I do not understand how this works but I was wondering if SOHO uses a more recent version of the 2.6 kernal than Standard?
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nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 3939



« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2007, 07:05:31 pm »

My system, SOHO RC1, kernel 2.6.20.3:
With a Radeon 9600, fglrx runs stable and with hardware acceleration.
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InTheWoods
Vectorite
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Posts: 302


« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2007, 08:40:16 pm »

The 2.6.20.3 kernel did not work for me but the 2.6.21.1 is very promising. I had to put the original xorg.conf that was configured on installation back in place. Now everything seems to work as it is supposed to.

I hope it lasts.

<edit>
It did not last. The minute I tried to change the display settings X failed and was not recoverable on reboot Sad

« Last Edit: June 27, 2007, 08:48:57 pm by InTheWoods » Logged
OU812
Vectorite
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Posts: 156



« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2007, 10:29:02 pm »

If the screen blanks when using open source drivers, restart x by doing ctr-alt-backspace. X should start.

If you can't boot into x, pop in a livecd and copy xorg.conf.old to xorg.conf.new. Meaning, when you installed the ati drivers, it should have made a backup of your xorg.conf. So just copy it over or delete the new file and rename the old. This way you have a usable system until you straighten things out.

john
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InTheWoods
Vectorite
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Posts: 302


« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2007, 02:41:03 pm »


Ive been playing with 3 different xorg.conf files that I have had success with. So I can always recover to a working system. I just can't make it last!

Quote
With a Radeon 9600, fglrx runs stable and with hardware acceleration
Nightflier I believe from another post you are using the 8.36.5 driver. The 8.28.8 driver is the last one that supports my 9250 card. Ive even tried patching the fglrx driver with limited success. I also had xorg 7.2 installed at one point. I have never had direct rendering enabled with the fglrx driver because even though I use their installer and correctly configure the xorg.conf it seems to utilize the radeon driver. Either I fix what is going on with the open source driver. Or I find a way to make the proprietary driver work properly.

Should I use the version of 8.28.8 specifically for xorg 6.8?
How about trying the 8.36.5 driver you are using for the Radeon 9600?
Or can I do a fresh install of the open source driver on an upgraded 2.6.21.1 kernel with xorg 7.2?

Maybe I should just try SOHO.

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nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 3939



« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2007, 07:44:46 pm »

Quote
How about trying the 8.36.5 driver you are using for the Radeon 9600?

That would be a long shot. As you mentioned, 8.28.8 is the end of the line for 9250 support.

Quote
Maybe I should just try SOHO.

Excellent idea. Cheesy
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InTheWoods
Vectorite
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Posts: 302


« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2007, 01:57:45 pm »

SOHO is a no go!

The open source driver results in a black screen from the start and the proprietary driver runs glxgears at half the speed it does in 5.8 Standard. I did not expect that!

I know the open source driver is a work in progress but I can't seem to find a location where I might download a newer version. Where do the drivers used in 5.8 Standard come from?

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