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Old 03-05-2005, 03:18 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Between the chair and the desk
Distribution: Debian Sarge, kernel 2.6.13
Posts: 666

Rep: Reputation: 30
2.6.11 and ATI Radeon?

I'm using an ATI Radeon 9200SE chip based graphic card.
I compiled and installed the 2.6.11 kernel which works fine except for one thing: at bootup, the screen looks like someone just thrown a bucket of text over it. Actually, it looks to me like a 320x200 resolution. I tried several "vga=" values with grub but none seems to work, not even "vga=ask". It quickly scrolls a few lines at the right resolution then the screen flickers for a fraction of a second, goes black for 1-2 seconds and then comes the big, fat text all over the place.
I configured as built-in vga16, vesa, framebuffer support, drivers for Radeon cards (the old as well as the new one), video mode selection and everything else needed but still the same result.
I copied the .config from the 2.6.10 kernel which has no problems and made a 'make oldconfig' but no improvements.
Also, after the OS loads, if I reach a console through Ctrl-Alt-F1, the screen blures and coloured pixels appear over the text making it unreadable.
Otherwise, in GUI mode, the screen looks normal at a 1024x768@85 Hz.
In the changelog there's something about a patch for Radeon but it doesn't seem to work.

Anyone else having problems with Radeon cards and the 2.6.11 kernel? Any suggestions?
Old 03-05-2005, 10:02 PM   #2
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: 1st hop-NYC/NewJersey shore,north....2nd hop-upstate....3rd hop-texas...4th hop-southdakota(sturgis)...5th hop-san diego.....6th hop-atlantic ocean! Final hop-resting in dreamland dreamwalking and meeting new people from past' night.
Distribution: Siduction, the only way to do Debian Unstable
Posts: 506

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I always reinstall my ati drivers with a script from Kano the developer of Kanotix(debian sid based) after every kernel upgrade.
Its a given.
With that I will say for some reason kernel upgrades on debian sometimes require reinstalling graphics drivers.

Kano said the script works with pure debian boxes and I have used them myself....along with his script incase they get wacky from graphics driver install.
download & install
execute the script for your graphics card.

do this outside of x
the scripts should bring you back to x automatically

Useing ati and 2.6.11-kanotix-3 kernel here ok.
Old 03-06-2005, 02:52 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Between the chair and the desk
Distribution: Debian Sarge, kernel 2.6.13
Posts: 666

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Thanks for the tips, ironwalker. One thing though: I looked over the script and aside that it is, at a first impression, designed for Kanotix (but if you say it works for pure Debian, so be it), it also uses totally different paths than I'm using (for example I don't compile the sources in /usr/src). I should rewrite some parts of it and I'm afraid not to mess something up (it's not commented at all for one to understand exactly what's the script doing in 1180 lines).

Couldn't I instead get that addon from somewhere else?

And something else: after recompiling the kernel twice, I noticed that if I compile as built-in the VGA16 driver and the Radeon drivers as modules, the console text looks fine but the OpenGL applications crawls and also dmesg reports towards the end this:
[drm:radeon_cp_init] *ERROR* radeon_cp_init called without lock held
[drm:drm_unlock] *ERROR* Process 4090 using kernel context 0
Maybe I should wait and see if some patches for Radeon drivers come up?
Old 03-06-2005, 09:53 AM   #4
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Between the chair and the desk
Distribution: Debian Sarge, kernel 2.6.13
Posts: 666

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
It's getting stranger now. I accidentaly recompiled (for the Nth time) the kernel with SMP support enabled. And surprisingly, the console text looks pretty much ok now.
I then recompiled with SMP disabled and, again, the console mode goes wacky. I ran a 'diff' on the two .config files, each corresponding to SMP enabled/disabled and it showed up that the one with SMP enabled contained a few more options enabled. That seems right, after all a multi-CPU system has to have some extras. But why this strange behaviour?

Anyone has any ideas? I'm already frustrated with this as I (re)compiled the kernel for about 10 times now.


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