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Old 03-12-2010, 11:23 PM   #1
sehku17
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Registered: Sep 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Distribution: Ubuntu & derivatives, Fedora
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xserver not redrawing on very old laptop (debian etch)


I have an old laptop which I have installed debian etch on. The kernel and cli work just fine, no issues that prevent running anything, but the x server is a different story.

the x server works in that it loads up and allows launching X applications and whatnot. the problem is redraws. so, let's say I have a program output piped to less, and I attempt to move down to see further output, well, it will only display the last line (where the cursor is) and the other lines will not have their display updated, and will still show the old data. I know all the programs are working, because when I, say, select the text in xterm, it will show the correct text that should be there. this bug also occurs when I move a window on top of another, and the display will not refresh upon re-selecting a window.

so what I need is some kind of a hard-refresh that would force updating the display regardless of what else is happening.

x server version is 7.1.1 (xserver-xorg)
window manager is fluxbox version 0.9.14
kernel is 2.6 debian etch
 
Old 03-14-2010, 05:36 PM   #2
theNbomr
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It sounds like you are saying that the text in a terminal (not specified; which?) is not scrolling correctly. If so, this is probably not an X server issue, but is more likely an issue with the terminal, and/or the terminal settings. Can you reproduce the problem in another type of text terminal, say, xterm?
--- rod.
 
Old 03-15-2010, 10:27 AM   #3
sehku17
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Registered: Sep 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
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a, I'm using xterm
b, this is not specific to a terminal, that was merely an example. this happens in any graphical program. when another application or output should show to be on top of a window, it will not update the display from what it previously was. this appears to be more difficult to explain than I thought, so I will take a picture, and hopefully that will explain it more clearly.

these pictures show the x server failing to refresh displays for xterm, with gmrun or xterm above it. I want to make it very clear this happens for EVERY graphical application.

http://fs11n3.sendspace.com/dl/cf402...er_fail.tar.gz
 
Old 03-15-2010, 07:46 PM   #4
theNbomr
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Okay, good to get that clarified.
Two sources that may provide useful information: xdpyinfo, and the X server log, often in /var/log/Xorg.0.log. It may be that the vintage of the laptop is such that there is no fully compatible video driver for the video display hardware. The logs may reflect this. Has there ever been a working X server on that laptop? What information do you have about the video hardware? Does it agree with what the Debian installer chose?
--- rod.
 
Old 03-16-2010, 11:05 AM   #5
sehku17
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Registered: Sep 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Distribution: Ubuntu & derivatives, Fedora
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/var/log/Xorg.0.log gave me some useful information

relevant lines:
...
(--) Chipset neo2070 found
...
(II) NEOMAGIC(0): Chipset is a MagicGraph 128 (NM2070)
(II) NEOMAGIC(0): vgaHWGetIOBase: hwp->IOBase is 0x03d0 hwp->PIOOffset is 0x0000
(--) NEOMAGIC(0): Panel is a 800x600 color TFT display
...

the card is a neo2070 according to lspci, and that's the driver it's using.

I did find something interesting, though,
(WW) System lacks support for changing MTRRs

this appears to be a cpu error from when something is compiled for a later architecture, and as this machine has a 486-ish cpu, it appears the way to solve this is to recompile X so it doesn't need the later cpu. I will try this shortly and post results for anyone else attempting to resolve a similar issue.

this is indeed the first time I've tried to install X on this box, as I just recently acquired it.
 
  


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