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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Cutting edge
GMA500 Poulsbo Xorg fix
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5258
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr 2011, 07:34    Post subject:  GMA500 Poulsbo Xorg fix  

The Intel GMA500 Poulsbo graphics devices, as typically found in recent Atom-based netbooks, have been a problem in Linux. The "intel" Xorg driver doesn't support this graphics device at all, so Puppy's xorgwizard will fall back to the generic "vesa" Xorg driver. Not only is this driver limited in performance and features, it simply doesn't play well with the Poulsbo graphics hardware - apparently there are bad glitches.
And the "Xvesa" xserver gives similarly poor results.

A potential solution is the new "pcb" Xorg driver, which I recently posted here -
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=515093#515093
but this driver is new and cutting-edge, and success is not certain.
It would be great if someone could get that driver working under Puppy 5.1/5.2, but until such time forum member jemimah has told me about a working solution using the "fbdev" Xorg driver in combination with the "uvesafb" kernel module.
Now attached.
uvesafb-k2.6.33.2.pet
Description  ONLY compatible with Puppy 5.1/5.2
pet

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Filename  uvesafb-k2.6.33.2.pet 
Filesize  59.34 KB 
Downloaded  771 Time(s) 
xorg-fbdev-Puppy5.pet
Description 
pet

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Filename  xorg-fbdev-Puppy5.pet 
Filesize  8.52 KB 
Downloaded  760 Time(s) 
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5258
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr 2011, 07:45    Post subject:  

INSTRUCTIONS

Get Puppy 5.2.x up and running first. The xorgwizard wizard will set up the generic vesa Xorg driver.
jemimah has some automated setup scripts she uses in Puppeee, but I think it's best I supply the manual setup information, since this information is untested in Puppy 5.1/5.2 at this stage.

First you need to do some diagnosis to determine the best (native) resolution and refresh rate for your display. Run this command -
Code:
ddcprobe

This will output many lines of information. On the line that starts with "dtiming:" you will see the maximum resolution and refresh rate supported by your display (not the graphics device).
Let's say that the result is "1366x768@70".

Let's now run the "915resolution" command which will permit the Poulsbo bios to report 1366x768 as a valid resolution to Xorg -
Code:
915resolution 38 1366 768

("38" is an Intel bios mode number)
And to make this fix permanent, the same command needs to be written to the relevant Puppy configuration file, as such -
Code:
echo "915resolution 38 1366 768" > /etc/resolutionfix


Now install the two dotpets from the previous post.
We need to configure Xorg to use the newly installed fbdev driver: open /etc/X11/xorg.conf in Geany, and change this line -
Code:
Driver      "vesa" #card0driver

to this -
Code:
Driver      "fbdev" #card0driver

Now you need to disable the vesa Xorg driver, otherwise the Xorg launch script will reinstate it!
Use ROX to navigate to /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers and there you will see "vesa_drv.so"
You can delete it, but it would be a better idea just to shift it out of /usr/lib/xorg
Open a second ROX window, and move vesa_drv.so to somewhere convenient, like /root

Now you're ready to exit X, with Ctrl<Alt>Backspace
This will put you back at the command prompt. Load the uvesafb module with the correct resolution/refresh rate, as such -
Code:
modprobe uvesafb mode_option=1366x768@70

Now you can restart the Xserver with this command -
Code:
xwin

Hopefully you will now have a clear, stable display at the correct resolution.

If this works OK, you just need to make the loading of the uvesafb module automatic at each boot up. So open /etc/rc.d/rc.local in Geany, and add this line -
Code:
modprobe uvesafb mode_option=1366x768@70
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jemimah


Joined: 26 Aug 2009
Posts: 4309
Location: Tampa, FL

PostPosted: Mon 25 Apr 2011, 14:27    Post subject:  

Just a quick note - VLC seems to be the only media player that performs adequately with the fbdev/poulsbo combination. YouTube should work ok at low rez, but not so well at high rez.
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5258
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon 02 May 2011, 05:16    Post subject:  

If you have an ASUS Eee netbook with Poulsbo graphics, you are likely to want to use Puppeee, and as I understand it Puppeee already contains the necessary fbdev Xorg driver and uvesafb kernel module ...

but if you have a netbook other than Eee, you're more likely to want to use Fluppy. I just discovered that Fluppy 013 includes the fbdev Xorg driver, but it doesn't include the uvesafb kernel module, so I now attach it as a separate dotpet.
Once this dotpet is installed, setup instructions are the same as above.
uvesafb-k2.6.35.7.pet
Description  compatible ONLY with Fluppy 013
pet

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Filename  uvesafb-k2.6.35.7.pet 
Filesize  28.78 KB 
Downloaded  483 Time(s) 
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maxe

Joined: 23 May 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon 23 May 2011, 05:01    Post subject:
Subject description: after fix only 256 colors
 

Aloha,

im running 5.25 on a GMA500. I followed your instructions, but after rebooting x it seems like I only have 256 colors. Can you please help me change that?
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5258
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue 24 May 2011, 05:34    Post subject:  

I don't know for sure. I've only tested this Xorg driver with my onboard SiS graphics card where it works fine, but I have no direct experience with Poulsbo graphics devices.

First let's just check that you have installed the dotpets from the first post, which are compatible with Puppy 5.1/5.2?

I would guess that when you load the uvesafb module, you may be specifying parameters too high for the graphics device to handle. So if you are using the same values I provided in my example above -
Code:
modprobe uvesafb mode_option=1366x768@70

then maybe the refresh rate needs to be reduced? Exit X and try this -
Code:
modprobe uvesafb mode_option=1366x768@65

or even this
Code:
modprobe uvesafb mode_option=1366x768@60
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edoc


Joined: 07 Aug 2005
Posts: 4369
Location: Southeast Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Thu 07 Jul 2011, 17:55    Post subject:  

Would this have any positive impact on a Samsung NB30 with a GMA3150?

The Netbook is working OK but seems dim in bright light ... and I am always curious about incremental improvements ... especially while we pray for Jemimah to be reassigned to quiet desk-duty!

I am also trying to update Claws-mail ... preferably without breaking it!

_________________
Thanks! David
Home page: http://nevils-station.com
Don't google Search! http://duckduckgo.com
Puppy upup Raring 3992 & Lighthouse64-b602
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5258
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri 08 Jul 2011, 00:11    Post subject:  

edoc wrote:
Would this have any positive impact on a Samsung NB30 with a GMA3150?

I don't know. Go ahead and try it.

But follow the instructions I provided in the second post carefully, and in particular, make sure you shift the generic vesa Xorg driver, rather than deleting it. Because you may want to revert to the vesa driver if you're not happy with the fbdev driver.

And to be clear: the fbdev driver that I have provided here, like the generic vesa driver (which Puppy currently falls back to with Poulsbo devices) is non-accelerated.
So your video performance under Linux will never be as good as it could be if a fully-accelerated Xorg driver could be made to work properly.

What do I mean by poor video performance?
- less than snappy page scrolling of word processor documents with complex fonts etc.
- stuttery video file playback, especially with higher resolution video files.
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8-bit


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 3368
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Fri 08 Jul 2011, 04:13    Post subject:  

I am going to drop in my two cents worth of advice here and suggest you do a backup of your pupsave file before you start anything like this.
That way, in a worst case crash, you have a backup that you can copy to your frugal install directory to recover.
Pupsave backups have saved my bacon a number of times!
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beluga

Joined: 01 Oct 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun 02 Oct 2011, 11:14    Post subject:  

Im trying to install lucy 5.2.8 on a asus eee 1101ha, but I´m stuck on
"We need to configure Xorg to use the newly installed fbdev driver: open /etc/X11/xorg.conf in Geany, and change this line -
Code:
Driver "vesa" #card0driver

to this -
Code:
Driver "fbdev" #card0driver "
cant even find the word driver in that file, I guess I ´m going wrong somewhere before that but cant figure out where.
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5258
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun 02 Oct 2011, 11:32    Post subject:  

I recently learned that Lucid only has a base xorg.conf file, and autoconfigures Xorg at each bootup.
The solution is to create a full xorg.conf file;- exit X with Ctrl<Alt>Backspace
then run this command -
Code:
xorgwizard

Once the wizard has completed, run this -
Code:
xwin

to launch X and return to the desktop.

Now you can go ahead and change the configuration of xorg.conf
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