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Old 09-12-2007, 12:11 PM   #1
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Surefire Xorg driver/config?

I'm seeking alternative ways to get X up and running on this newly installed lenny box.

- Willing to go to stable for all pkgs.
- Willing to go to unstable for video (if it does not mean going unstable for core non-X libraries).

Is there an xorg driver/configuration that works under almost all circumstances?

- Intel 82845G Brookdale rev3 chipset
- Hitachi 803 21in older CRT w/bandwidth in excess of 200MB.
H Freq. V Freq.
31-115KHz 50-160Hz

current xorg packages (willing to switch):

xserver-xorg/testing uptodate 1:7.2-5
xserver-xorg-video-intel/testing uptodate 2:2.1.0-2
xserver-xorg-core/testing uptodate 2:

(It appears to me that the current lenny xorg video driver (xserver-xorg-video-intel) for Intel 845G chipset is flawed. See bugs 438650 and 424952.

I also had failure using the stable xorg and i810 driver.)
Old 09-14-2007, 12:00 AM   #2
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Well, if you really just want a very portable graphics driver, try VESA. But be aware, that really is playing to the lowest common denominator and you will almost certainly not get all the perfomrance possible out of the hardware.
Old 09-14-2007, 12:45 AM   #3
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Thanks. I have tried this (see the story below) and for some reason I get an X session with a blank screen.

Might it have to do with installing a minimal Debian then adding on X-related packages piecemeal - ie, maybe I'm still missing some crucial package? I'm clutching at straws. Read on and see what you think.

(FYI, I can reboot into an almost two-year-old etch install (when it was testing) and X will work fine - on the very same hardware!)

I reinstalled etch 4.0r1 from scratch. So all below refers to stable.
Here's what I did post-install.

# apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-vesa

Made no changes to xorg.conf generated by dpkg-reconfigure.

Then did (as errors revealed missing pkgs):
# apt-get install xfonts-base xfonts-100dpi xfonts-scalable
# apt-get install xterm

# apt-show-versions |sort| grep ^xserver
xserver-xorg-core/etch uptodate 2:1.1.1-21etch1
xserver-xorg/etch uptodate 1:7.1.0-19
xserver-xorg-input-all/etch uptodate 1:7.1.0-19
xserver-xorg-input-evdev/etch uptodate 1:1.1.2-6
xserver-xorg-input-kbd/etch uptodate 1:1.1.0-4
xserver-xorg-input-mouse/etch uptodate 1:1.1.1-3
xserver-xorg-input-synaptics/etch uptodate 0.14.6-1
xserver-xorg-input-wacom/etch uptodate
xserver-xorg-video-vesa/etch uptodate 1:1.3.0-1

Made an ~/.xinitrc like this:

xsetroot -solid skyblue

I give the command "startx" and I see the
same blank screen I saw when no ~/.xinitrc is present.

X is apparently running. But the screen is totally blank, and when I type,
nothing shows. I kill the session using ctrl-alt-backspace.

I tried also using ~/.xsession with identical contents instead of
~/.xinitrc; identical symptoms.

(My keyboard is a trusty old IBM without a separate keypad so although
I tried, I can't test cycling through the possible active modes.)

I looked using "ps fax" and see the following while that blank screen
is up (trimming some output):

\_/bin/sh /usr/bin/startx
\_ xinit /root/.xinitrc -- /etc/X11/xinit/xserverrc -aut[rest cut off]
\_ /usr/bin/X11/X -dpi 100 -nolisten tcp
\_ sh /root/.xinitrc
\_ xterm
\_ bash

Looks okay to me, but I don't know what to look for in an obscure case
like this. But why is the screen totally blank?

(It is definitely taking over virtual terminal 7. I can do ctrl-alt-F1 and see my terminal session screen as it appears after issuing "startx" command. They I can alt-F2 to look at a different terminal session. Then I can alt-F7 and go back to the blank screen.)

The sync setting happen to be displayed on this CRT when modes change.
What is displayed is
48 kHz / 60 Hz
These fall within acceptable limits for my monitor: H 31-115, V 50-160.


video, xorg

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