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G3 iBook 900 Help (now an Xorg "fbdev" problem)
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Herri
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Joined: 26 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 1:11 am    Post subject: G3 iBook 900 Help (now an Xorg "fbdev" problem) Reply with quote

The issue at hand is now a non-functional Xorg on a iBook G3 900Mhz Dual-USB, equipped with a Radeon Mobility M7 LW. Scroll below to 5th post to jump to the current relevant discussion.


-----[below is original post, which has been answered and may now be disregarded]-----

Brief introduction...

I used to be an avid Gentoo user back in the day when I ran an Athlon x86 rig-- until the machine died on me and I decided to place myself in the market for a laptop. My ultimate decision was that I came to choose the iBook (out of much curiosity about OS X, and the price happened to be right up my alley). Sadly, this marked the end of my Gentoo days... since over time OS X really _grew_ on me.

So now, after nearly two years of being on the Mac, I've figured that it was time to re-evaluate Linux as a primary OS once more. But before I make any sort of migration, I need some answers to a few lingering questions I have about my hardware/setup.

1) Dual-monitor/Xinerama. How well is it supported on the iBook? I constantly swap between single-head display (when I'm on the road) to dual-head display w/ my 19" CRT (when I'm at home). And occasionally, I do video-mirroring with my TV when I want to watch movies. Will it be possible to switch between these modes on-the-fly? Do I put DRI acceleration at risk in using dual-head mode, and if so, does it imply significant performance loss?

2) How big a partition for Gentoo w/ graphical GNOME, etc. Since I haven't used Linux in what almost seems like ages, I am unaware of how much space a Linux install + GUI takes. If somebody has a clue to how much space the fully installed system takes, and approximately how much space was required in /var to compile everything, that too would be much appreciated. I'm working with only 40GB at my disposal, and I ran into space issues having only one OS on it (I got like 20GB of mp3's and various other work/media files eating up space).

3) Does anybody have any advisable methods for sharing files b/w OS X and Gentoo? I've heard some people recommend formating the /home partition as HFS or HFS+ ought to do the trick. The only problem I can forsee is with the fstab of OS X via MOL not being able to mount file-systems mounted within Linux (but I've never actually used MOL to know what kind of issues may await me).

4) Regarding the "right-click." Is it possible for pbuttons to map "ctrl+click" to right-click (just like Mac OS X handles it). This is a mechanic I've become so used to, I can't imagine not having the option in Linux. Well, I got a USB mouse so this shouldn't bother me so much.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!


Last edited by Herri on Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:31 am; edited 6 times in total
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quatsch
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Joined: 24 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

here are my two cents.

1. I don't know about dual display/xinerama but I think there's a good chance it will work reasonably well.

2. space. My gentoo installation with xfce4 desktop plus kde-base, openoffice, mozilla firefox, thunderbird, and a few more useful things takes 4.7GB. My guess is that a fucntional gnome desktop will take about this much space as well. The portage tree with distfiles of all the installed packages is 1.6GB. Openoffice needs about 3GB of free space to compile (according to some remark on openoffice.org's website) but most other things should need significantly less.

3. sharing between os x and linux. If you want to share while both are running, i.e. linux +mol, I think the easiest way to do is via NFS. It's not hard to set up (just google for howtos) and this way you can share mounted partitions. If you are not going to share while both are up and running, I think the best is using fat32 for a shared data partitions. HFS+ under linux still seems to have problems - I've had things like hfs+ partitions becoming suddenly unmountable under os x and such.

4. I don't think it can be done. but you can emulate right and middle click with key combinations. It's in the gentoo ppc faqs.
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JoseJX
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Joined: 28 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll try to fill in the blanks. :)

1. Yeah, it's possible, there are a few forum posts about it, with various levels of sucess, but it is possible.
2. Echoing what quatsch said, it's definitely possible to use a much smaller space if you don't need the overhead of having the portage tree and /var/tmp/portage with root. I've got gentoo installed on an 8500/180 on a 1.2 Gig disk, but it mounts the tree via NFS. If you're going to keep your tree and do your compiling in your root, figure on at least 5 Gigs, probably at least 8 if you're going to be compiling OO.o.
3. HFS+ support (both read and write) is pretty stable in current kernels. I have had no problems. In addition, as mentioned on the PPC FAQ page, you can get ext3 support for OSX which is also pretty mature. Again, I've had no problems. If you need compatibility with windows as well, then FAT32 is your best bet, otherwise stick with a better filesystem. :)
4. quatsch is right, you can't do ctl + click. You could look into mouseemu, but again, I'm not sure if that suits your needs.
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quatsch
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Joined: 24 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just a quick afterthought.

the problems I've had with hfs+ support in linux was with external drives. No problems with drives in the computer itself. I think it has to do with mounting/unmounting that can happen improperly very easily with an external drive.
The same is true with the ext2 support under os x (google for the sourcefrge page). It's very picky about file system taht weren't unmounted cleanly so it's not very good for external drives, I found - it won't unmount it cleanly if you drag the drive icon into the trash like it does with hfs+ file system: you have to use the special software that comes with the ext2 driver for os x.
Other than that, yeah, fat32 is a really dumb file system and hfs+ is a bit better but is case-insensitive.
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Herri
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Joined: 26 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 6:52 am    Post subject: Xorg failing (failed to load module "fbdev") Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips you guys. Unfortunately, in setting up, I've encountered extreme difficulties in simply getting Xorg to display properly (I get a black screen that starts filling with horizontal lines and starts saturating with color). I had this graphic display problem booting from the Gentoo 2005.0 LiveCD with any video setting other than 'video=ofonly' and this is what I suspect is preventing my Xorg from running at all. After running 'Xorg -configure' I get the following error message:

Code:
(EE) failed to load module "fbdev"
...
(EE) RADEON(0): Cannot read V_BIOS (5)


I've been jumping around different kernel configs and checking the forums but still couldn't find a solution. The most relevant info I could find were in these two threads:

https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=194025
https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=200680

I followed their suggestions but still no luck. They suggested compiling the drivers for apggart, uninorth-agp, and radeon, as modules and adding them to modules.autoload (or modprobe-ing them) before running Xorg, but for my system, it was still no go.

Aside from Gentoo, I even tested Ubuntu 5.04 and had the same problems. Any suggestions?

Config Files:

http://herri.andrewvc.com/kernel-2.6-10.conf (gentoo-sources)
http://herri.andrewvc.com/xorg.conf (my config)
http://herri.andrewvc.com/xorg.conf.new (Xorg -configure)
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Herri
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I use driver "fbdev" in my xorg.conf, Xorg seems to run, although it's a blue garbled mess... I'm almost thinking about giving up on Linux.
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