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zooba72 09-03-2016 09:50 PM

Help: VGA Compatibility Issue on CentOS 6.8
Hello Everyone,
I'm not an expert with CentOS and have encountered a few issues with three older Dell 2650's Servers - all having same issue. All are running centos-release-6-8.el6.centos.12.3.i686 and I'm trying to get the Gnome desktop working; but when I boot into graphics mode, the machine is unresponsive with a blank screen. I cannot breakout from the console using CTRL-ALT-F*. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the legacy VGA controller:

[root@saturn ~]# lspci | grep -i vga
00:0e.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Rage XL PCI (rev 27)

I've seen a few older posts regarding this issue, but have not found a resolution. Can someone provide their thoughts on how I can boot to GUI mode with this legacy card?

From the /var/log/Xorg.0.log
[ 4852.305] (II) MACH64(0): BIOS Data: LCDTable=0x0000.
[ 4852.305] (II) MACH64(0): BIOS Data: VideoTable=0x0000, HardwareTable=0x0164.
[ 4852.305] (II) MACH64(0): BIOS Data: I2CType=0x0F, Tuner=0x00, Decoder=0x00, Audio=0x0F.
[ 4852.305] (--) MACH64(0): ATI 3D Rage XL or XC graphics controller detected.
[ 4852.305] (--) MACH64(0): Chip type 4752 "GR", version 7, foundry TSMC, class 0, revision 0x00.
[ 4852.305] (--) MACH64(0): PCI bus interface detected; block I/O base is 0xE800.
[ 4852.305] (--) MACH64(0): ATI Mach64 adapter detected.
[ 4852.305] (!!) MACH64(0): For information on using the multimedia capabilities

I already tried posting this same question on the CENTOS forums, but have not received a response. Thank you in advance !

business_kid 09-04-2016 01:31 AM

The ATI Rage no longer has any support worthy of the name. it is incapable of doing what you want. Go to VESA (= 4*3) modes and try 800*600*256, I.e. 8 bit colour. Alternatively get video cards for the servers.

My personal approach would be to stay in console mode. The CPU will be as old as the video and both probably date from the last millennium. You're going to make a rod for your back trying to prop those boxes up. You are on safe ground declaring them obsolete.

zooba72 09-04-2016 11:39 AM

Thank you for the reply. Can you elaborate on this: Go to VESA (= 4*3) modes and try 800*600*256, I.e. 8 bit colour. Is this done via a GRUB boot option, or is this defined in the xorg.conf? I'm not sure how to implement what you suggested.

Currently if I change inittab to 5 the machine is unresponsive, so I'm currently booting into text mode. I would like to have some kind of GUI capability to run browsers, etc. I'm not looking for quality, simply the ability to launch the GUI. I understand that these machines are very old. I have several of them and was hoping to use them as a lab.

Thanks in advance

John VV 09-04-2016 04:24 PM

basically pull out the antique "rage" cards
they are not supported in the 6 series

you MIGHT get them to work in CentOS 5.12 ?? maybe ?

i do not use ATI cards , just nvidia and rage cards are older than my nvidia gforce 2 mx 400 on the old machine

they were good with win98 and ME and xp-(no service pack)

the vesa driver is the default cpu graphics driver
it will be installed by default

set the driver in the Xorg.conf to "vesa"

business_kid 09-05-2016 01:34 AM

You're not complaining about console mode so you just have to tweak xorg.conf.d

John VV tells you Centos 6 has dropped support for the rage cards so you really need some secondhand retro video cards for pci bus. Do yourself a favour.

If you elect to persist with the rage cards they need a vesa driver, and will hardly have more than 1 MB of video ram. Try 800x600 @ 256 colours. That's 8 bit colour.

zooba72 09-07-2016 01:00 AM

Updating the xorg.conf file with the vesa driver allowed me to move past my issue. I'm planning on replicating this on the rest of the 2650's. I really appreciate everyone taking the time to provide assistance. Thank you!

business_kid 09-08-2016 06:31 AM

Fine, and welcome. Just be aware that they could be 20 years old. Hardly reliable electronics.

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