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Old 06-28-2006, 11:13 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 448

Rep: Reputation: 35
TVout OK!! now wondering about video overlays and tvout postion options (nvidia)

edit: please see bold bit at end of next post for current linux questions /edit

my system:
nforce2 400 - sound, nic
geforce 6600 gt, agp 128mb
1 gig kingston value pc3200
mobile xp @ 1.9ghz

So I'm trying to get tvout working on my Slackware install, but everytime I try to start x with the dual screen serverlayout I've setup, my screen goes completely corrupt like this. linux is still running underneath, as I can su into root and enter init 6 while the screen is that way, or hit ctrl+alt+del, which causes the corruption to dance around a bit while the text that's supposed to be onscreen(sending term signal.. etc) scrolls up, before finally rebooting and fixing the display.

After spending countless hours with different xorg.conf setups and reading tutorials/examples/threads about xorg.conf with no luck, I decided I would install another distro on my linux drive's second partition and see if my tvout-xorg.conf would work there. I went with SimplyMepis becuase some of the threads I'd been reading included stories of tvout success with Mepis. Long story short, the tvout worked fine on Mepis, expect that when I quit X (well, actually reboot the system from KDE), I get similar corruption after X quits, like this briefly, followed by this corruption until the computer actually reboots. Otherwise it seems to work fine (though I haven't spent much time at all in Mepis once I found that it worked). After I fine tuned my xorg.conf in Mepis, I basically just used the same one in Slackware, except changing the default layout to the one for just my monitor. It works fine when I just start the default but when I do "-- -layout dual" I'm back to square one.

Now mepis already had nvidia drivers installed with the distro, so I tried installing the same version in Slackware. Unfortunately, with this older version, I couldn't even start x with just my monitor without gettting the same corruption.

There are a couple things in the xorg logs that look like they could be the culprit (the damn signal 11 for example), but I haven't got a clue what to do about them. I have verbose logs for both a good startup with just my monitor, and a bad startup with my monitor and tv. I'll post them in their entirety if requested, but for now, I'll just post the (WW)s and (EE)s..

in a good (single display) startup:
(WW) Open APM failed (/dev/apm_bios) (No such device) <-- I get this everytime and have read that I can safely ignore it with no ill effects. This is the only EE or WW on a good startup.

in a bad (dual display) startup:
(WW) NVIDIA(0): Bad V_BIOS checksum <-- that's it for a dual startup WWs and EEs, but at the end of the log I get this

(II) Initializing built-in extension COMPOSITE
(II) Initializing built-in extension DAMAGE
(II) Initializing built-in extension XEVIE
(II) Initializing extension GLX

*** If unresolved symbols were reported above, they might not
*** be the reason for the server aborting.

Fatal server error:
Caught signal 11. Server aborting

so at this point I'm completely at a loss for what I should be doing/looking-into next. According to the logs, I'm using the same version of X(6.8.2) on both distros, but Mepis uses a 2.6 kernel (2.6.15) and Slack uses 2.4.something. Unfortunately at this point in my linux experience, I really don't know what to make of that or if I should care. I know now that the dual screen section of xorg.conf is just fine... but I don't know what to consider next(except trying to flash the bios on my video card which I'd rather avoid).

Can someone please point me in the right direction so I can try to get this working? If any more info is required, it shall be provided.

Last edited by lurko; 06-29-2006 at 09:50 AM.
Old 06-29-2006, 09:46 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 448

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 35
I knew should have tried a couple more things before asking... got it working!

I wasn't planning on attempting to compile a kernel until I was a little more well-versed in linux, but given that the only thing I was sure was different between slack and mepis was the kernel version, I figured what the hell, I can always boot the old kernel if things don't work out. So I compiled a version of as leanly as I could (my mobo being basically 100% nvidia helped a lot!), with the guidance of Eric Hameleers' Slackware Wiki(thanks Chinaman!) and gave it a shot. It booted fine, but then I tried to reinstall the nvidia driver and learned that I shouldn't put nvidia framebuffer support in the kernel, and then tried again. This time the driver compiled and installed just fine and I started X (also fine). And then finally, I quit X and restarted it with my tvout/dual-display serverlayout... and it worked!!! VICTORY!

now all I have to complain/ask about is nvidia's horribly limited options for positioning the picture on a tv screen. the bottom and right side seem lined up to the edge well enough, but there's 3/4" of black on the top and 1/4" of black on the left. I know I can use TvOverScan in my xorg.conf but that pushes the edges of the display on the right side and bottom off the edge of the physical screen... if that makes any sense - tvoverscan does fill the black spaces, but does nothing to centre the image. Actually nvidia's options for this in windows aren't that great either - I run drivers that are over a year old because anything newer doesn't ever remember my overscan/position settings for tvout.

If anyone has some good links where I can read about options for centering the display on a tv, I'm dying to see them (I've tried looking fruitlessly). Also while I'm asking (though I haven't looked for this much yet), can someone point me to some info about using the video overlay on a tv instead of just using "fullscreen" mode in whatever app..

edit: actually now when I exit X after starting with a dual layout I get more corrupt display where my console should be, exactly like this, only different colours. I have to reboot entirely to get my display back... what is going on there???

Last edited by lurko; 06-29-2006 at 12:58 PM.


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