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Xorg update produces blurry screen. [Solved (ish)]
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CrankyPenguin
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:51 pm    Post subject: Xorg update produces blurry screen. [Solved (ish)] Reply with quote

EDIT: I've since determined that my problem is not with the fonts per-se. It is, just more noticeable with them. During my recent x update I updated xorg-server and xorg. I now have the following:
  • xorg-x11-7.4-r1
  • xorg-server-1.10.4-r1
  • xorg-drivers-1.10
  • xf86-video-ati-6.14.0
  • mesa-7.11


The problem is that since this update the whole screen is somewhat blurry. It looks like X is not setting the positioning of pixels exactly and the net result is that all fonts look badly anti-aliased and pictures, if one looks closely, are less sharp than they should be. I've systematically tried xf86-video-ati 6.4.1 and 6.4.2 with no change. 6.13.2 the only other current driver in portage failed to emerge due to a missing field in the api.

Thus far the only error message of any note is this:
Code:
(EE) AIGLX error: Calling driver entry point failed"
(EE) AIGLX: reverting to software rendering"


This seems to be associated with mesa problems but I have that installed. Any suggestions?





-------------- Original message ---------------------------
Up until last week I had nice clear crisp fonts in xorg. Then I dared to complete an emerge world that updated xorg-server (up to 1.10.4) cairo (up to 1.10.2-r1). Since then the fonts on my LCD panel appear to be blurred and sub-pixel rendering apparently no longer takes place. I followed the advice in this excellent guide: http://www.kev009.com/wp/2009/12/getting-beautiful-fonts-in-gentoo-linux/ with the exception of enabling the cleartype flag which it seems is gone but it made no apparent differences. By way of comparison here is the output of eselect fontconflig
Code:
Available fontconfig .conf files  ( * is enabled ):
  [1]   10-autohint.conf *
  [2]   10-no-sub-pixel.conf
  [3]   10-sub-pixel-bgr.conf
  [4]   10-sub-pixel-rgb.conf *
  [5]   10-sub-pixel-vbgr.conf
  [6]   10-sub-pixel-vrgb.conf
  [7]   10-unhinted.conf
  [8]   20-fix-globaladvance.conf *
  [9]   20-unhint-small-dejavu-sans.conf *
  [10]  20-unhint-small-dejavu-sans-mono.conf *
  [11]  20-unhint-small-dejavu-serif.conf *
  [12]  20-unhint-small-vera.conf *
  [13]  25-ttf-arphic-ukai-render.conf
  [14]  25-ttf-arphic-uming-bitmaps.conf
  [15]  25-ttf-arphic-uming-render.conf
  [16]  25-unhint-nonlatin.conf *
  [17]  30-metric-aliases.conf *
  [18]  30-urw-aliases.conf *
  [19]  35-ttf-arphic-ukai-aliases.conf
  [20]  35-ttf-arphic-uming-aliases.conf
  [21]  40-nonlatin.conf *
  [22]  41-ttf-arphic-ukai.conf
  [23]  41-ttf-arphic-uming.conf
  [24]  42-luxi-mono.conf *
  [25]  45-latin.conf *
  [26]  49-sansserif.conf *
  [27]  50-user.conf *
  [28]  51-local.conf *
  [29]  57-dejavu-sans.conf *
  [30]  57-dejavu-sans-mono.conf *
  [31]  57-dejavu-serif.conf *
  [32]  60-latin.conf *
  [33]  61-stix.conf
  [34]  64-ttf-arphic-uming.conf
  [35]  65-fonts-persian.conf *
  [36]  65-khmer.conf
  [37]  65-nonlatin.conf *
  [38]  69-unifont.conf *
  [39]  70-no-bitmaps.conf
  [40]  70-yes-bitmaps.conf
  [41]  75-ttf-arphic-ukai-select.conf
  [42]  80-delicious.conf *
  [43]  90-synthetic.conf *
  [44]  90-ttf-arphic-ukai-embolden.conf
  [45]  90-ttf-arphic-uming-embolden.conf


This is an older monitor connected via a standard VGA cable with no DVI cable. Any suggestions? Thanks.

EDIT:: Are there any cleartype replacements available?
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Last edited by CrankyPenguin on Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:07 am; edited 2 times in total
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PaulBredbury
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:14 am    Post subject: Re: Xorg and Blurry fonts. Reply with quote

CrankyPenguin wrote:
Are there any cleartype replacements available?

Read the fonts thread - all the info you need is there. I use Infinality's rendering, and consider it the best.
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CrankyPenguin
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:16 am    Post subject: Infinality Rendering. Reply with quote

So I've followed what I believe to be the sum set of instructions from the thread you mentioned and, if anything, it got worse.

For the record I installed the lcd-filtering overlay and made the requisite updates to the packages discussed here: https://gitorious.org/lcd-filtering/pages/Home and here:http://blog.segfault.co.in/?p=192. I installed the .Xresources and local.conf fonts files as per my reading of the thread PaulBredbury mentioned. Now unless I missed something I don't quite see why the fonts should be worse not better.

Any suggestions?
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CrankyPenguin
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:47 pm    Post subject: Hmm, Screen. Reply with quote

It seems that the problem may not be the fonts but some issue with either my xorg drivers or some other issue. The issue is noticable with fonts but taking a screenshot and viewing it on another system shows that the fonts are, in fact, quite crisp and clear.

For future reference to font users what I did ultimately was follow the instructions located here: https://gitorious.org/lcd-filtering/pages/Home with two important caveats taken from herehttps://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-723341-postdays-0-postorder-asc-start-500.html:

  • Do not enable 10-autohint.conf as per a comment from Odysseus because it works at cross-purposes with the other choices.
  • And as per the comments herehttp://blog.segfault.co.in/?p=192 be sure to emerge the code in the following order:
    Code:
    emerge -av1 freetype fontconfig libXft cairo



So with that in mind. Does anyone have any suggestions for a blurry screen? I have not changed my xorg server settings or made any other changes other than an update to xorg-server 1.110.4 and xorg-x11 7.4-r1.
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CrankyPenguin
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I managed to solve the problem in part although I am not sure of the solution. Ultimately I was forced to downgrade mesa from 7.11 to 7.10.2 and to blow away my existing xorg.conf file in order to replace it with a new auto-generated one. Oddly enough this one auto-generates the same setting that I had in my previous file so it isn't clear to me why it works now but it does.

In the process I also found it necessary to remove the lcd-filtering overlay. That was separate from the problem that I was having. I suspect that if I was connecting to my panel through a DVI connection it might look better but for some reason, once I had fixed the other problem, the hinted fonts still did not look quite right to me. It is possible that more tweaking might have fixed this but for the present I will run with the stock setup, and the work done by the authors of the lcd-filtering overlay has been quite impressive.
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