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timotheus25
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:36 am    Post subject: Aluminum powerbook low-level config. tips, tricks, and hacks Reply with quote

Hi all,

I'm in the process of documenting low-level, nitty-gritty, hardware configuration of Gentoo on a first-generation Aluminum Powerbook (15'', 1.25 Ghz, G4). I've torn the machine apart (physically and software-wise) for over 2 years, and am now documenting various configuration details.

http://tstotts.net/linux/gentoopb.html

Some example details currently in my document:

  • SysRq emulation on the ADB keyboard
  • Mapping internal ADB keyboard and external USB Windows keyboard to the same ALT/META positions
  • Merged frame buffer in X11 for dual-head display
  • Optimal CFLAGS for Portage and Kernel


Some example details planned for later addition to my document:

  • BCM43XX (Airport Extreme) automatic TX power savings
  • Bluetooth setup
  • PC Card complete automation
  • Optimal hdparm settings for hard disk and optical
  • Automatic adjustment of fan thresholds (for noise purposes)
  • Automatic USB,NIC,etc. reint after resume from hardware suspend
  • module vs. compiled-in kernel drivers for optimal bootup speed and power savings
  • a lot more, actually...


I'm looking for any questions, contributions, criticisms, etc., that other Aluminum PowerBook users might have, and thought this to be a good place to start. Perhaps you want to tweak something low-level on your Albook, and just don't know how.

(Be warned, I'm only interested in this particular family of PPC laptops: Albook. But this family of laptops is very popular.)
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goku8499
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was looking at your site and you make mention of the r300 driver and not to use it, It was my understanding that quite some time ago the r300 driver moved into the Mesa and DRM trees at x.org.
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timotheus25
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

goku8499 wrote:
I was looking at your site and you make mention of the r300 driver and not to use it, It was my understanding that quite some time ago the r300 driver moved into the Mesa and DRM trees at x.org.


Yes, that is correct. At the time of writing that paragraph, the driver had moved, but was still not very usable. I understand that has changed, and that a lot of people are using it now with success (minus the unimplemented OpenGL calls). I'll update with R300 details as soon as I have an opportunity to upgrade to modular X.

Thanks for the comment.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm curious as to if most of this information can be used in conjunction with a 12" AluBook. I know they've got an nVidia graphics card but most of the other information should still pertain right?
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timotheus25
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shan wrote:
I'm curious as to if most of this information can be used in conjunction with a 12" AluBook. I know they've got an nVidia graphics card but most of the other information should still pertain right?


That's correct. This should be the same for all early AlBooks, minus differences in video card brands. The only difference I know of for the later AlBooks (somewhere near 1.5/1.67 GHz) is that they have USB keyboards and trackpads, rather than ADB keyboards.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Updated with additions:
  • hdparm settings
  • kernel configs
  • r300 dri with xorg-x11 7.1
  • more splashboot details

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Updated with additions:

  • Airport Extreme drivers (bcm43xx -- 4306)
  • Airport Extreme working with standard rc scripts
  • Built-in ethernet, including custom DHCP configuration

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update with additions:

  • power management, auto-load/unload of flaky services/drivers on suspend/resume
  • USB 1.1/2.0
  • Firewire 400/800
  • more system details
  • more on cflags

(Bluetooth to come soon...)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
A working video card driver first appears with either of XFree86 4.4 RC1, or X.org 6.8 . The classic XFree86 4.3 radeon driver will freeze the computer, and then bloom the video card and panel an intense white color, which will eventually (after 30 seconds or so) start the process of frying the video card and panel permanently! Beware; if you see this, immediately shut the machine off.


I have this problem occasionally (about one in every fifty boots) on my newer 1.67Ghz Aluminum Powerbook, right when the kernel tries to initialize console framebuffer. Seeing as how X isn't started by this point, this must be a kernel driver bug. I haven't heard too many reports of this problem, and I am happy to see that it is known. Will it really fry my video card and panel? If so, how do you know? I've been running Gentoo on my powerbook for almost a year now, and this is getting me kinda freaked out!

Thank you,
Jeremy
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timotheus25
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jeremy. There are two potentially damaging effects of radeon driver misbehavior. These effects may be caused by a frame buffer kernel driver, or an X11 driver, or both.

First is the is the out-of-sync issue at display initialization or reset. The display appears like a TV display with rippling pixels, due to the (vertical?) refresh rate being wrong. This issue is due to inconsistent behavior of the PLL probing for fine-tune detection of the frequencies. (On an x86, the BIOS would be consulted, but on non-x86, the video card itself is probed.) This effect is reproducible on-demand, but if you put your panel into DPMS sleep often enough, or switch between frame buffer and DRM modes over and over, it will eventually occur. For me, it happens approximately 1 out of 10 screen blanks. This effect is easy to fix, just switch between X11 and console slowly until the effect disappears. I do not believe that it is damaging so long as it is not allowed to continue for hours of time. Any damage would be caused by the "stress" of operating out of normal parameters, potentially reducing the life.

Second is the white blooming issue, also usually as display initialization of reset, The display freezes all output, very often with only a black output (ie, the display is initializing, reseting from DPMS, switching between X11/console). Then the display gradually glows a white color; on my laptop, usually center-left to the rest of the panel. This blooming effect, if allowed to continue, will first burnout pixels in the panel as it does beyond their tolerance. Eventually, there is risk of burning-out the internal LVDS DVI connection or the GPU itself---but without a circuit schematic, who knows? When I see this issue, perhaps once every 4 or 5 months, I immediately reset the machine with CTRL-COMMAND-POWER , and then power-off the machine, wait 30 sec., and boot up. I highly recommend training yourself to do the same as it is worth saving the laptop. My guess is that it will cost my laptop no more than 10% of its Panel display life, and since the Panel and GPU usually outlast the motherboard, then I'm not to worried.

All of the above appears consistent with the forums and kernel changlogs I've read over the past 2 1/2 years.

From your description your screen blooms white, 1 of 3 times at boot up? That's terrible!!!

Compare your output of this command with mine:
Code:

zgrep '^CONFIG_FB' /proc/config.gz
CONFIG_FB=y
CONFIG_FB_CFB_FILLRECT=y
CONFIG_FB_CFB_COPYAREA=y
CONFIG_FB_CFB_IMAGEBLIT=y
CONFIG_FB_MACMODES=y
CONFIG_FB_FIRMWARE_EDID=y
CONFIG_FB_MODE_HELPERS=y
CONFIG_FB_OF=y
CONFIG_FB_RADEON=y
CONFIG_FB_RADEON_I2C=y


I only configure the kernel with radeon frame buffer and open firmware frame buffer. You should disable all others, and all of those funny-named display drivers for older laptops. Also make sure that you do not compile-in the old radeon driver (listed under DRM/DRI or FB, I don't recall), and do not compile-in the Rage 128 drivers.

Finally, the radeon frame buffer I2C support has me worried. I do not know which is better, to compile it or not, so I do just in case DRM uses it. But I know that my card has been confusing the I2C on occasion since b/f I used DRM (with Linux or Mac OS X), so you should try a few days use with each setting and see if affects anything, including loss of ambient light sensors, flaky DRM, or similar.

Best of luck.
-timotheus
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for your in-depth reply. Luckily my kernel config already matches yours, and I am only getting the blooming in about one out of every 50 boots. That's the only video issue I've ever had besides lockups with OpenGL though. Again, thank you! If this can be fixed, then I hope it gets fixed soon. I'm afraid to let my laptop boot up without my presence!

Jeremy
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@piroko -- yes, I rarely let mine boot unattended also :!:

Updates to document:

  • example of configuring 1440x900 external LCD
  • example use of Layouts to setup multiple monitors and MergedFB/Xinerama scenarios and select on when starting X
  • 2.6.18 configuration
  • Bluetooth 1.1 setup

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timotheus25 wrote:
Hi Jeremy. There are two potentially damaging effects of radeon driver misbehavior. These effects may be caused by a frame buffer kernel driver, or an X11 driver, or both.

Second is the white blooming issue, also usually as display initialization of reset, The display freezes all output, very often with only a black output (ie, the display is initializing, reseting from DPMS, switching between X11/console). Then the display gradually glows a white color; on my laptop, usually center-left to the rest of the panel. This blooming effect, if allowed to continue, will first burnout pixels in the panel as it does beyond their tolerance. Eventually, there is risk of burning-out the internal LVDS DVI connection or the GPU itself---but without a circuit schematic, who knows? When I see this issue, perhaps once every 4 or 5 months, I immediately reset the machine with CTRL-COMMAND-POWER , and then power-off the machine, wait 30 sec., and boot up. I highly recommend training yourself to do the same as it is worth saving the laptop. My guess is that it will cost my laptop no more than 10% of its Panel display life, and since the Panel and GPU usually outlast the motherboard, then I'm not to worried.
-timotheus


Interesting ... Seems that I have fried my GPU ... twice !!! using linux.
I have a Tibook DVI and was running Gentoo PPC 1.2 on it (kernel 2.4, GCC 2.94. those were the days :)), which sometimes had it's blooming, out-of-sync and other display problems, especially when running the 'alpha' PPC radeon DRI drivers. After about two years it started to boot without anything on the screen once in a while. Swithing it off and on again, like you said, would solve the problem. This happened more and more and OSX started to crash after a few hours of use.
A few months later I would be very, very lucky if I could get an image on the LCD when the laptop booted, but the computer would crash within the hour. If the laptop booted without graphics, it ran fine for hours, no crashes, no funny behaviour, no nothing (and no display). I could SSH to it, start some 'heavy duty' matlab stuff, convert stuff with mplayer, ... . The logs (something WindowManager related if I remember correctly) in Mac OS X would tell me that there was no graphics device found ...
I've had the motherboard replaced by Apple (darn, that was expensive), but nine months later it started all over again. This all happened one to two years ago and I'm using a second hand Dell laptop now. The Tibook is beeing used as a very expensive paper weight, although I'm thinking about ordering a new logic board at PBFixit.
It seems that I better stay with Mac OS X if I don't want to fry that GPU again.

Wouter ;-)
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timotheus25
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

narrenschip wrote:

Interesting ... Seems that I have fried my GPU ... twice !!! using linux.
I have a Tibook DVI and was running Gentoo PPC 1.2 on it ...


Yes, experimental Radeon drivers have been known to kill GPUs all around. Perhaps ATI does a poorer job than Nvidia of making their cards handle incorrect instructions no-destructively. Or perhaps I never hear of the Nvidia issues b/c the only ones I own are on x86 machines with their decent proprietary driver.

I assume you machine has a Radeon 9200 or earlier -- probably earlier if you were using gcc 2.97. If it is a 9200, I've heard that support is near perfect for that chip now days, and best of luck if you do ever try again.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Firewire 400 (IEEE 1394a) and Firewire 800 (IEEE 1394b)
The kernel should automatically support both Firewire ports and speeds, but only the 1394a has been tested on this model. It is recommended to compile-in the 1394 base drivers, and compile the supporting 1394 drivers (video, DVB , etc.) as modules.


Recommanded by whom ? It would be interesting to link the references, if any.

But mostly, I want to thank you for the creating and maintaining this cool guide ! :D I set my PB up by myself, but I saw I had missed a few things.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

namo wrote:
Recommanded by whom ? It would be interesting to link the references, if any.


Good question. Subjectively recommended by me from personal experience -- for whatever that is worth. I'll try to include more references as I (re-)encounter them. Unfortunately, most of them are 2+ years old mailing lists and do not show up with high ranking on Google's search.

Quote:
But mostly, I want to thank you for the creating and maintaining this cool guide!

You're welcome for the guide. When I first started installing Linux on this PB model, I was using Gentoo with linux 2.4.x and then switched to kernel 2.6.0 RC ! You can imagine how little of the hardware was supported. Even most PPC install CDs (Debian testing, etc.) could not find the hard drive. I thought to myself -- someone should document this popular, yet unusually complicated for all of its hardware components, model.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timotheus25 wrote:
narrenschip wrote:

Interesting ... Seems that I have fried my GPU ... twice !!! using linux.
I have a Tibook DVI and was running Gentoo PPC 1.2 on it ...


Yes, experimental Radeon drivers have been known to kill GPUs all around. Perhaps ATI does a poorer job than Nvidia of making their cards handle incorrect instructions no-destructively. Or perhaps I never hear of the Nvidia issues b/c the only ones I own are on x86 machines with their decent proprietary driver.

ATI at least released some info to the DRI developers, NVidia didn't release a thing. 12" AluBook owners are still waiting for decent graphics support. Good proprietary drivers are nice, until they drop support for 'obsolete' chips. It'll just be a matter of time before you can't use the nvidia 'legacy drivers' any more with the latest linux kernel/Xorg.


timotheus25 wrote:

I assume you machine has a Radeon 9200 or earlier -- probably earlier if you were using gcc 2.97. If it is a 9200, I've heard that support is near perfect for that chip now days, and best of luck if you do ever try again.


It is, sorry was, a radeon 7500. I had and still have the same chip in my desktop PC and it never gave me any troubles. It was probably a mix of experimental drivers, a bit of Apple's magic sauce and some laptop voodoo that killed my GPU. Even PeeCee laptops with theoretically fully supported GPU's sometimes completely freak out or won't run with anything else than the VESA drivers.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

s dvi-out works now with latest kernels and your configuration. On mine, I have to use radeontools with this hack :
http://ozlabs.org/~jk/docs/mergefb/

Hope you will answer soon. If it works I will have no reason to have osx on the side :)

- b
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

benoitc wrote:
s dvi-out works now with latest kernels and your configuration.


I am not quite sure what you are saying. To my knowledge, DVI-out works perfect on some card models, mine included, which is one of the first revisions of the M10 (9600 mobility). S-Video out does not yet work to my knowledge, but I have nothing to test the S-Video with to verify. The register hack you refer to I do not need for my machine. I am also unwilling to use that tool on my machine for the risk involved of my GPU misbehaving or frying.

EDIT: also, my driver handles adding and removing of the external monitor with only a restart of X11 (no reboot or suspend necessary).
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i' m using a cinema display 20" with dvi connection. I have a powerbook 5?6. my ati chipset is this one : ATY,RV360M11 . On thi smodel without the hack I had no possibility to use my cinema display. At least in dualhead.

-b
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, wide-aspect LCDs do not work with my chip and the radeon driver unless I use Xinerama mode. MergedFB Clone and dual-head do not work. Unfortunately, that means that any movie I play on my machine with such a display does not have video acceleration. Normal-aspect (4:3) LCDs seem to work just fine with full acceleration at any resolution or mergedfb mode.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the information :) think now I have to retry with a fresh install.

- b
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if anyone is still looking at this thread, but I am out of ideas and I need some help.

My Aluminum PowerBook G4 has kernel-2.6.24-gentoo-r3 running nicely with X.org, but I just can't get the radeon driver to work. Glxgears gives me some 30-40 FPS. I have compiled the radeon drivers and DRM directly into the kernel:
Code:
CONFIG_RADEON=y
CONFIG_FB_DRM=y
CONFIG_RADEON_I2C=y
CONFIG_RADEON_BACKLIGHT=y
CONFIG_DRM=y
CONFIG_DRM_R128=y
CONFIG_DRM_RADEON=y
and my "yaboot.conf" file contains the kernel parameter:
Code:
append="video=radeonfb:1280x854-32@60 hdc=ide-cd softlevel=default"
and "dmesg" reports
Code:
[drm] Initialized radeon 1.28.0 20060524 on minor 0
radeonfb: (0000:00:10.0): Invalid ROM signature 303, should be 0xaa55
radeonfb: Retrieved PLL infos from Open Firmware
radeonfb: PLL min 12000 max 35000
i2c-adapter i2c-2: unable to read EDID block
i2c-adapter i2c-2: unable to read EDID block
i2c-adapter i2c-2: unable to read EDID block
radeonfb: Monitor 1 type LCD found
radeonfb: EDID probed
radeonfb: Monitor 2 type no found
radeonfb: Using Firmware dividers 0x0002008 from PPLL 0
radeonfb: Dynamic Clock Power Management enabled
Console: Switching to colour framebuffer 160x35
radeonfb: Backlight initialized (radeonb10)
radeonfb: (0000:00:10.0): ATI radeon NP

So the driver seems to load without problems. But when I check "/var/log/Xorg.0.log", I find one line in the log file that reports:
Code:
[drm] failed to load kernel module "radeon"
(EE) RADEON(0): [dri] RADEONDRIGetVersion failed to open DRM
[drm] disabling DRI
But I compiled the DRM driver for radeon into the kernel, not as a module, so why does it say "failed to load kernel module"? My "/etc/X11/xorg.conf" file is set up like this:
Code:
   Load  "extmod"
   Load  "record"
   Load  "dbe"
   Load  "fbdevhw" ##
   Load  "GLcore"
   Load  "glx"
   Load  "DRI"
   Load  "xtrap"
   Load  "freetype"
   Load  "type1"
EndSection

Section "Device"
   # M10 setup for xorg 7.1
   Identifier   "ATI Radeon 9600"
   VendorName   "ATI Technologies Inc"
   BoardName    "RV350 [Mobility Radeon 9600 M10]"
   Driver       "ati"
   BusID        "PCI:0:16:0"
   Option       "MergedFB"            "true"
   Option       "MetaModes" "1280x854-1280x854 1280x854 1280x854-1280x1024 1280x854-1024x768 1280x854-800x600"
   Option       "MergedDPI"              "100 100"
   Option       "MergedNonRectangular"   "true"
   Option       "MergedXinerama"         "true"
   Option       "MergedXineramaCRT2IsScreen0" "true"
   Option       "CRT2Position"        "RightOf"
   Option       "AGPMode" "4"
   Option       "AGPFastWrite"        "0"
   Option       "FBTexPercent"        "50"
   Option       "DisplayPriority"     "HIGH"
   Option       "ColorTiling"         "1"
   Option       "IgnoreEDID"          "0"
   Option       "EnablePageFlip"      "1"
   Option       "EnableDepthMoves"    "1"
   Option       "RenderAccel"         "1" # not really implemented
   Option       "DynamicClocks"       "1"
   Option       "VGAAccess"           "0"
   Option       "DMAForXv"            "1"
   Option       "DDCMode"             "0"
   Option       "DRI"                 "true"
EndSection

Section "DRI"
   Mode          0666
EndSection
What can I do to get X.org to use the driver? Does anyone know?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the original author of this thread, I have discontinued using that laptop model.
You may find my notes at:

http://tstotts.net/linux/gentoopb.html

I will be unable to assist further than that. Best Regards.
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Joined: 02 Jan 2006
Posts: 61
Location: Dresden

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've got an ATI Rage 128 graphics card in your Powerbook?
You should probably unset "CONFIG_DRM_R128".
Did you run Xorgautoconfig?
Here are some settings for my Al Powerbook.

xorgconf
Code:
Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Card0"
        Option "EnablePageFlip" "true" # Increases performance
        Option "AccelMethod"    "EXA"
        Driver  "radeon"
EndSection

Section "Module"
        Load    "extmod"
        Load    "dri"
        Load    "dbe"
        Load    "record"append="video=radeonfb:1280x854-32@60 hdc=ide-cd softlevel=default"
        Load    "glx"
        Load    "type1"
        Load    "freetype"
EndSection

Section "DRI"
        Group 0
        Mode 0666
EndSection


.config
Code:
CONFIG_DRM_RADEON=m
CONFIG_FB_RADEON=y
CONFIG_FB_RADEON_I2C=y
CONFIG_FB_RADEON_BACKLIGHT=y
CONFIG_DRM=m
CONFIG_DRM_R128 is not set
CONFIG_DRM_RADEON=m

Quote:
append="video=radeonfb:1280x854-32@60 hdc=ide-cd softlevel=default"

I have no such line in my yaboot.conf.
Regards
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