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Old 02-19-2005, 12:08 PM   #1
tommilo
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Post X-Windows fails to start & other Debian sarge install issues


For this first Linux install experience, I chose Debian 3.1 (sarge) because I thought it would be easy for a novice to install and more likely to be compatible with my hardware, a Dell Dimension 4600 P4 2.66GHz BIOS Ver. A07, purchased about a year ago.

Installing from CDs, on the first attempt, I selected the "linux26" install method and allowed the install program to choose the default "kernal-image-2.6.8-2-k7-smp." I think I did the config okay, but in the end, the kernal failed to load. Thinking the problem might be the kernal, on the second attempt, I went with the default install method and allowed the install program to install the default 2.4 kernal. This also failed to load. The third time, I chose install method "expert26" and when the time came to manually choose the kernal to load, I selected the second line on the kernal list "kernal-image-2.6.8-2-k7." Completing the basic install, the kernal did load and everything seemed to be okay.

So, I proceeded to installation of X-windows, using command: "apt-get install gnome-desktop-environment x-window-system gdm." During the config process, I got some warning screens along the way that said something like "Unavailable modules and devices that need them:
- i810-tco (Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) LPC Bridge
- e100 (Intel Corp. 82562EZ 10/100 Ethernet controller),
- ide-mod (Linux IDE driver)
- ide-detect (Linux IDE detection)
- ide-floppy (Linux IDE floppy)
- ide-scsi (Linux IDE SCSI emulation layer)

Nevertheless, I completed the config process. However, when it came time to start X-Windows, it did not start and I got an error screen saying X-Windows was probably not configured correctly. (I don't doubt it!)

Finding myself back at the command line, I reviewed the log file /var/log/XFree86.0.log and noticed the following significant warnings and errors:
WW Open APM failed.
WW I810(0) Extended BIOS function 0x5f11 not supported.
EE I810(0): No video BIOS modes for chosen depth.
EE Screens found, but none have a usable configuration.
and finally:
Fatal Server Error: No screens found.

At this point, I don't know whether I made config errors, whether I am using the wrong kernal, or whether my hardware is incompatible with Debian 3.1 (sarge) and I need to try the stable Debian 3.0 (woody). But will even woody be compatible with my computer?

At this point, I think I need the help of an expert, so I invite suggestions to help me move forward. Thx in advance!

Last edited by tommilo; 02-19-2005 at 12:47 PM.
 
Old 02-19-2005, 12:38 PM   #2
Andrew Benton
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I thought Linux From Scratch was hard until I tried to install Debian. Try running xf86config. It will ask you lots of stressfull questions about your hardware. If you have a distro that's been able to work for you then you could copy the config file from that into /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 on your Debian install.
Have you tried Ubuntu? It's based on Debian. I found it much easier to install. It made it into Gnome without any of that command prompt stress. Fedora Core 3 is easy to install. Mandrake 10.1 official is quite good too.
 
Old 02-19-2005, 01:24 PM   #3
darkleaf
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Well it looks like your kernel doesn't have the right options included. Those first few errors with IDE is because you don't have IDE support in your kernel.

The error with your X is because you didn't install a video card driver.
 
Old 02-19-2005, 02:38 PM   #4
TigerOC
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Your mistake was the kernel selection. The k7 version is for AMD Athlon machines and you need Intel support. i would suggest trying the install again.
 
Old 02-19-2005, 07:27 PM   #5
tommilo
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X-Windows fails to start & other Debian sarge install issues

Thank you all for your comments & suggestions.

I would like to get through this Debian installation before dropping it and trying another distribution.

I did take the suggestion to try yet another kernel. I chose kernel-2.6.8-2-386. That kernel loaded okay and so I attempted the install of gnome and x-window system. When I completed the loading and config and rebooted, I did not get the same error screen, but nevertheless x did not start and when I checked log file /var/log/XFree86.0.log I found the same warnings and errors:
WW Open APM failed (dev/apm_bios)
WW I810(0) Extended BIOS function 0x5f11 not supported.
EE I810(0): No video BIOS modes for chosen depth.
EE Screens found, but none have a usable configuration.
and finally:
Fatal Server Error: No screens found.

It does look like I am missing the right driver for my video controller, but I am at a loss as to where to look for a solution.

I expected a Dell Intel machine to be pretty standard with a good chance of Linux-compatibility, but I guess I was wrong.
 
Old 02-20-2005, 02:10 AM   #6
TigerOC
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This simply means that it cannot find settings for the display based on the current vertical and horizontal sync given. You need to find out what the values for vsync and hsync are for your monitor. These should be available from the manufacturer or in the HCL section of LQ. To reconfigure X do as root dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86 and it will go through everything again. The i810 video can be quite difficult to configure. You should have modconf installed. Do modconf and it should produce a menu. Go down until you see display cards or equivalent and go in there and see if it has installed the relevant driver for the i810 card. If it hasn't then install it. if you don't have modconf then do apt-get install modconf. Also check for apm support while in modconf.

Last edited by TigerOC; 02-20-2005 at 02:11 AM.
 
Old 02-20-2005, 11:54 AM   #7
tommilo
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Thanks - I will do the steps you suggest and post an update. (Someone else mentioned trying "xf86config" and I am wondering if that is similar to what you are suggesting.)
 
Old 02-20-2005, 02:02 PM   #8
TigerOC
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You can use either.
 
Old 02-20-2005, 04:03 PM   #9
tommilo
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I installed modconf and went through the menus.
Checking on i810, the "+" next to i810bf seems to indicate that it is installed. There were no further details or description.
APM was not installed. When I tried to install it, I got the result:
apm: BIOS version 1.2 Flags 0x03 (Driver version 1.16ac)
apm: overridden by ACPI.
FATAL: Error inserting apm (/lib/modules/2.6.8-2-386/kernel/arch/i386/kernel/apm.ko): No such device.
Installation failed.

Then I looked at the line kernel/drivers/acpi. For what it's worth, all of the modules under acpi had minuses next to them, so ACPI seems not to be installed.

I double-checked the Hsync and Vsync values for my monitor. I had those values correct from the beginning. Then I did run the reconfigure for xserver-xfree86 and I reentered the Vsync Hsync values. I also entered the monitor mfr and model. Unfortunately, X-windows still does not start.

The log file /var/log/XFree86.0.log contains all the detailed info (it looks like) for i810 and the chipset 82865G seems to have been recognized correctly, and there is even detail on my monitor even S/N which the system seems to have picked up correctly. The same two warnings and errors and fatal error mentioned earlier all remained the same:
WW Open APM failed (dev/apm_bios)
WW I810(0) Extended BIOS function 0x5f11 not supported.
EE I810(0): No video BIOS modes for chosen depth.
EE Screens found, but none have a usable configuration.
Fatal Server Error: No screens found.

Couple of additional things I noticed, which I think were in the earlier logs as well but I did not mention them:
- Two lines up in the middle of the log look like:
(==) i810(0) DisplyInfo: enabled
(II) i810(0) Broken BIOSes cause system to hang here. If you encounter this problem please add option
"DisplayInfo" "False"
to the Device section of your XF86config file
- Then, down immediately following the error I keep getting near the end of the log "EE I810(0): No video BIOS modes for chosen depth" I noticed that the all the modules i810, ddc, int10, vgahw, vbe are unloaded before X finally fails to start.

Putting two and two together, I wondered if the BIOS of my computer could be at fault and a BIOS upgrade might help?

One other thing, although the x-windows install recognized i810 as the video, the hardware manual for my computer actually says "Video controller: AGP8X." I do not see that mentioned in the log file or anywhere else and don't know whether it means anything. Could that be significant?
Open to further suggestions . . .
 
Old 02-21-2005, 02:03 AM   #10
TigerOC
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Install the required acpi modules. Can you post the output of cat /var/log/XFree86.0.log | more. You can generate a text file using cat /var/log/XFree86.0.log > /home/your_name/xfree86log.txt. This will give an indication of what resolution it is capable of displaying. As I said before i810 can cause problems for some reason.
 
Old 02-21-2005, 06:13 PM   #11
tommilo
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Using modconf I went to category kernel/arch/i386/kernel/cpu/cpufr and then tried to install acpi. I got the message: "FATAL Error inserting acpi (/lib/modules/2.6.8-2-386/kernel/cpu/cpufreg/acpi.ko): No such device." I also copied the log file to a text file, but this is my first time using Lynx and I don't know how to insert the contents of the text file into this post. Sorry, but this is the Newbie forum!

Last edited by tommilo; 02-21-2005 at 06:20 PM.
 
Old 02-22-2005, 03:56 AM   #12
TigerOC
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You can save the file to a floppy. Take a dos floppy and insert it and do mount /floppy. Then do dd if=/directory/where/XFree86log.txt_is of=/floppy/xfree86.txt. If it does not recognise /floppy try /dev/fd0. The file should then be readable in M$.
 
Old 02-22-2005, 11:07 AM   #13
tommilo
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Then I will post the log contents later this week. I realized yesterday I would need a floppy drive for the Linux system so I went ahead and ordered it and will probably have it installed by Friday.

Mouse question
Meanwhile, I have another question, about the mouse. You may need a log file to address that as well, but here it is:

I have noticed that when I am in a program for example nvi or lynx, any jiggling of the mouse causes the following message on the screen:
Quote
psmouse.c: Wheel Mouse at isa0060/serio1/input0 lost synchronization, throwing 3 bytes away.
End quote

Does that mean I have installed the mouse incorrectly or that it needs further configuration, and what do I need to do about that? (I haven't been trying to do anything with the mouse, but if I touch it I get that message.) Thx.
 
Old 02-22-2005, 11:31 AM   #14
TigerOC
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Its having a problem with the mouse on the serial port. I personally like the usb mice which tend to behave very well with the new kernels.
 
Old 02-23-2005, 12:04 PM   #15
tommilo
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After reading some other threads, I believe the problem with my mouse might be the KVM switch I am using. I am going to disconnect the mouse from the KVM and use a USB mouse directly on the Linux box. Because of the location of my computer and desk I want to try a wireless USB mouse. If anyone wants to recommend one that has worked for them, that would be great. On the other hand, if wireless mice commonly create issues with Linux, it would be useful to hear about that, too.
 
  


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