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Thread: Video drivers progessively broken with updates

  1. #1

    Default Video drivers progessively broken with updates

    I once had rock solid systems running opensuse. The hardware hasn't changed, but the system certainly has. The last time I could describe my systems as rock solid, was before the more or less forced move to KDE4. They've been anything but solid since, and it seems the more updates, the more things that get broken. It's getting very old, to the point that I've now signed up here to make this post.

    I have two systems involved (a third is my server, so far unaffected). I have a desktop system that I built (4 years ago) on an Asus motherboard using an Nvidia chipset. The second is a laptop, a Lenovo T500 with both ATI and Intel graphics.

    First, the upgrade to 11.4 broke the ATI video on the laptop. Tried everything, the proprietary ATI driver as well as the radeon driver. Learned online about adding the 'nomodeset' option, which got the video to work...if I could put up with random freezes, jerky video, and a desktop that refreshed in waves. Broken. Period. Gave up, switched the system one last time to the Intel graphics and never looked back. The ATI graphics on that laptop is unusable. Fortunately, I had the option of Intel or the laptop would still be unusable to me.

    On the other hand, the upgrade to 11.4 on my desktop system running nvidia graphics went without a hitch. I was even pondering the idea of seeing if I could swap out the ATI graphics on the laptop for an Nvidia board.

    Then came this weekend's updates, which broke the Nvidia drivers. Yes, it would still boot up to a desktop, but I had a black desktop background and all of the configuration windows I opened came up completely black. Spent a couple of hours removing/reinstalling drivers. Uninstalled the Nvidia drivers and reinstalled. Switched to the open source drivers. After numerous attempts, with the system unable to boot to X at all at points, I finally achieved an apparently functioning system with the nouveau driver.

    If the objective of the developers involved is to drive people away from linux and/or render opensuse unusable, well, they are doing a wonderful job. If I were not the technically inclined individual I am, I would have had no choice with either of these cases but to abandon the operating system for something else. It's ridiculous and counterproductive.

    I recall a number of years ago, users online complaining that the pursuit of Windows users was harming the stability and reliability that drew most of us to linux in the first place. I've come to agree with them. It seems that in the reckless push for more and more 'eye candy', more and more of the system is either broken or rendered less stable than before. This IS NOT PROGRESS!!!

  2. #2
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    Smile Re: Video drivers progessively broken with updates

    I once had rock solid systems running opensuse. The hardware hasn't changed, but the system certainly has. The last time I could describe my systems as rock solid, was before the more or less forced move to KDE4. They've been anything but solid since, and it seems the more updates, the more things that get broken. It's getting very old, to the point that I've now signed up here to make this post.

    I have two systems involved (a third is my server, so far unaffected). I have a desktop system that I built (4 years ago) on an Asus motherboard using an Nvidia chipset. The second is a laptop, a Lenovo T500 with both ATI and Intel graphics.

    First, the upgrade to 11.4 broke the ATI video on the laptop. Tried everything, the proprietary ATI driver as well as the radeon driver. Learned online about adding the 'nomodeset' option, which got the video to work...if I could put up with random freezes, jerky video, and a desktop that refreshed in waves. Broken. Period. Gave up, switched the system one last time to the Intel graphics and never looked back. The ATI graphics on that laptop is unusable. Fortunately, I had the option of Intel or the laptop would still be unusable to me.

    On the other hand, the upgrade to 11.4 on my desktop system running nvidia graphics went without a hitch. I was even pondering the idea of seeing if I could swap out the ATI graphics on the laptop for an Nvidia board.

    Then came this weekend's updates, which broke the Nvidia drivers. Yes, it would still boot up to a desktop, but I had a black desktop background and all of the configuration windows I opened came up completely black. Spent a couple of hours removing/reinstalling drivers. Uninstalled the Nvidia drivers and reinstalled. Switched to the open source drivers. After numerous attempts, with the system unable to boot to X at all at points, I finally achieved an apparently functioning system with the nouveau driver.

    If the objective of the developers involved is to drive people away from linux and/or render opensuse unusable, well, they are doing a wonderful job. If I were not the technically inclined individual I am, I would have had no choice with either of these cases but to abandon the operating system for something else. It's ridiculous and counterproductive.

    I recall a number of years ago, users online complaining that the pursuit of Windows users was harming the stability and reliability that drew most of us to linux in the first place. I've come to agree with them. It seems that in the reckless push for more and more 'eye candy', more and more of the system is either broken or rendered less stable than before. This IS NOT PROGRESS!!!
    As I see it, there are a few things here in play:

    1. Computer Technology never stands still. Disconnect your system from the Internet and the old stuff you started with will still work as it did.
    2. Updates to the kernel and other components are required for security reasons and to support ever new hardware, changing at a really fast pace.
    3. Kernel Updates upset proprietary video drivers. They often must be reloaded. Further, changes in open source drivers continue to get better, but they are far from perfect. The video driver mess is not the result of anything the Linux community has done wrong.
    4. You do not live in a static world, but you must change with the technology.
    5. As disheartening as this might all seem, you have this very forum to help you through these issues as best we can. We empathize and sympathize with you and we will do our very best to help you through any jam you get in.

    Thank You,
    My Blog: https://forums.opensuse.org/blogs/jdmcdaniel3/

    Software efficiency halves every 18 months, thus compensating for Moore's Law

    Its James again from Austin, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Video drivers progessively broken with updates

    On Mon, 02 May 2011 06:36:02 +0530, brolin9
    <brolin9@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:

    > If the objective of the developers involved is to drive people away
    > from linux and/or render opensuse unusable, well, they are doing a
    > wonderful job. If I were not the technically inclined individual I am, I
    > would have had no choice with either of these cases but to abandon the
    > operating system for something else. It's ridiculous and
    > counterproductive.
    > I recall a number of years ago, users online complaining that the
    > pursuit of Windows users was harming the stability and reliability that
    > drew most of us to linux in the first place. I've come to agree with
    > them. It seems that in the reckless push for more and more 'eye candy',
    > more and more of the system is either broken or rendered less stable
    > than before. This IS NOT PROGRESS!!!



    i beg to disagree: this is exactly progress. it isn't always free of
    growing pains, but as jdmcdaniel3 wrote, things do progress, and while
    it's not nice to leave some of the older hardware, or users who don't want
    their software to change, behind, the other option would be to disregard
    most hard- and software improvements that are being made these days.

    that decision, to maintain the old stuff or support the new, is made due
    to business interests where for-profit companies are involved, and due to
    the preference of the developers -- i don't think the latter any less than
    the first. it's probably more sexy to work on the newest, fastest,
    whatever machines than maintain outdated equipment, for those who decide
    that's good & fast enough for the work they have to do.

    that group, the "oldies," are far from extinct though. you can see them in
    these forums here, even though the general direction of openSUSE seems to
    be a compromise that's tilted towards "progress." that's neither
    surprising, nor a disaster. for one, there's efforts within openSUSE to
    maintain older versions of reliable software, and there are other distros
    with a pronounced focus on stability and reluctance to change. i'm running
    virtual machines with debian, using KDE 4.5 & KDE 3.5 (trinity), which are
    functioning well and receive only few updates. (there's other distros of
    course that i don't know first hand.)

    perhaps openSUSE isn't the right distro for you -- it isn't meant for
    everyone; but saying that there is no choice for less technically inclined
    users than to leave the operating system, is bull. openSUSE is a distro,
    not an operating system; there's plenty of easily installable, solid
    distros using the GNU/linux operating system that wait a lot longer before
    adopting new changes than oS. and if none of the distros went after the
    latest development, i'm sure the outcry of those who want to take
    advantage of these developments would be much louder than what we hear
    from the "oldies" now.


    --
    phani.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Video drivers progessively broken with updates

    Quote Originally Posted by brolin9 View Post
    If the objective of the developers involved is to drive people away from linux and/or render opensuse unusable, well, they are doing a wonderful job. If I were not the technically inclined individual I am, I would have had no choice with either of these cases but to abandon the operating system for something else. It's ridiculous and counterproductive.
    My understanding is the structure of the kernel and the way that the graphic drivers have been integrated, together with design decisions taken with X, makes it difficult if one is using PROPRIETARY graphic drivers in Linux. If one is using openSource drivers, this problem does not happen.

    Of course the performance of open source drivers is poor (2x to 10x slower) than proprietary drivers (according to Phoronix) and even the proprietary drivers (in Linux) are 2x to 3x slower than their MS-Windows counter parts.

    The efforts of the developers is mostly spent in improving the open source drivers (because they have NO INPUT to the proprietary drivers).

    What those of use who are VOLUNTEER enthusiasts do, with no technical knowledge to support driver development (and who are paid nothing for our efforts) is try to write guides explaining this a bit better. Now as any one at work (where I work) will tell you, I am the worlds worst documentation writer, ... but still, ..... in the effort of contributing to graphics, I wrote and/or put together a couple of guides that I hope will help a bit in understanding this:




    Note Linux survives by its volunteer contributions. Linux will die with only complaints and no contributions.

    IMHO the best any of us can do here is contribute as much as we can, and when we have a problem like you experienced, we write a bug report. I am assuming you did not write a bug report, which is unfortunate as it means your time was simply wasted. Note a complaint on this forum does not help 1 bit, as this is a volunteer support forum and the developers do NOT visit here.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Video drivers progessively broken with updates

    Further to this thread, I was rushed this morning in getting my reply out and could not say all that I wanted to.

    I want to add, that in order to have the best influence over fixing a situation which one believes to be undesireable, the place to do that is not this forum, but rather it is the appropriate openSUSE mailing list, or appropriate IRC chat channel. There is information on openSUSE communication 'channels' so one can figure out how to communicate via those communication venues: openSUSE:Communication channels - openSUSE

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