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Old 05-04-2013, 03:30 PM   #1
Ook
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Blank/corrupted console after starting and stopping xfce.


Slackware 14 64 bit
3.9.0 kernel
ATI 3850 video card with 13.4 catalyst drivers.

The drivers installed without error, and in xfce it works great (so far). However, when I exit xfce, the console is either blank, or corrupted in that there are ghost images across the screen, making it unusable.

Is there a way to reset the video mode when you are in console mode ie. not running an X server? I tried different initial modes in lilo.conf, but this did not help.
 
Old 05-04-2013, 04:50 PM   #2
Ook
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FWIW - I had other problems with the 3.9 kernel, so I want back to the 3.6.11, and this problem went away. Same video drivers, just older kernel. Not sure why...
 
Old 05-04-2013, 05:37 PM   #3
Skaperen
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I have periodically run into problems like this with verious desktop managers, various versions of X, and various kernels. The overall problem seems to be that video devices are made from all kinds of obscure registers in various places, not all of which are obvious. The original console state needs to be recorded by software with full knowledge of all, saved, then restarted on switch back. And it just doesn't happen because video hardware (firmware?) makers just don't collect all the registers into one consolidated addressable space where a program can simply mass copy them needing only to know the length. There is no discipline in video card design anymore. And in many cases console mode simply does not work (happens a lot with the official nvidia drivers, which is why I use nouveau on my NVIDIA cards).

For your case, I'd suggest to be prepared to switch kernel versions, and for baseline reference (so you can say "that one works, so why not this one ... and the hardware is fine"), try other drivers.
 
Old 05-04-2013, 05:54 PM   #4
Ook
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Hi, thanks for the comments. In this case, it definitely works with the 3.7.11 kernel, and it does not work with the 3.9 kernel. Same video driver, same everything else. There could, of course, be more to the story and my testing has been limited. ATI is not known for making stellar video drivers as of late, so it may be an older version of the video driver will fix it.

I have an old Athlon box that I'm fighting with right now. Newer kernels with newer video drivers are not stable and give erratic results. I've spent hours trying to find a stable combination. Older kernels (2.6.x) with older video drivers are rock solid. I think I'm going to bite the bullet and put slackware 12.2 on it with an old nvidia driver, and call it good. All I need it for is a web server and some shared storage, and slackware 12.2 is about as rock solid as it gets. Unless you are using a lot of different USB devices - the 2.6 kernels had a nasty bug related to USB devices that they fixed with newer kernels, but that is another story....
 
  


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