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Old 04-03-2007, 05:04 PM   #1
dogpatch
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XF86Config-4 file / X11 video drivers


I have an older PC with a small cheap monitor, a Sampo AlphaScan 411. I have three different Linux partitions, my usual day-to-day distro being Mepis with kernel 2.4.29. Here's my question:

On this partition, in an XWindows session, i can acheive pretty decent resolution (1024x768) if i specify

DefaultColorDepth 8

in the "Screen" Section of XF86Config-4.

Trouble with this is some applications like Mozilla and Gimp require at least 16 color bits to display correctly. If i specify

DefaultColorDepth 16

i can't get the same resolution. In this case, none of my Modeline parameters seem to matter; the X system just uses some kind of default, depending upon the driver specified in the "Device" section of XF86Config-4. I've only found two driver specifications that work: "trident" and "vesa". If i specify "vesa", i get 800x600 resolution, and a constant flicker, no matter how i try to tweak the vsync and hsync parameters. If i specify "trident", i get no flicker, but some ridiculously low resolution, possibly 640x400.

Now, to make things interesting, i can get both 1024x768 resolution with no flicker and 16 color bits in an older distro on the same machine - Red Hat with 2.2.16-22 kernel. The XF86Config file there specifies a "svga" driver, which seems to be unavailable in the Mepis system.

After much tinkering, i am convinced as my relative ignorance allows me to be, that the "svga" or equivalent X11 video driver is what i need over in my Mepis system. Is this compiled into the kernel itself, or where can i find it? Or can this driver not be used with the newer kernel? Or, are my convictions about the driver unfounded, and my problem lies elsewhere? How do i tweak the XF86Config-4 to get both 16-bit color and 1024x768 resolution? Or, is there some fundamental difference between the way the older XF86Config file and the newer XF86Config-4 file do things?

Here are the relevant lines from the Mepis XF86Config-4 file:
Code:
Section "Monitor"
  Identifier "Monitor0"
  VendorName "unknown"
  ModelName "unknown"
  HorizSync    30.0 - 50.0  # From monitor specs
  VertRefresh  50.0 - 120.0 # From monitor specs
Modeline "800x600"     40.12  800  848    968 1056   600    601  605  628 #60Hz
Modeline "800x600"     69.65  800  864    928 1088   600    604  610  640 -HSync -VSync
ModeLine "800x600"     36     800  824    896 1024   600    601  603  625
Modeline "800x600"     40     800  840    968 1056   600    601  605  628 +hsync +vsync
Modeline "800x600"     50     800  856    976 1040   600    637  643  666 +hsync +vsync
Modeline "800x600"     60.75  800  864    928 1088   600    616  621  657 -HSync -VSync
Modeline "800x600"     40.12  800  848    968 1056   600    601  605  628 #60Hz
Modeline "1024x768"    65    1024 1032 1176 1344   768    771  777  806 -hsync -vsync
EndSection

Section "Device"
  Option "UseInternalAGPGART" "no"
  Identifier  "Card0"
    VendorName "Trident Microsystems"
    BoardName "Trident TGUI9440 (generic)"
    Option "DPMS"
  Driver "vesa"
# Driver "trident"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
  Identifier "Screen0"
  Device "Card0"
  Monitor "Monitor0"
# Change to 8 for better resolution, no flicker, but Mozilla & Gimp are crappy
  DefaultColorDepth 16
  SubSection "Display"
  Depth 1
  Modes "1024x768"
  EndSubSection
  SubSection "Display"
  Depth 4
  Modes "1024x768"
  EndSubSection
  SubSection "Display"
  Depth 8
  Modes "1024x768"
  EndSubSection
  SubSection "Display"
  Depth 15
  Modes "800x600"
  EndSubSection
  SubSection "Display"
  Depth 16
  Modes "800x600"
  EndSubSection
  SubSection "Display"
  Depth 24
  Modes "1024x768"
  EndSubSection
  SubSection "Display"
  Depth 32
  Modes "1024x768"
  EndSubSection
EndSection
and from the older XF86Config file:
Code:
Section "Monitor"

    Identifier  "Sampo AlphaScan 411"
    VendorName  "Unknown"
    ModelName   "Unknown"

# HorizSync is in kHz unless units are specified.
# HorizSync may be a comma separated list of discrete values, or a
# comma separated list of ranges of values.
# NOTE: THE VALUES HERE ARE EXAMPLES ONLY.  REFER TO YOUR MONITOR'S
# USER MANUAL FOR THE CORRECT NUMBERS.

    HorizSync   30.0-50.0

# VertRefresh is in Hz unless units are specified.
# VertRefresh may be a comma separated list of discrete values, or a
# comma separated list of ranges of values.
# NOTE: THE VALUES HERE ARE EXAMPLES ONLY.  REFER TO YOUR MONITOR'S
# USER MANUAL FOR THE CORRECT NUMBERS.

    VertRefresh 50.0-120.0

# Modes can be specified in two formats.  A compact one-line format, or
# a multi-line format.

# These two are equivalent

#    ModeLine "1024x768i" 45 1024 1048 1208 1264 768 776 784 817 Interlace

#    Mode "1024x768i"
#        DotClock    45
#        HTimings    1024 1048 1208 1264
#        VTimings    768 776 784 817
#        Flags        "Interlace"
#    EndMode

# This is a set of standard mode timings. Modes that are out of monitor spec
# are automatically deleted by the server (provided the HorizSync and
# VertRefresh lines are correct), so there's no immediate need to
# delete mode timings (unless particular mode timings don't work on your
# monitor). With these modes, the best standard mode that your monitor
# and video card can support for a given resolution is automatically
# used.

# 512x384 @ 78 Hz, 31.50 kHz hsync
Modeline "512x384"    20.160 512  528  592  640   384  385  388  404 -HSync -VSync
# 512x384 @ 85 Hz, 34.38 kHz hsync
Modeline "512x384"    22     512  528  592  640   384  385  388  404 -HSync -VSync

# 640x400 @ 70 Hz, 31.5 kHz hsync
Modeline "640x400"     25.175 640  664  760  800   400  409  411  450
# 640x400 @ 85 Hz, 37.86 kHz hsync
Modeline "640x400"     31.5   640  672 736   832   400  401  404  445 -HSync +VSync

# 640x480 @ 100 Hz, 53.01 kHz hsync
Modeline "640x480"     45.8   640  672  768  864   480  488  494  530 -HSync -VSync
# 640x480 @ 60 Hz, 31.5 kHz hsync
Modeline "640x480"     25.175 640  664  760  800   480  491  493  525
# 640x480 @ 72 Hz, 36.5 kHz hsync
Modeline "640x480"     31.5   640  680  720  864   480  488  491  521
# 640x480 @ 75 Hz, 37.50 kHz hsync
ModeLine  "640x480"    31.5   640  656  720  840   480  481  484  500 -HSync -VSync
# 640x480 @ 85 Hz, 43.27 kHz hsync

Modeline "640x480"     36     640  696  752  832   480  481  484  509 -HSync -VSync
# 800x600 @ 100 Hz, 64.02 kHz hsync
Modeline  "800x600"    69.65  800  864  928 1088   600  604  610  640 -HSync -VSync
# 800x600 @ 56 Hz, 35.15 kHz hsync
ModeLine "800x600"     36     800  824  896 1024   600  601  603  625
# 800x600 @ 60 Hz, 37.8 kHz hsync
Modeline "800x600"     40     800  840  968 1056   600  601  605  628 +hsync +vsync
# 800x600 @ 72 Hz, 48.0 kHz hsync
Modeline "800x600"     50     800  856  976 1040   600  637  643  666 +hsync +vsync
# 800x600 @ 85 Hz, 55.84 kHz hsync
Modeline  "800x600"    60.75  800  864  928 1088   600  616  621  657 -HSync -VSync

# 1024x480 for certain Vaios
Modeline "1024x480"   65 1024 1032 1176 1344 480 491 493 525 -HSync -VSync

# 1024x768 @ 100Hz, 80.21 kHz hsync
Modeline "1024x768"   115.5  1024 1056 1248 1440  768  771  781  802 -HSync -VSync
# 1024x768 @ 60 Hz, 48.4 kHz hsync
Modeline "1024x768"    65    1024 1032 1176 1344   768  771  777  806 -hsync -vsync
# 1024x768 @ 70 Hz, 56.5 kHz hsync
Modeline "1024x768"    75    1024 1048 1184 1328   768  771  777  806 -hsync -vsync
# 1024x768 @ 76 Hz, 62.5 kHz hsync
Modeline "1024x768"    85    1024 1032 1152 1360   768  784  787  823
# 1024x768 @ 85 Hz, 70.24 kHz hsync
Modeline "1024x768"   98.9  1024 1056 1216 1408   768 782 788 822 -HSync -VSync

# 1152x864 @ 100 Hz, 89.62 kHz hsync
Modeline "1152x864"   137.65 1152 1184 1312 1536   864  866  885  902 -HSync -VSync
# 1152x864 @ 60 Hz, 53.5 kHz hsync
Modeline  "1152x864"   89.9  1152 1216 1472 1680   864  868  876  892 -HSync -VSync
# 1152x864 @ 70 Hz, 62.4 kHz hsync
Modeline  "1152x864"   92    1152 1208 1368 1474   864  865  875  895
# 1152x864 @ 78 Hz, 70.8 kHz hsync
Modeline "1152x864"   110   1152 1240 1324 1552   864  864  876  908
# 1152x864 @ 84 Hz, 76.0 kHz hsync
Modeline "1152x864"   135    1152 1464 1592 1776   864  864  876  908

# 1280x960 @ 60 HzModeline "1280x960"   108   1280 1376 1488 1800 960 961 964 1000 +HSync +VSync
# 1280x960 @ 85 HzModeline "1280x960"   148.5 1280 1344 1504 1728 960 961 964 1011  +HSync +VSync

# 1280x1024 @ 100 Hz, 107.16 kHz hsync
Modeline "1280x1024"  181.75 1280 1312 1440 1696  1024 1031 1046 1072 -HSync -VSync
# 1280x1024 @ 61 Hz, 64.2 kHz hsync
Modeline "1280x1024"  110    1280 1328 1512 1712  1024 1025 1028 1054
# 1280x1024 @ 70 Hz, 74.59 kHz hsync
Modeline "1280x1024"  126.5 1280 1312 1472 1696  1024 1032 1040 1068 -HSync -VSync
# 1280x1024 @ 74 Hz, 78.85 kHz hsync
Modeline "1280x1024"  135    1280 1312 1456 1712  1024 1027 1030 1064
# 1280x1024 @ 76 Hz, 81.13 kHz hsync
Modeline "1280x1024"  135    1280 1312 1416 1664  1024 1027 1030 1064
# 1280x1024 @ 85 Hz, 91.15 kHz hsync
Modeline "1280x1024"  157.5  1280 1344 1504 1728  1024 1025 1028 1072 +HSync +VSync

# 1600x1200 @ 60Hz, 75.00 kHz hsync
Modeline "1600x1200"  162   1600 1664 1856 2160  1200 1201 1204 1250 +HSync +VSync
# 1600x1200 @ 70 Hz, 87.50 kHz hsync
Modeline "1600x1200"  189    1600 1664 1856 2160  1200 1201 1204 1250 -HSync -VSync
# 1600x1200 @ 75 Hz, 93.75 kHz hsync
Modeline "1600x1200"  202.5  1600 1664 1856 2160  1200 1201 1204 1250 +HSync +VSync
# 1600x1200 @ 85 Hz, 105.77 kHz hsync
Modeline "1600x1200"  220    1600 1616 1808 2080  1200 1204 1207 1244 +HSync +VSync

# 1800x1440 @ 64Hz, 96.15 kHz hsync 
ModeLine "1800X1440"  230    1800 1896 2088 2392 1440 1441 1444 1490 +HSync +VSync
# 1800x1440 @ 70Hz, 104.52 kHz hsync 
ModeLine "1800X1440"  250    1800 1896 2088 2392 1440 1441 1444 1490 +HSync +VSync

# Low-res Doublescan modes
# If your chipset does not support doublescan, you get a 'squashed'
# resolution like 320x400.

# 320x200 @ 70 Hz, 31.5 kHz hsync, 8:5 aspect ratio
Modeline "320x200"     12.588 320  336  384  400   200  204  205  225 Doublescan
# 320x240 @ 60 Hz, 31.5 kHz hsync, 4:3 aspect ratio
Modeline "320x240"     12.588 320  336  384  400   240  245  246  262 Doublescan
# 320x240 @ 72 Hz, 36.5 kHz hsync
Modeline "320x240"     15.750 320  336  384  400   240  244  246  262 Doublescan
# 400x300 @ 56 Hz, 35.2 kHz hsync, 4:3 aspect ratio
ModeLine "400x300"     18     400  416  448  512   300  301  302  312 Doublescan
# 400x300 @ 60 Hz, 37.8 kHz hsync
Modeline "400x300"     20     400  416  480  528   300  301  303  314 Doublescan
# 400x300 @ 72 Hz, 48.0 kHz hsync
Modeline "400x300"     25     400  424  488  520   300  319  322  333 Doublescan
# 480x300 @ 56 Hz, 35.2 kHz hsync, 8:5 aspect ratio
ModeLine "480x300"     21.656 480  496  536  616   300  301  302  312 Doublescan
# 480x300 @ 60 Hz, 37.8 kHz hsync
Modeline "480x300"     23.890 480  496  576  632   300  301  303  314 Doublescan
# 480x300 @ 63 Hz, 39.6 kHz hsync
Modeline "480x300"     25     480  496  576  632   300  301  303  314 Doublescan
# 480x300 @ 72 Hz, 48.0 kHz hsync
Modeline "480x300"     29.952 480  504  584  624   300  319  322  333 Doublescan

EndSection


# **********************************************************************
# Graphics device section
# **********************************************************************

# Any number of graphics device sections may be present

Section "Device"
    Identifier        "Generic VGA"
    VendorName        "Unknown"
    BoardName "Unknown"
    Chipset   "generic"

#    VideoRam 256

#    Clocks   25.2 28.3

EndSection

# Device configured by Xconfigurator:

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "My Video Card"
    VendorName  "Unknown"
    BoardName   "Unknown"
    #VideoRam    1024
    # Insert Clocks lines here if appropriate
EndSection


# **********************************************************************
# Screen sections
# **********************************************************************

# The Colour SVGA server

Section "Screen"
    Driver      "svga"
    # Use Device "Generic VGA" for Standard VGA 320x200x256
    #Device      "Generic VGA"
    Device      "My Video Card"
    Monitor     "Sampo AlphaScan 411"
    DefaultColorDepth   16
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       8
        # Omit the Modes line for the "Generic VGA" device
        Modes       "1024x768"
        ViewPort    0 0
    EndSubsection
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       16
        Modes       "800x600"
        ViewPort    0 0
    EndSubsection
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       24
        Modes       "640x400"
        ViewPort    0 0
    EndSubsection
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       32
        Modes       "640x400"
        ViewPort    0 0
    EndSubsection
EndSection

# The 16-color VGA server

Section "Screen"
    Driver      "vga16"
    Device      "Generic VGA"
    Monitor     "Sampo AlphaScan 411"
    Subsection "Display"
        Modes       "640x480" "800x600"
        ViewPort    0 0
    EndSubsection
EndSection

# The Mono server

Section "Screen"
    Driver      "vga2"
    Device      "Generic VGA"
    Monitor     "Sampo AlphaScan 411"
    Subsection "Display"
        Modes       "640x480" "800x600"
        ViewPort    0 0
    EndSubsection
EndSection

# The accelerated servers (S3, Mach32, Mach8, 8514, P9000, AGX, W32, Mach64
# I128, and S3V)
Section "Screen"
    Driver      "accel"
    Device      "My Video Card"
    Monitor     "Sampo AlphaScan 411"
    DefaultColorDepth   16
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       8
        Modes       "1024x768"
        ViewPort    0 0
    EndSubsection
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       16
        Modes       "800x600"
        ViewPort    0 0
    EndSubsection
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       24
        Modes       "640x400"
        ViewPort    0 0
    EndSubsection
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       32
        Modes       "640x400"
        ViewPort    0 0
    EndSubsection
EndSection
 
Old 04-04-2007, 12:31 AM   #2
J.W.
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Distribution: Mint
Posts: 6,642

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What happens if you edit the file and manually specify
Code:
SubSection "Display"
 Depth 16
 Modes "1024x768"
EndSubSection
instead of what's in there now
Code:
SubSection "Display"
 Depth 16
 Modes "800x600"
EndSubSection
 
Old 04-04-2007, 08:42 PM   #3
dogpatch
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Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Central America
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Original Poster
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Nothing changes in that case.

When specifying a color depth of 16 - Using the "vesa" driver gives me 800x600 regardless of what i specify for resolution, but with a bad flicker. Using the "trident" driver gives me 600x480 regardless of what i specify. The original file specified 1024x768 as you suggested, and so i changed it to 800x600 as my attempt to get at least that much resolution, without the flicker. Didn't work, but that's the state it was in when i posted this thread.

Last edited by dogpatch; 04-04-2007 at 08:44 PM.
 
Old 04-04-2007, 11:35 PM   #4
J.W.
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Distribution: Mint
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Hmm, well, have your tried manually rerunning xorgconfig
 
Old 04-05-2007, 12:04 PM   #5
dogpatch
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Registered: Nov 2005
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Distribution: Mepis
Posts: 159
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No, i know nothing about xorgconfig.

Tried running it, both in an X 'run' window, and as root in a command-line terminal. In both cases, that command is not found.

Let me emphasize what i experienced in playing with the XF86Config-4 file: At one point, i copied all the relevant sections from the older Red Hat partition, so that all Modelines, resolution specs, etc, were identical. My newer Mepis X complained that it could not find the driver "svga". So i tried both "vesa" and "trident" as my device driver, with the results as noted above

Can i assume that, were i to obtain the "svga" driver used in the Red Hat system, that my problems would be solved? I suppose it's not that simple. I'd like to try that, but i haven't a clue where i might find this driver. Is it compiled into the kernel?
 
  


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