LinuxQuestions.org
Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Desktop
User Name
Password
Linux - Desktop This forum is for the discussion of all Linux Software used in a desktop context.

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 10-10-2007, 01:27 AM   #1
checkmate3001
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Folsom, California
Distribution: Debian 4.0 (Etch), Debian 5.0 (Lenny), Ubuntu 8.04
Posts: 301

Rep: Reputation: 32
Fuzzy fonts in X Window System (icewm)


First let me start by telling you what I have:
Monitor: Dell P991 (old but works well)
http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...91/en/spec.htm

Graphics Card: XGI - Volari Z7 (nothing fancy - no 3D acceleration)
http://www.xgitech.com/products/products_2.asp?P=14&CTID={56AA74F6-8997-4C96-A73B-1F75B1610EAE}

My problem is that in the X window system (I'm using icewm) the fonts are fuzzy and the poor resolution it killing me. I know my monitor can produce good images because I use it with my SuSe 10 box and everything is clear and nice. I'm sure the graphics card is decent enough to at least produce clear and crisp 2D graphics.

I think my problem has to do with my refresh rate.
Here is my xorg.conf (extra stuff removed):
Code:
Section "Device"
	Identifier	"XGI - Xabre Graphics Inc Volari Z7"
	Driver		"sis"
	BusID		"PCI:0:6:0"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
	Identifier	"Dell P991"
	Option		"DPMS"
	HorizSync	30-107
	VertRefresh	48-120
EndSection

Section "Screen"
	Identifier	"Default Screen"
	Device		"XGI - Xabre Graphics Inc Volari Z7"
	Monitor		"Dell P991"
	DefaultDepth	16	
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth		1
		Modes		"1600x1200" "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
	EndSubSection
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth		4
		Modes		"1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
	EndSubSection
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth		8
		Modes		"1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
	EndSubSection
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth		15
		Modes		"1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
	EndSubSection
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth		16
		Modes		"1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
	EndSubSection
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth		24
		Modes		"1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
	EndSubSection
EndSection
My question is 1) is the section regarding the refresh ("VertRefresh") correctly set (because the values I used are called Vertical Sync in the doc regarding my monitor).
2) How can I force it to use a specific refresh rate for different modes/depths?
3) In general is there anything out of the ordinary as far as settings?

Thank you guys and gals!
 
Old 10-10-2007, 04:49 AM   #2
Su-Shee
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Berlin
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 509

Rep: Reputation: 41
What GUI did you use under Suse? Also IceWM?

Anyway, try this to enhance font display:

* edit in your startx the parameter defaultserverargs="-dpi 96" to 96 dpi
* check your ~/.fonts.conf wether or not you're using antialiasing
* re-compile freetype with the bytecode interpreter enabled.
* try Bitstream Vera Sans and Sans Mono as font

Wether or not you can add a modeline for 1600x1200 at 16 bit or 24 bit color depth with your vertical sync, I simply can't calculate out of memory. Google it, search for examples with similar settings.

Ha, this is what you want:

Read this:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=83973

and calculate here:


http://www.bohne-lang.de/spec/linux/modeline/

And as far as I just tried, you should be able to set your resolution higher.
 
Old 10-13-2007, 02:59 PM   #3
checkmate3001
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Folsom, California
Distribution: Debian 4.0 (Etch), Debian 5.0 (Lenny), Ubuntu 8.04
Posts: 301

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32
Thank you Su-Shee,

I will try that. I've checked out the pages and they look like what I was looking for.

I also found a couple more pages which may help:
Information about the sis / xgi graphics driver and configuration with X.
http://www.winischhofer.eu/linuxsisvga.shtml

I couldn't find just now, but I know there was also a section on that page that talked about rearranging the font paths so the higher resolution fonts were picked first. I tried that and it seemed to help a little.

I also found out that an error I was getting with Icewm (using the FrostyG theme) "unknown gradient name: /" is somehow related to the them. Apparently if I pick one of the two sub-themes (I guess you could call them that?) then it doesn't show up and the backgrounds of the title bars and the desktop show up clear enough to make the fonts look better.

I'm kinda leaning toward a possible configuration conflict with the resolution of my monitor and the fonts I'm using.

The pages you listed will likely help me out a great deal... but we will see - I got to go to work now.

By the way - I'm using kde with Suse. I decided to use icewm because of a few posts I read on here about how lean and mean it is. I happen to like it because it forces me to get down and dirty a little with the conf files. I like to tweak (I know - I'm sick in the head).
 
Old 10-13-2007, 03:35 PM   #4
checkmate3001
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Folsom, California
Distribution: Debian 4.0 (Etch), Debian 5.0 (Lenny), Ubuntu 8.04
Posts: 301

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32
Ok... I told work to wait and did the configuration.

I was able to get the Hz and resolution set exactly as the specs for the monitor stated. The fonts are just a little fuzzy now. I'm beginning to think that the graphics card is just not that good or my monitor is a little on the old side.

I think the reason it looks good on my suse with kde is because I have it set to a larger resolution and larger fonts. Also icewm has a lot of simple gray background right now so I think the blurriness is just more obvious.

I will tweak some more later.

Thanks again Su-Shee
 
Old 11-03-2007, 04:00 PM   #5
checkmate3001
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Folsom, California
Distribution: Debian 4.0 (Etch), Debian 5.0 (Lenny), Ubuntu 8.04
Posts: 301

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32
Well, I have been playing around trying to get the screen as clear as possible.

To clarify: on my SuSe box (with KDE) the screen is crystal clear.
On my Debian box (with icewm) it seems blurry.

I took some xorg.conf settings from my SuSe setup and put them in my xorg.conf for my Debian.
It didn't seem to help so I did a
Code:
dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg
I did make a change in my /usr/bin/startx script.
Code:
defaultserverargs="-dpi 100"
Question: Is there a danger to changing this setting too much? Is there a setting you should/should not use for different types of monitors (ie: CRT/LCD)?

I did change the convergence on my monitor and it seemed to help a little bit.

The end result: I am starting to think that the convergence was part of the problem. I think I didn't notice it so much on my KDE because the screen is so busy with background image and icons and such. Also the KDE has a lot of very light grey whereas the icewm has a lot of nothing and dark grey. So I think that problem was just much more noticeable with icewm. I can't seem to find anything else that has made a rather noticeable difference.

Thank you to everyone who has tried to help me out. I appreciate it!
 
Old 11-04-2007, 04:02 PM   #6
PMorph
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 213

Rep: Reputation: 31
Did you try "dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config" already? Adjusting the settings there often helps with fuzziness.
 
Old 11-04-2007, 08:00 PM   #7
checkmate3001
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Folsom, California
Distribution: Debian 4.0 (Etch), Debian 5.0 (Lenny), Ubuntu 8.04
Posts: 301

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32
Yes, I did try the "dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config". It made no noticeable difference.

I, just last night, got desperate and 'reset' my monitor (I assume the button is a reset button - but I really have no idea). The little icon above the button really doesn't tell you what it does.

At any rate it shrunk my screen (instead of it filling the entire monitor) and changed all my brightness and contrast settings. For some reason now the screen is MUCH clearer in X (icewm) that it ever has been before. I did stretch the screen out a little so I don't have huge amounts of black on all sides and it still looks much better.

I wish I knew exactly what that button does because I know I've messed with all the settings for my monitor that I could in an attempt to make it look better. I've changed the convergence, contrast, brightness, degauss, color. None have helped... but whatever that "magic" button did really helped a lot.
I'm still clueless as to why my KDE in SuSe looked much better than icewm on Debian. Same exact screen (I use a KVM switch to change between the two). At any rate... I am finally pleased and can use X without getting a headache!



P.S. One noticable difference between KDE (SuSe) and icewm (Debian) is that on my Suse the monitor doesn't "know" what the resolution is set to (in the HUD for the monitor) but the refresh rates are 97.0kHz / 118Hz. On my debian the HUD says 91.2kHz / 85Hz and 1280x1024. I wonder why the large discrepancy between the two synch rates since I have made every attempt to configure both xorg.conf files as similar as possible.

But I don't care - It works and I can see!

Thank you guys for your patience and all your help.
 
Old 11-08-2007, 01:10 PM   #8
PMorph
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 213

Rep: Reputation: 31
Hmm.. I take it you have tried connecting the screen directly to the debian box too? -- one explanation for the fuzziness could be that the KVM is "less compatible" with the video card in your debian system.
 
Old 11-17-2007, 02:09 AM   #9
checkmate3001
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Folsom, California
Distribution: Debian 4.0 (Etch), Debian 5.0 (Lenny), Ubuntu 8.04
Posts: 301

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32
To be honest. I haven't tried that. I never really thought that the kvm would make a difference. I'll try it eventually. I don't want to reboot the system just yet - in the middle of making some changes... ok, I'm just lazy.

Maybe I'll try that this weekend.

I still haven't decided if it is the fonts that are fuzzy, my X11 in general, or what exactly. It just isn't as crisp as I want. I can pretty much live with it for now... but it still bugs me a little. One day I will figure it out and post what I find.
 
Old 11-17-2007, 02:20 PM   #10
PMorph
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 213

Rep: Reputation: 31
Ok
I guess you could try viewing some test images (for example http://www.simpelfilter.de/analyse/i...icam-test1.png) from both systems to evaluate whether it is a font rendering problem or some general problem with graphics.
 
Old 11-22-2007, 02:18 AM   #11
checkmate3001
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Location: Folsom, California
Distribution: Debian 4.0 (Etch), Debian 5.0 (Lenny), Ubuntu 8.04
Posts: 301

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32
Thank you PMorph. That image did help.

I opened the image up on both computers and it is less clear on the debian system vs the suse. I think it must be the graphics card. I know I updated my graphics card on the suse box with a newer nvidia (not a super high-end or anything tho). I've read about the xgi cards and how they aren't as good... but I'm not sure if it is in context with 3d graphics or not.

I can live with it... I guess...

I don't want to buy a graphics card for my debian system because I've designed it as a server and have never intended to do anything special with it.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fuzzy terminal fonts after upgrade from 10.0 to 10.1 - switch? brycen Suse/Novell 1 11-16-2006 11:02 AM
fedora is gfx very slow, fonts fuzzy aldend123 Linux - Newbie 1 07-09-2006 05:41 PM
Fuzzy Fonts eaparnell Linux - General 3 09-21-2004 01:14 PM
Fuzzy antialiased fonts in Slackware 9.0 Kovacs Slackware 1 11-23-2003 08:12 AM
RedHat 8.0: Fuzzy fonts ckapsl Linux - General 13 06-03-2003 12:08 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:56 PM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration