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Old 01-09-2004, 02:50 AM   #1
emgee
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Upgrading to XFree86 v4.3.x on debian?


I'm setting up a Dell 4400 (1.6 GHz, 256 ram) as a dual boot with debian. I'm having troubles with the XFree86 v4.1 that came with this distro:

First, I'm using the vesa driver because my ATI Rage 128 PRO Ultra GL AGP isn't supported by the r128 or ati drivers in this distro. However, I've seen elsewhere that this card is listed on the ati driver for XFree86 v4.3.x

Second, I can't get my MS optical trackball to work. It is a USB pointer and I can't find any documentation on setting it up with the version of XFree86 that I have. I suspect that this is supported in the newer version. Or do I just need to do some kind of symbolic link somewhere?

But my basic question is this:

What is the simplest way to upgrade XFree86 to v4.3.x in my Debian distro? Is there a package deal somewhere? Please keep in mind that while I've got enough background in win/dos to sort of talk some of the talk, I'm a total n00b with Linux. I'm looking for some baby food because I'm getting sort of tired of spitting up all over myself.

TIA,
emgee
 
Old 01-09-2004, 08:22 AM   #2
Nigel_Tufnel
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Have you accessed the internet from your debian install? Once you have a decent connection (either dial-up or broadband) you can update your packages via apt-get. What version of linux are you running? Stable, testing or unstable?
If you like the latest and greatest packages you should be running the unstable branch. You'll need to update your sources.list file which points to the servers where you'll be downloading from.

p.s. - you should post debian questions in the debian forum. You'll get quicker responses from experienced debian users.
 
Old 01-09-2004, 08:51 AM   #3
hw-tph
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There are unofficial and possibly harmful XFree86 4.3 packages at apt-get.org. I suggest you don't use them as you could hose your whole system. I think I'd rather build XFree86 4.3 from source.

Håkan
 
Old 01-09-2004, 09:16 AM   #4
emgee
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nigel_Tufnel
<snippage>...you can update your packages via apt-get....

...update your sources.list file which points to the servers where you'll be downloading from.

p.s. - you should post debian questions in the debian forum. You'll get quicker responses from experienced debian users.
Thanks, Nigel! These are the kinds of pointers I need. I'll study up on apt-get and sources.list next. And thanks for mentioning that there is a debian sub-forum here-- I had overlooked that resource!

emgee
 
Old 01-09-2004, 09:38 AM   #5
emgee
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Thanks, Håkan, for both the link and the warning.

I think it will be a while before I'm ready to compile from the source; I've got a lot to learn yet.


emgee
 
Old 01-09-2004, 03:47 PM   #6
masinick
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Re: Upgrading to XFree86 v4.3.x on debian?

Quote:
Originally posted by emgee
I'm setting up a Dell 4400 (1.6 GHz, 256 ram) as a dual boot with debian. I'm having troubles with the XFree86 v4.1 that came with this distro:

First, I'm using the vesa driver because my ATI Rage 128 PRO Ultra GL AGP isn't supported by the r128 or ati drivers in this distro. However, I've seen elsewhere that this card is listed on the ati driver for XFree86 v4.3.x

Second, I can't get my MS optical trackball to work. It is a USB pointer and I can't find any documentation on setting it up with the version of XFree86 that I have. I suspect that this is supported in the newer version. Or do I just need to do some kind of symbolic link somewhere?

But my basic question is this:

What is the simplest way to upgrade XFree86 to v4.3.x in my Debian distro? Is there a package deal somewhere? Please keep in mind that while I've got enough background in win/dos to sort of talk some of the talk, I'm a total n00b with Linux. I'm looking for some baby food because I'm getting sort of tired of spitting up all over myself.

TIA,
emgee
Last I checked, the newest version of XFree86 that's available in the officual Debian trees (stable, testing, and unstable) is XFree86 4.2.1. I believe Debian tags it in their numbering scheme as 4.2.1-15 or something like that. I use it and it works fine.

If you want something newer than that, you'd probably be better off either getting it from someone who's built it and created working .deb packages or possibly building straight from source. I've not seen 4.3 packages in any official Debian source yet.
 
Old 01-09-2004, 05:27 PM   #7
emgee
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Update for anyone who is curious:

I've got the mouse working, sort of, through /dev/psaux with the ps2 driver, so I now have a desktop. While things aren't as good as I know they could be, I'm going to muddle along with what I've got for a while.

emgee
 
Old 01-09-2004, 06:02 PM   #8
hw-tph
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If it's a USB mouse I suggest you try setting the device in /etc/XF86Config-4 to /dev/input/mice and set the protocol to PS/2 or IMPS/2. If you don't have /dev/input/mice you should load the USB host module, the core module (if needed) and the hid module and finally mousedev. If this all works out for you, add the module names to /etc/modules and they will be loaded on boot.


Håkan

Last edited by hw-tph; 01-09-2004 at 06:03 PM.
 
Old 01-10-2004, 08:23 PM   #9
emgee
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Quote:
Originally posted by hw-tph
If it's a USB mouse I suggest you try setting the device in /etc/XF86Config-4 to /dev/input/mice and set the protocol to PS/2 or IMPS/2.
I've tried these. KDE fails on loading with either one.

Quote:
If you don't have /dev/input/mice you should load the USB host module, the core module (if needed) and the hid module and finally mousedev. If this all works out for you, add the module names to /etc/modules and they will be loaded on boot.


Håkan
I've been trying to work with this, but I don't yet know enough.

/dev/input/mice exists. lsmod doesn't show anything that looks like it could be a USB host module, so I'm assuming that there is none installed.

Do I want to install usbmgr? Is that the right module?

You mention three other modules: the core, the hid, and mousedev. I looked through dselect's listings and I didn't see anything like "core" or "hid"-- do these have other names? Or am I looking in all the wrong places?

emgee
 
Old 01-11-2004, 07:41 AM   #10
hw-tph
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The modules I mentioned are kernel modules. They act like device drivers and provide functionality that can be loaded or unloaded from the running kernel.

To see if you have a specific kernel installed, try modinfo <modulename>, try modinfo hid for instance. If the responsie is a little copyright notice and some optional parameters then it's installed. So use modprobe hid and modprobe mousedev as root to load the modules and then try starting X with the mouse device set to /dev/input/mice.

It's quite probable that the modules are built into the kernel and not as external (loadable) modules. If that's the case you won't see any response from modinfo. To check what host modules are available, browse the /lib/modules/<currentVersion>/kernel/drivers/usb/host directory. To load any driver you find there use modprobe, but don't give the .o file extension to modprobe.

Håkan
 
Old 01-11-2004, 04:16 PM   #11
emgee
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Wow, getting into /etc/modules and so forth has been enlightening. I can see that after I've got the mouse working properly, I'll have to do the same kinds of things to get sound working, and then again to get the CD to play, and probably yet again for CD writing....

It's time to review my options. Perhaps Debian isn't the best distro for me to start with, even though I'm certain it will be the one I use most in a year or so. I need to learn how to drive Linux, but with Debian it seems that I would have to learn a lot of the under-the-hood mechanics before I can sit in the drver's seat.

Thank you, everyone, for your help. And especially you Hakan-- I appreciate your patience in explaining things to a total newbie.

emgee
 
Old 01-11-2004, 09:28 PM   #12
hw-tph
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No problem.
You shouldn't feel the need to stick with one distribution - use the one that suits you best. I currently run Debian and Gentoo and they both have their fair share of positives and negatives, like all distributions (and, in extension, like all operating systems).

To prepare you for a possible future issue - you will need to use the ide-scsi module on your CDRW to be able to burn CD's with it. I think many distributions set this up automatically (I'm just assuming that, I don't really know ), but it's quite easy - in the bootloader you need to just tack on <device>=ide-scsi, like hdc=ide-scsi. But that's a problem for another day.

Håkan
 
  


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