Intel 855GM graphics problems w/openSUSE-11.2s 2.6.31 kernel

My wife finally brought her old Fujtisu-Siemens Amilo 7400M laptop home, and I looked into whether it would be safe to install openSUSE-11.2 on the laptop. Currently the laptop has an 11.1 dual boot with winXP.

So I booted to an openSUSE-11.2 KDE4 live CD and the fun started

  • nominal boot freezes
    immediately after the 1st mouse click on the KDE4 display
  • safe settings appeared to freeze
    before X starts (I restarted after a minute - in hindsight I probably was too hasty);
  • pressing F3 and different resolutions (800x600, 1024x768) froze
    at 1st mouse click after X
  • vesa driver selection froze
    at 1st mouse click after X (this surprised me - see later);
  • boot to text mode, ran “sax2 -r -m 0=intel”, then “startx”, PC froze
    at 1st mouse click after X.
  • boot to text mode, copied /etc/X11/xorg.conf from openSUSE-11.1 install, and ran “startx”. PC froze
    at first mouse click after X.
  • boot to text mode, installed xorg-x11-driver-video (which was updated) , then “sax2 -r -m 0=intel” , then “startx” , PC froze
    at 1st mouse click after X.
  • boot to text mode, ran “sax2 -r -m 0=vesa” and PC booted X ok and ran and works in X
    . BUT I don’t want to run vesa on this PC as intel graphic driver works well in 11.1.
    I then went to openSUSE bugzilla and found this bug report: https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=555619

ie its a known problem, and SuSE-GmbH does not have a solution. But the openSUSE bug report https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=555619 was closed/resolved by SuSE-GmbH as this is viewed as an Intel graphic driver problem. They don’t try to solve Intel problems.

I then went to the freedesktop.org site, and found this post: https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=24789
in essence Ubuntu and other distributions besides openSUSE have a problem with the old Intel 855GM graphics with the latest Intel graphic driver. There is no indication if Intel will try to solve this.

The site noted the boot code “acpi=off” works. So I tried that, and the laptop appeared to freeze during boot at the line:


Set System Time to the current Hardware Clock 
[48.545622]rtc_cmos 00:05: rtc core; registered rtc_cmos as rtc0
[48.545810]rtc0: alarms up to one day, 114 bytes nvram

This was the same “freeze” I saw with safe mode.

So I left the PC there, and started documenting this problem, when after some unknown time (maybe 5 minutes) the PC started booting again ! So it was not frozen at that point, it was just unresponsive, and then carried on after an unknown time period (I need to time ). The PC then booted to the openSUSE-11.2 KDE4 liveCD, and with thie “acpi=off” setting worked.

The bug report noted a user could not get their wireless working with the “acpi=off” setting. So that was the 1st thing I tested with the liveCD. I went to YaST and configured the Intel wireless (an IPW-2100) on this laptop. The wireless worked fine !

I ran " /usr/sbin/hwinfo | grep gfxcard " which confirmed an intel graphic driver was loaded.** I then tried to enable special desktop effects, but it failed**. I note with the openSUSE-11.1 KDE-4.3.2 community liveCD, special desktop effects works fine. So the Intel graphic driver is not as good in 11.2 as it was in 11.1.

So thats where I am. I do not know if I want to install 11.2. It does appear it will work, with the Intel graphics driver with acpi=OFF, … but I don’t know if I want to run the laptop with that “acpi=off” setting if I don’t understand it. I need to figure out better as to what that means. Plus the desktop effects are not available with 11.2 (or so it seems).

The laptop currently has openSUSE-11.1 with KDE-3.5.10. I may just install openSUSE-11.1 with KDE-4.3.2 on it (and then update it to 4.3.4). I note the clone mode to drive an Extenal projector NEVER worked with KDE-3.5.10 on that laptop. But it appears xrandr may work with the Intel driver and KDE-4.3.2.

If I don’t install either 11.1 (KDE4) or 11.2 on the laptop tonight (Fri PM), tomorrow (Sat) or Sunday, then I will not have another opportunity for a couple of months, as my wife will take the laptop back to the office and keep it there for a while. She stands shiftwork, so the window for installation on that laptop is small.

A minor, but interesting dilemma. To install or not to install. … and to install what? 11.1 w/KDE4? 11.2 ? and what are the limitations with ‘acpi=off’.

It did not take me much thinking to come up with what is the solution for me.

Since I know 11.1 will work, and I have doubts that I will be able to tune 11.2 the way I want (for the Intel driver), I simply installed 11.1 on the PC again, using the community openSUSE-11.1 KDE-4.3.2 live CD. “KDE Four Live” CD](http://home.kde.org/~binner/kde-four-live/)

Once installed, I then added this repository:

http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/43/openSUSE_11.1/

I selected to update to all new versions, and had 2 dependency conflicts to resolve. I ended up downgrading libqca2 and qt4-qtscript (making notes as to what I did so I could reverse if need be). Then I proceeded with the update to KDE-4.3.4.

What can I say? KDE-4.3.4 works well with 11.1 on this laptop. Better than KDE-3.5.10 for what my wife and I use this laptop for. Special desktop effects work well.

However, for the diehard KDE3 users, on openSUSE-11.1 there is a liveCD from which one can install KDE-3.5.10: Carlos Gonçalves: Unofficial KDE 3.5 Live CD for openSUSE 11.1

… and in the mean time, I’ll keep watching to see if Intel come out with a fix of their graphic driver for the 855GM for the newer 2.6.31 kernel …

I have laptop with similar Intel GMA, it would not boot any 2.6.31 kernel, apparently locking up in or just after PCI scanning. https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=556912

I found Fedora 12 can boot on the machine, presumably including some fix that hasn’t made it into mainline yet. So might be interesting to try Fedora Live CD and see if the problem has been solved there already.

Think I’d rather run 11.1 than 11.2 with acpi=off, particularly on a laptop you want power management features.

Indeed … if I get a chance I’ll also give that a try, as I am curious to read if any distro with a new kernel has a fix for the 855GM. Its been a while since I last looked at a Fedora release.

Nope! Fedora 12 freezes also on the Intel 855GM. Your PC likely has a different Intel graphic hardware.

I downloaded the Fedora-12-i686-Live.iso file, did the appropriate checksums per the guidance on the Fedora site, burned to a high quality CD at a low speed, and then proceded to attempt a boot on the laptop. It froze, with similar symptoms to what happens with openSUSE-11.2.

Moving to Fedora-12 for this hardware is definitely NOT a solution for the Intel 855GM graphics. One WILL get a freeze on Fedora 12.

Mine is not useable even in text mode.

Did you try “i915.modeset=0” boot parameter to disable KMS?

Thought Fedora might be worth a try as they have solved least some laptop problems with latest kernel, and generally been active on introduction of KMS and using newer version of X in their release.

Also (obviously) if there’s a known fix for a problem in another distro, it usually helps fix for openSUSE.

I finally got around to looking at the Intel web site and noted this bug report: [i855GM] Freeze shortly after Startup, mouse still moves](https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=25325) Thus far no developer has responded to this bug report which appears IMHO to be a duplicate of [i855GM] Freeze shortly after X startup](https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=24789) and again, thus far no developer has responded to the original bug report, although many users are fortunately providing more details to help characterize the problem’s symptoms.

I could not find my reply to this.

That boot code does not help with the 855GM.

Indeed, … unfortunately Fedora has the same freeze problem.

Another bug report on same problem (and same laptop):[i855] Fujistu Siemens Amilo M7400 : Freeze shortly after X startup](https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=25086)
again, a probable duplicate bug report

Hi,
On a question like this I really wonder weather the bug report should instead be sent to the fellas working on the xorg xserver.

my point has to do with the fact that I recently read a thread stating that support for alot of earlier ATI cards has been dropped by ATI(AMD) at SUSE 11.2 because of changes to the xserver. This appears to be also hapening with Intel chips.

Also does any one know what is the advantage of an almost nonexistant config file for an xserver?

I do not recall reading of Intel stopping in providing support for their hardware. Typically Intel do provide reasonable open source free software support, albeit they can be pretty slow at times in providing the support. I think they still support all of the hardware although I note support for the Intel i810 driver is supposed to stop (although that driver is still contained within xorg-x11-driver-video rpm).

I am a user, and not a developer, and I find one of the things that is difficult is finding out just where to write the bug reposts to get the best reaction. IMHO it may be worth while creating a central “bug report” wiki/how-to, that points to the various buzilla/bug reporting forums for the various hardware that openSUSE users like to use.

Are you referring to the move by the “xorg” software developers to move away from there being a requirement to have xorg.conf configuration file? If so, my understanding is the intention is to move to having one’s graphic device more automatically configured. Hence in such a case (if it works) then such a configuration file would not be needed.

As it stands now in openSUSE-11.2, for many graphic devices (but not all, unfortunately) the xorg.conf file is not needed. BUT if one puts in place an xorg.conf file, it will be used instead of the automatic graphic probe and configuration of xorg.

I do not recall reading of Intel stopping in providing support for their hardware. Typically Intel do provide reasonable open source free software support, albeit they can be pretty slow at times in providing the support. I think they still support all of the hardware although I note support for the Intel i810 driver is supposed to stop (although that driver is still contained within xorg-x11-driver-video rpm).

I am a user, and not a developer, and I find one of the things that is difficult is finding out just where to write the bug reposts to get the best reaction. IMHO it may be worth while creating a central “bug report” wiki/how-to, that points to the various buzilla/bug reporting forums for the various hardware that openSUSE users like to use.

Obviously I am not that great at making my point clear, what I intended to suggest was that in both the Intel and AMD cases the common denominator appears to be the difference in the xserver version between SUSE11.1 and 11.2

I am writing this from a laptop with an Intel video chip and its performance is beyond what I initially expected.

Old cpu. I am just a user also, to me it seems as though xorg have made changes that may cost us good video drivers from both Intel and AMD. You will not find anyone happier to be found wrong.

Yes, thank you. I have had to work with this file in the past and if it was no longer available! well at a minimum
I would have some learning to do.

I’m very curious if there are other people having the same problem with Intel 855GM chip… - I have the 4-years old Toshiba laptop (M300) with the same video card and curiously I don’t really see such problems with openSUSE 11.2 (well, I have many other, but not with a video card :-))

Reading this post I’m asking myself if it’s not better to downgrade to 11.1 and then upgrade to the latest KDE4 - rather keep 11.2 (I’ve upgraded from 11.0 and comparing to 11.2, the 11.0 is much more “finished” from my point of view…)

Honestly, if we take an average “classic” desktop user - what will he lose if running 11.1 and not 11.2 ?..

Thanks for your help!

Rgds,
-Dimitri

IMHO if openSUSE-11.2 graphics work, and then from strictly a graphics perspective, you should stick with 11.2.

If you have other problems with openSUSE-11.2 other than graphics, where you believe those other problems do not exisit in 11.1, then perhaps start a new thread on those to see if your 11.2 problems can be solved.

From a KDE-4.3.4 perspective only, I believe 11.2 provides a better framework for updating to KDE-4.3.4 than openSUSE-11.1.

I note there are a number of 2.6.32 kernel releases out, not only for openSUSE (as a test kernel) but also in some other live CD releases (such as Sidux). Next time I get my hands on the Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo 7400M laptop with the Intel 855 GM, I hope to try out these other distributions. However I first need to get my hands on the laptop, which is not so easy. Its my wife’s laptop PC, and she will have it at the office for at least another week before I can access it again.

Thanks for sharing this info!

BTW, in 11.0 I’ve used “i810” driver for my video card instead of “intel” as I found it more correct (and I used it before with MEPIS, and at least it worked as expected). But with 11.2 “i810” is no more available, so I’ve adapted myself little bit :slight_smile:

I’ll investigate again and start new topic for other unresolved problems.

Rgds,
-Dimitri

The general consensus on bugzilla for the Intel driver problem, is that it started with a kernel patch as noted here:
http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-2.6.31.y.git;a=commit;h=7abf3aa8294d95e3f0be375f30e8d933f874ada0

… however there does not appear to be any movement to fix this.

Just to close the loop (and redirect the discussion in this thread for now) the discussion on this 855GM problem is continuing now on this pre-release beta-thread on Intel GPU 8xxx issues.