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Thread: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users

  1. #11
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    Default Re: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    But there is also an IEGD (Intel Embedded Graphic Driver) per this site: Intel Embedded Design Center and one can find rpms packaged for openSUSE from Software.openSUSE.org if one searches for "IEGD" (I note user vlj and also user lkundrak packaged Poulsbo GPU driver rpms) for the openSUSE-11.2 2.6.31.5 and also 2.6.31.12 kernels.
    A further note - there is some guidance here wrt the IEGD drivers:
    IEGD drivers for Intel GMA 500 working - openSUSE Forums

  2. #12
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    Default Re: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users

    Quote Originally Posted by batmanvh View Post
    Firstly I got the error that my mouse pointer disappeared...fixed that in 11.2 by adding the line

    Option "SWCursor" "on"
    In order to help me track this later (so I copied and pasted the approach into this practical guide), I note post#42 from this thread where a user with a Dell Studio 17 laptop with the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 graphics removed the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, then ran
    Code:
    aticonfig --initial
    and then added to the somewhat sparse /etc/X11/xorg.conf file:
    added both of the following lines in the Device section:
    Code:
    Option "HWCursor" "off"
    Option "SWCursor" "on"
    Rebooted, and the mouse cursor was now visible.

    However they also noticed slowness while browsing down web pages, with a lot of "wavey" motion in the page as they scrolled down.

    Edit: This "wavey" motion was browser specific and reported as being removed by changing the "Somooth scrolling" option the browser's settings.
    Last edited by oldcpu; 16-Mar-2010 at 23:14.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    A brief explanation about drivers for nVidia cards
    • nv - this is the free open source nVidia driver for all nVidia hardware. This driver should have much better performance than the VESA driver. It typically comes packaged with openSUSE as part of xorg-x11-driver-video rpm. To see exactly what hardware the "nv" driver supports, one can type:
      Code:
      man nv
    No sooner do we make up this guide than nVidia announce they are dropping some of their "nv" driver support. [Phoronix] NVIDIA Drops Their Open-Source Driver, Refers Users To VESA Driver

    The Phoronix article quoted above, in turn references this post from the xorg mailing list:
    [ANNOUNCE] Deprecation of xf86-video-nv which I quote:
    Historically, NVIDIA developed and maintained the xf86-video-nv X driver, primarily as a very minimal driver that works "well enough" to give users accelerated X rendering from the time they install their Linux distribution until the time they install the NVIDIA driver available from nvidia.com [1].

    The xf86-video-nv driver intentionally has a very small feature set, both to minimize the maintenance cost of this driver, and to minimize exposure of any IP NVIDIA might consider sensitive.

    However, the rendering needs of a modern X Window System desktop have changed drastically in recent years to rely heavily on the X Render extension, which is not well accelerated in the nv driver. At this point, on a modern X desktop the nv driver does not offer much beyond what is
    provided by the stock VESA X driver. Providing proper Render acceleration in the nv driver would be a substantial task, and would require diverting significant engineering resources away from NVIDIA's nvidia.com driver.

    For this reason, NVIDIA is dropping support, on new GPUs, for the xf86-video-nv driver.

    Details:
    • NVIDIA will continue to support the existing functionality and existing level of acceleration in the nv driver for existing GPUs, on existing, and (within reason) future, X server versions.
    • NVIDIA will not support the xf86-video-nv driver on Fermi or later GPUs.
    • NVIDIA will not support DisplayPort, on any GPU, in the xf86-video-nv driver.


    Our advice to owners of NVIDIA GPUs running Linux is to use the VESA X driver from the time of Linux distribution installation until they can download and install the NVIDIA Linux driver from their distribution repositories or from nvidia.com.

    We believe that focusing our Linux driver engineering efforts exclusively on the NVIDIA driver, in order to leverage NVIDIA's cross-platform graphics driver code base, is the optimal route for the best possible user experience for NVIDIA Linux users.

    Thanks,
    Andy Ritger
    I don't know how that will play out , but it bears watching and I may have to eventually change the above. Reference the proprietary nVidia driver (referred to as "NVIDIA driver), my experience is it is a pretty good driver once installed.
    Last edited by oldcpu; 13-May-2010 at 00:58.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users

    One thing I should add to this thread, and that is where to look to reliably determine what graphic driver is in use. The xorg.conf file is being depreciated in new openSUSE versions, and hence it may not be present.

    A good place to look to determine the graphic driver in use is inside the file /var/log/Xorg.0.log. As a regular user, open that /var/log/Xorg.0.log file with a text editor.

    Look for occurrences of:
    (==) FBDEV(0):
    which would indicate FBDEV driver in use. The following command may work (note syntax/spaces) to confirm this driver:
    Code:
    cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep '('II')'' 'FBDEV
    or
    Look for occurrences of:
    (==) VESA(0):
    which would indicate VESA driver in use. The following command may work (note syntax/spaces) to confirm this driver:
    Code:
    cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep '('II')'' 'VESA
    or
    Look for occurrences of:
    (==) RADEON(0):
    which would indicate the open source RADEON driver in use. The following command may work (note syntax/spaces) to confirm this driver:
    Code:
    cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep '('II')'' 'RADEON
    or
    Look for occurrences of:
    (==) RADEONHD(0):
    which would indicate the open source RADEONHD driver in use. The following command may work (note syntax/spaces) to confirm this driver:
    Code:
    cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep '('II')'' 'RADEONHD
    or
    Look for occurrences of:
    (==) fglxr(0):
    which would indicate proprietary ATI FGLRX driver in use. The following command may work (note syntax/spaces) to confirm this driver:
    Code:
    cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep '(II) fglrx'
    or also for the ATI FGLRX driver:
    Code:
    cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep '(--) fglrx'
    or
    Look for occurrences of:
    (==) NV(0):
    which would indicate open source NV driver in use. The following command may work (note syntax/spaces) to confirm this driver:
    Code:
    cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep '('II')'' 'NV' '
    or
    Look for occurrences of:
    (==) NOUVEAU(0):
    which would indicate open source NOUVEAU driver in use.The following command may work (note syntax/spaces) to confirm this driver:
    Code:
    cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep '('II')'' 'NOUVEAU
    or
    Look for occurrences of:
    (==) NVIDIA(0):
    which would indicate proprietary nVidia NVIDIA driver in use. The following command may work (note syntax/spaces):
    Code:
    cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep '('II')'' 'NVIDIA
    or
    Look for occurrences of:
    (==) intel(0):
    which would indicate the open source Intel driver in use. The following command may work (note syntax/spaces):
    Code:
    cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | grep '('II')'' 'intel
    There are other drivers as well, that one may see instead, dependent on their hardware.

    As opposed to (==) one may instead see (II) or (**).
    Last edited by oldcpu; 13-May-2010 at 07:29. Reason: Added suggested "cat" commands to confirm selected driver

  5. #15
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    Default Re: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    One thing I should add to this thread...

    A good place to look to determine the graphic driver in use is inside the file /var/log/Xorg.0.log. As a regular user, open that /var/log/Xorg.0.log file with a text editor.
    Here are the equivalent log entries for VIA graphic drivers:

    Look for occurrences of:
    (==) UNICHROME(0):
    which would indicate UNICHROME driver in use.
    or
    Look for occurrences of:
    (==) CHROME(0):
    which would indicate OPENCHROME driver in use.
    or
    Look for occurrences of:
    (==) CHROME9(0) or for future versions (==) VIA(0):
    which would indicate an open-source version of VIA's driver in use. However, this driver is still undergoing development and change at a slow pace.

    As opposed to (==) one may instead see (II) or (**).

    The Xorg.0.log file is also the best place to look for any errors or warning messages concerning the drivers' loading and initialization process when X system is started.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    ... I am thinking I should have added that one can get a flavour as to what drivers are available by typing:
    Code:
    rpm -ql xorg-x11-driver-video
    and in the case of a 64-bit openSUSE the various
    Code:
    /usr/lib64/xorg/modules/drivers/something_drv.la    
    /usr/lib64/xorg/modules/drivers/something_drv.so
    /usr/share/man/man4/something.4.gz
    provides an indication of the drivers.

    There is more on that method here: HCL/All Video Cards - openSUSE
    Further to this, one can also check the change history of the rpm to learn more about the driver ... for example:
    Code:
    rpm -q xorg-x11-driver-video --changelog
    now if that scrolls too fast by the screen, one can type:
    Code:
    rpm -q xorg-x11-driver-video --changelog | more
    and use all the functionality of the "more" command to scroll back and forth in examining the change history, or one can simply redirect the output to a text file (say changehistory.txt) and open up changehistory.txt with at text editor:
    Code:
    rpm -q xorg-x11-driver-video --changelog > changehistory.txt
    and for KDE
    Code:
    kwrite changehistory.txt
    or Gnome
    Code:
    gedit changehistory.txt
    ... for example, doing the above one can see that the Intel driver included in the openSUSE-11.2 xorg-x11-driver-video-7.4-87.91.1.x86_64 rpm is version 2.9.1 from an update:
    Code:
    * Mon Oct 26 2009 sndirsch@suse.de
    - xf86-video-intel 2.9.1
      * a few, hand-picked bug fixes since that 2.9.0 release
    - obsoletes xf86-video-intel-commit-02fe9be6.diff,
      xf86-video-intel-bnc545499-commit_57fc09c.diff
    or one can go to the src repository:
    Code:
    http://download.opensuse.org/source/distribution/11.2/repo/oss/suse/src/
    download the source file xorg-x11-driver-video-7.4-87.88.1.src.rpm and then assuming it was just downloaded for examination, and not installed (as there is no need to install) then look inside that rpm with:
    Code:
    rpm -qp xorg-x11-driver-video-7.4-87.88.1.src.rpm -l
    and one can, for example, see in there that the Intel version driver is version 2.9.1 with a number of patches (where the patches are .diff files):
    Code:
    xf86-video-intel-2.9.1.tar.bz2                                             
    xf86-video-intel-G33-1mb.diff                                              
    xf86-video-intel-NoFBC-945GME.diff                                         
    xf86-video-intel-bfo17988.diff                                             
    xf86-video-intel-buildfix.diff
    Hopefully the above takes some of the mystery out of this packaging.

  7. #17

    Default Re: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users

    Great post, is helping me a lot to clarify my ideas.

    I've installed OpenSuse 11.2 a couple of days ago and I'm working my way to configure and fine tune it. I'm pretty new to linux (well, worked a bit with it, but about 10 years ago... and I've forgotten almost anything that seems haven't changed) and I'm getting a bit overwhelmed with graphical configuration.

    Now your post is throwing a bit of light into my world of darkness. Thank you.

    I'm wondering if you could help me with a doubt. I have an ATI Radeon x800 AGP card in my Pc (quite old) and I think the driver installed and currently enabled is "radeon" (although I've tried to install fglrx several times apparently without success).

    I've read that there are problems with 11.2 and older chipsets like the x800, I assume that these are the reason why automatic installs of fglrx driver are not working.

    My question is... there is now a safe way to install fglrx driver into an 11.2 version for older chipsets or should I stay with the radeon one?

    I'm getting confused with this driver as I'm getting "glx missing on display" errors when trying to test it.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users

    Quote Originally Posted by Bardobrave View Post
    I'm wondering if you could help me with a doubt. I have an ATI Radeon x800 AGP card in my Pc (quite old) and I think the driver installed and currently enabled is "radeon" (although I've tried to install fglrx several times apparently without success).
    I do not believe the fglrx will work with the X800 on openSUSE-11.2.

    Specifically, users with what ATI call "legacy hardware" should not try to install the latest fglrx driver (currently Catalyst v.10.4). Please note this URL:
    ATI Catalyst Proprietary Display Driver which states:
    AMD has moved a number of DX9 ATI Radeon graphics accelerators products to a legacy driver support structure. This change impacts Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Linux distributions. AMD has moved to a legacy software support structure for these graphics accelerator products in an effort to better focus development resources on future products.
    Code:
    The following products have been moved to the legacy software support structure (including Mobile and All-in-Wonder Variants):
     
    ATI Radeon 9500 Series
    ATI Radeon 9550 Series
    ATI Radeon 9600 Series
    ATI Radeon 9700 Series
    ATI Radeon 9800 Series
    ATI Radeon X300 Series
    ATI Radeon X550 Series
    ATI Radeon X600 Series
    ATI Radeon X700 Series
    ATI Radeon X800 Series
    ATI Radeon X850 Series
    ATI Radeon X1050 Series
    ATI Radeon X1300 Series
    ATI Radeon X1550 Series
    ATI Radeon X1600 Series
    ATI Radeon X1650 Series
    ATI Radeon X1800 Series
    ATI Radeon X1900 Series
    ATI Radeon Xpress Series
    ATI Radeon X1200 Series
    ATI Radeon X1250 Series
    ATI Radeon X2100 Series
    AMD may periodically provide Windows XP and Windows Vista driver updates (for the products listed above) for critical fixes only. No new features will be provided in future driver updates. The Linux ATI Catalyst driver will only be supported in Linux distributions prior to February 2009 for the legacy products listed above.

    Any customers using a combination of a ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series, ATI Radeon HD 3000 Series, or ATI Radeon HD 4000 Series product with any of the legacy products listed above in a single PC system must use the ATI Catalyst 9.3 or earlier driver. All future ATI Catalyst releases made available past the ATI Catalyst 9.3 release will not include support for the legacy products listed above or any of the features associated with those legacy products.
    Also note the Catalyst 9.3 release does not work well with the latest kernels. From what I recall the 2.6.31 kernel (in openSUSE-11.2) does not work well with the Catalyst-9.3, hence one is looking at using an older openSUSE release if one wishes to use the Catalyst-9.3. Fortunately, SIGNIFICANT advances have been made in the Open Source "radeon" driver, and openSUSE-11.3 (due in mid-July-2010) promises to have a superb implementation of the open source radeon driver.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bardobrave View Post
    My question is... there is now a safe way to install fglrx driver into an 11.2 version for older chipsets or should I stay with the radeon one?
    Hence for graphic drivers with your X800 AGP, stay with the radeon open source driver, and then shortly after openSUSE-11.3 is out in the summer (say wait until Aug or Sep) update to 11.3. The radeon driver in 11.3 is SIGNFICANTLY superior to the radeon driver in 11.2. SIGNIFICANTLY. UPDATE: Jan-2011: openSUSE-11.4 is due out in mid-March-2011 and it should have an even superior implementation of the "radeon driver". Hence it is recommended that 11.4 be used by users with older ATI legacy hardware

    If you need help with more guidance here, please start a new thread. This is not intended to be an interactive help thread, for if it was it would be impossible for users to read. Instead I request that help posts be posted in Hardware.

    Thanks !
    Last edited by oldcpu; 02-Jan-2011 at 03:01. Reason: Updated to reflect openSUSE-11.4 in May-2011

  9. #19

    Default Re: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users

    Ok, thanks a lot!


  10. #20
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    Default Re: openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users

    I am proposing to update this "openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide For Users" and move it to the READ ONLY FAQ area of our forum.

    Note this guide is NOT intended to be a new user hand holding nor simple new user setup guide. I don't dispute such a hand holding guide may be useful, but that is NOT my intent here. Rather this is intended to be a slightly more complex general theory guide to benefit all users : new (with some Linux already), average, and advanced (but who may be weak on graphics basics).

    As part of the move, I plan to clean up the structure a bit, but keep the same material. The new READONLY FAQ would look like (with each number below a separate post in the thread of the Guide):

    That is the current planned contents and its almost the same as the existing Practical Graphic Card Theory Guide with just (1) an index, and (2) a change in order of the posts.

    This guide also to a certain extent represents the state of my knowledge, and to go beyond this in content is likely not something I have the knowledge to do. Hence while suggestions are welcome, technical additions will need to include the EXACT proposal, and not just some general statement. For example, the Via/Chrome parts were provided by user Consused.
    Last edited by oldcpu; 13-May-2010 at 01:09.

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