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I recently upgraded my system with a gigabyte ma785gm-us2h mobo. This has an ATI Radeon HD 4200 onboard. Every distro I tried had issues with X. I tried Mepis, PCLinuxOS, Salix, etc. On Mepis, when I try to change screen resolution, it restarts X and I have to log back in (without changing resolution.) With PCLOS, I boot into runlevel 5, but no X. Tried startx, startkde, no luck. I have tried suggestions from each distro's forums (loading fglrx drivers, running 'video' and on and on).
I have been using Mepis and PCLOS for years, but my old system had nVidia graphics. Everything worked well. Also, I did a bit of distro-hopping over the years, and have never had issues like this.
So, before I go out and buy an nVidia vidcard to get away from the ATI onboard graphics, I need to ask: Has anyone had luck with a distro that plays nicely with ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics without too much fuss?
Yes, I know I did not include detailed info on my hardware here. My main question was more about finding a distro that works without much twiddling.
I have used various HD4xxx cards, but not the HD4200 specifically. The card is supported with 2D and 3D acceleration in the closed source catalyst drivers on X server 1.5.* and 1.6.* (with X server 1.7.* support hopefully coming this month, possibly next month). The open source drivers, however, should at least support 2D acceleration and, if they are new enough, 3D acceleration as well.
I can confirm that the HD4xxx cards I have work fine with 2D acceleration with the open source drivers in Ubuntu 9.10 and Slackware 13.0 and with 3D acceleration with both those distributions when using the catalyst driver.
Thanks for the info, Adamk, it pointed me towards the Catalyst driver which I had never played with.
I d/l'ed the catalyst installer script and gave it a go. Unfortunately, there are no drivers for Mepis in it's procedure. Just for fun, I tried running it to generate a pkg for Debian/lenny (on which Mepis is based) but that failed (after installing dpkg-dev, fglrx-driver, and dh-buildinfo to satisfy the catalyst script.)
Maybe I'll stumble upon something else, or maybe I'll just get an nVidia card someday.
I'm using the same MB with Slackware 13 32 bit. I had to use the Catalyst drivers to get beyond VESA console video output. I've only been able to get XFCE4 to work, not KDE3 or KDE4 yet. I'm running a couple different partitions to try out various configs and none have worked out of the box. The latest is Slackware-current which is using kernel 2.6.33 and KDE 4.3.5 with open source drivers. I'm really handicapping myself because I'm using the HDMI connection to a flat panel TV instead of DVI or VGA to a monitor.
Jankers, PCLOS Minime would have been a great solution. I really like it's minimal install concept and have used it before. But it will not run, the ATI catalyst control center errored out because it could not find libdrm.so.2 . Just for fun I loaded Tuxracer, and it also complained about libdrm.so.2 . I have the libdrm pkg loaded, and file /usr/lib/libdrm.so exists (without the dot2 on the end.)
Reed, tried your suggestion in Mepis, but the module-assistant failed (I don't remember the error and I wrote over Mepis with Minime.)
I think I will get a cheepo nVidia vidcard and stick with that for now.
Thanks for all the replies, folks.
Hmmm, I wonder how PC-BSD will handle this ???