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Old 04-24-2014, 09:58 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
There seems to be a lot of guesswork in the answers without using the proper troubleshooting practices, sorry!

First of all, your clue is in the /var/log/Xorg.0.log file. As soon as you start X, a log file must be created. If it is not created, X is not starting. When X is not starting it is useless to try and find the cause in the video driver. Because it is not even ever used.

So first thing: make sure you don't use anything beyond 80x25 text mode while booting. At this moment I don't exactly know how to accomplish this in Slack, but I am sure Google holds that answer.


But before you suspect drivers, make sure it is a driver problem. Reading the log file will tell you.

If you're using lilo to boot Slackware, as I am, I believe a line in lilo.conf that says "vga=normal" (without the quotes) will force the console to 80x25. I prefer "vga=773".

Well, perhaps it would be better described as a problem with the interaction of my hardware with the nouveau driver. Any time it loads during the boot process, even though X is not involved, my display says only "OUT OF RANGE" and displays no other text.

I appreciate everyone's suggestions, and it appears that I'm trying to use modern software on a system that is too old to run it, in this case without the assistance of a more advanced graphic card. I removed the FX5200 card because my PC was rebooting itself without any warning at what appeared to be random times, but usually just as I clicked on a button (not any one specific button) in X. After trying some software changes without success, I removed the video card to see if that helps. So far, it has. I cannot say whether that is because the FX5200 or the nouveau driver was in some way faulty or I'm simply not stressing the entire system as much as before without the nouveau driver loaded. 3D-acceleration is not a requirement on this PC, so the nv driver will suffice. I might try another graphics card if I can find used one cheap.

Now to see how to mark a topic solved....
Old 04-25-2014, 05:59 AM   #17
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As long as you stay in pure text mode, there is no graphic driver loaded at all. None. The text mode is identical to the 1981 CGA mode used in the IBM-XT.

Having said this, many distributions are configured to switch to graphic mode for a different font during the boot process. I have to admit that I have had problems with that in one or another way during the past 10 years, and never fully understood what was going on. The term frame buffer is related to that.

That is why I stressed on keeping the entire process up and until the start of X in pure 80x25 text mode. Slack might be more transparent on this than other more fancy, less standard distros. But I don't know Slack well enough.

However, what you say about random reboots etc could point in the direction of a HW problem.



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