Stumped by 11.2 Xorg ATI driver: Live vs Installed System

Hi forum members,
I’m encountering a strange issue while trying 11.2, which I’m very much impressed with so far. First I tried the LiveCD, which is quite fast (one of the fastest ever) on my system Thinkpad T43.
The desktop effects were enabled by default and worked quite well with no problems.

However, after installing onto the hard disk, now the desktop effects are disabled by default and so is compositing. If I try to enable the effects, they don’t work properly. OpenGL mode causes streaks upon moving the windows, while XRender mode causes window min/maximizing to become very slow.

Edit- here’s lspci output:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc M22 [Mobility Radeon X300]
The card is correctly detected in both Live and installed modes.

In other words, things were working perfectly on the LiveCD, but no more after installing to disk. This is strange behaviour. Any ideas/ help?

much appreciated,
a59

You can download the driver here
ATI Catalyst™ Proprietary Display Driver

Or try the easy route
Additional Package Repositories - openSUSE

Well, if you’ve just installed 11.2, you’ll be using the open source radeon driver. Did you have the proprietary fglrx driver installed with the last version?

Curious, what does this command report?

/usr/sbin/hwinfo --gfxcard

Thanks, saf and Deano.

I’m using X’s open driver with this graphics card, ATI X300. The card is no longer supported by ATI proprietary drivers since it is now listed under legacy status. So, using proprietary driver is not an option.

Here’s the output of hwinfo command that Deano asked-

/usr/sbin/hwinfo --gfxcard
25: PCI 100.0: 0300 VGA compatible controller (VGA)
[Created at pci.318]
UDI: /org/freedesktop/Hal/devices/pci_1002_5460
Unique ID: VCu0.C8F0NoKFYL7
Parent ID: vSkL.JY+tByaIKx4
SysFS ID: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:01.0/0000:01:00.0
SysFS BusID: 0000:01:00.0
Hardware Class: graphics card
Model: “ATI Radeon Mobility M300 (M22) 5460 (PCIE)”
Vendor: pci 0x1002 “ATI Technologies Inc”
Device: pci 0x5460 “Radeon Mobility M300 (M22) 5460 (PCIE)”
SubVendor: pci 0x1014 “IBM”
SubDevice: pci 0x056e
Memory Range: 0xc0000000-0xc7ffffff (rw,prefetchable)
I/O Ports: 0x3000-0x3fff (rw)
Memory Range: 0xb0100000-0xb010ffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
Memory Range: 0xb0120000-0xb013ffff (ro,prefetchable,disabled)
IRQ: 16 (75544 events)
I/O Ports: 0x3c0-0x3df (rw)
Module Alias: “pci:v00001002d00005460sv00001014sd0000056Ebc03sc00i00”
Driver Info #0:
XFree86 v4 Server Module: radeon
XF86Config Entry: Option “MonitorLayout” “LVDS,AUTO”
Driver Info #1:
XFree86 v4 Server Module: radeon
3D Support: yes
Extensions: dri
Config Status: cfg=no, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
Attached to: #11 (PCI bridge)

Primary display adapter: #25

If it is any help/ relevance, here is some output from glxinfo
name of display: :0.0
display: :0 screen: 0
direct rendering: Yes
server glx vendor string: SGI
server glx version string: 1.2

client glx vendor string: SGI
client glx version string: 1.4

OpenGL vendor string: DRI R300 Project
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI R300 (RV380 5460) 20090101 x86/MMX/SSE2 TCL
OpenGL version string: 1.5 Mesa 7.6

Thanks for the info.

I’m using X’s open driver with this graphics card, ATI X300. The card is no longer supported by ATI proprietary drivers since it is now listed under legacy status. So, using proprietary driver is not an option.

I was aware of this - I have exactly the same chipset. However, isn’t the legacy (proprietary) driver still ok to install with openSUSE 11.2? I just thought ‘legacy’ meant it was not being developed further…

Hi Deano, I’m sure there’d be many of us in this boat right now. As I understand, currently the newer Xorg 1.6 and above does not work properly with the older ATI proprietary drivers. There exist non-standard workarounds (see Ubuntu forums), but not without issues.

In short, the only other reasonable choice is to go back to older kernel and older Xorg and then install proprietary ATI driver. Not a rosy sceanrio, I’m afraid.

My wife’s PC has legacy ATI hardware. The openGL ati driver works well on her legacy hardware with special desktop effects (cube rotation and such) under openSUSE-11.1, and I plan to try 11.2 this weekend on that PC. Do you have reason to believe the openGL driver is also not functional with 11.2 ?

So your point is noted, but IMHO if the ati openGL driver works with 11.2, then dependent on the legacy hardware there are more options than what you point out.

Hello, oldcpu. By openGL driver, are you referring to the open & free driver that Xorg uses? I’m afraid the ignorance here is mine as I’m not sure what the correct terms are.

Here’s the summary of my experience with open driver in 11.2:

  • Live CD- Works very well. Desktop effects are enabled by default, and they work flawlessly and fast. I was almost blown 'cause I never had it so good with my X300 on Linux. Eg,cover switch worked very well. Did not try desktop cube.
  • HDD install- open driver works very well in 2D mode with desktop effects and compositing set to off. The effects and compositing are off by default, and enabling them leads to sloow and unuseable graphics.

Here’s the summary of my experience with open driver in 11.2:

  • Live CD- Works very well. Desktop effects are enabled by default, and they work flawlessly and fast. I was almost blown 'cause I never had it so good with my X300 on Linux. Eg,cover switch worked very well. Did not try desktop cube.
  • HDD install- open driver works very well in 2D mode with desktop effects and compositing set to off. The effects and compositing are off by default, and enabling them leads to sloow and unuseable graphics.

Hmmm… I wonder why the difference in performance? I’m guessing both used the radeon driver (as reported by hwinfo --gfxcard). I plan to try 11.2 out in a few days.

Yes, by the openGL driver, I am referring to the open & free driver that Xorg uses.

My limited understanding is for ATI there are various drivers:

  • fglrx = proprietary driver - not supported any more for legacy
  • radeonhd = open source openGL driver for ati radeonhd devices
  • radeon = open source openGL driver for radeon device (not including the radeonhd above)
  • ati = opensource openGL driver for ati devices that are neither radeon nor radeonhd

I think I have that correct. I think there may be other ati open source drivers.

Up until (and including) openSUSE-11.1, it was standard for one’s PC’s graphic configuration to be configured in an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. However xorg are moving away from requiring that file, and the latest openSUSE-11.2 reflects that policy. As of openSUSE-11.2, that xorg.conf file is no longer a requirement in many cases.

It is still possible to run sax2 program in 11.2 (from menu, or from terminal/run-level-3) to create an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file that will still be used to configure one’s graphics (although as noted, for many cases it is not needed - note there is an entry in the openSUSE-11.2 release notes about this). A typical sax2 command from run level 3, for one of those drivers (noted above) would be (if one has only one graphic device one one’s PC):
sax2 -r -m 0=radeon
and in this example, that would configure the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file for the radeon openGL ati driver.

There is also work going on per this web site: Mesa Home Page but I do not track that so do not know the details nor what it means to the average user.

deano ferrari wrote:

>> Here’s the summary of my experience with open driver in 11.2:
>> * Live CD- Works very well. Desktop effects are enabled by default, and
>> they work flawlessly and fast. I was almost blown 'cause I never had it
>> so good with my X300 on Linux. Eg,cover switch worked very well. Did not
>> try desktop cube.
>> * HDD install- open driver works very well in 2D mode with desktop
>> effects and compositing set to off. The effects and compositing are off
>> by default, and enabling them leads to sloow and unuseable graphics.
>
> Hmmm… I wonder why the difference in performance? I’m guessing both
> used the radeon driver (as reported by hwinfo --gfxcard). I plan to try
> 11.2 out in a few days.

As I’ve reported here before, the open driver as issued with 11.2 is buggy.
Have you installed the corrected driver?

See https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=547603 #18 for fixed
drivers.

Note that the version numbers seem a bit odd - YAST thinks they’re older
than the buggy versions - so that they won’t install automatically by adding
the repository.


Graham P Davis, Bracknell, Berks., UK. E-mail: newsman not newsboy
“I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.”

Thanks. I may do an install of 11.2 on my wife’s PC this afternoon, and her PC uses the openGL driver. But her PC uses a legacy driver (I believe) and not radeonhd.

From the bugzilla link you provide this appears specific to users who use the “radeonhd” driver. I believe radeonhd is not legacy, and hence the proprietary ATI driver should also work for radeonhd hardware in addition to the updated radeonhd openGL driver.

Anyway, for those who wish to use the radeonhd openGL driver, what appears important is comment#18:

------- Comment #18 From Stefan Dirsch 2009-11-06 14:29:21 MST (-) -------
Latest change:


Fri Nov 6 14:24:21 CET 2009 - eich@suse.de

  • Updated driver:
    …]
    • Disable DRI/Acceleration for R6XX and up until fix for lockups is found.

http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/Drivers:/Video/openSUSE_Factory/i586/xorg-x11-driver-video-radeonhd-1.3.0_20091106_619706-2.1.i586.rpm

http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/Drivers:/Video/openSUSE_Factory/x86_64/xorg-x11-driver-video-radeonhd-1.3.0_20091106_619706-2.1.x86_64.rpm
I note those are in factory, but presumeably they will eventually migrate to the 11.2 Update repository.

I have the same problem with the radeon driver (not radeonhd) with an ATI Radeon X600 SE. If desktops effects are turned on, the system gets glitches and becomes unstable, freezing completely quite often.

I hope this will be fixe very soon.

From what others have posted concerning openSUSE 11.2 and ATI hardware like mine (Mobility X300 chipset), losing the proprietary driver performance is not to be considered lightly. I’m not ready to replace this laptop yet.

It seems I have not reported the issue correctly. I think my erroneous perception on the LiveCD was due to the fact that there was a white background window that hid streaking caused in the OpenGL mode.

I stand corrected now. There are no discrepancies in the LiveCD and the HDD installed systems. With desktop effects turned on with the open ATI driver, both encounter streaking and slowness in OpenGL mode. In XRender mode, the streaking is gone but the sluggishness persists.

I ought to have tested better and hallucinated less, so my apologies for the confusion. However, there are issues with compositing in the open ATI drivers with this version of Xorg- hopefully that will improve with newer versions. I’ll watch my updates with interest.

If I can find how to mark this thread resolved, I shall. Many thanks to all who chimed in with their helpful replies.

I am encountering the same issue with my Radeon X1600. When I enable desktop effects (especially wobble windows), system hangs totally. But desk effects worked well on opensuse 11.1, for which I installed ati proprietary driver.

I am upgrading to RadeonHD 4670 and will test the proprietary driver.

I installed 11.2 on my wife’s PC, and the openGL “radeon” driver on hers runs fine on 11.2 without special desktop effects, but as soon as one enables special desktop effects, it has problems and the effects don’t work well (or not at all). Previous she had 11.1 w/KDE-4.3.2 and special desktop effects ran ok with 11.1’s openGL radeon driver.

I applied the radeonhd d xorg-x11-driver-video-radeonhd rpm from factory (referenced above) but as noted, its for radeonhd and not radeon, and had no discernible improvement on my wife’s PC. This is not a major issue, as my wife runs WinXP most the time on that PC, and when she does boot to Linux she does not use the special desktop effects.

Still, hopefully an openGL radeon driver update will be coming soon.

Still, hopefully an openGL radeon driver update will be coming soon.
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I hope you’re right oldcpu. Disappointing that so many 3D capable cards (many of which are not that old), are effectively being crippled by limited drivers.