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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Cutting edge
Intel Poulsbo graphics with Puppy Lucid
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5405
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr 2011, 07:34    Post subject:  Intel Poulsbo graphics with Puppy Lucid  

The Intel "Poulsbo" GMA500/600/3600/3650 graphics devices are not a true Intel product, but actually "PowerVR" by Imagination Technologies, and are problematic in Linux. They're found in certain Atom-based netbooks - "Silverthorne" Z5xx, "Lincroft" Z6xx, and "Cedarview" N2600/N2800/D2500/D2550/D2600/D2700 models.

Recent official versions of Puppy Linux (at June 2015) - Slacko 5.5/5.6/5.7/6beta and Tahrpup 6.x should all support Poulsbo graphics quite well, via the modesetting Xorg driver, which works in combination with the gma500_gfx kernel module. It should be noted that this is a non-accelerated graphics driver, but it's as good as you can get, and graphics performance is reported as quite good. The shortcoming is no support for 3D games, etc.

But for Puppy Lucid the modesetting driver cannot be used due to Lucid's older kernel. Fortunately there's an alternative graphics driver for Lucid which I now attach - the fbdev driver, which works in combination with the uvesafb kernel module.
uvesafb-k2.6.33.2.pet
Description  ONLY compatible with Puppy 5.1/5.2
pet

 Download 
Filename  uvesafb-k2.6.33.2.pet 
Filesize  59.34 KB 
Downloaded  919 Time(s) 
xorg-fbdev-Puppy5.pet
Description 
pet

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Filename  xorg-fbdev-Puppy5.pet 
Filesize  8.52 KB 
Downloaded  920 Time(s) 

Last edited by tempestuous on Fri 05 Jun 2015, 03:35; edited 1 time in total
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5405
Location: Australia

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

INSTRUCTIONS

Boot to your Lucid installation. Lucid will have already autoconfigured the generic "vesa" graphics driver - possibly with the wrong resolution and even flashing or glitches.
Download the fbdev and uvesafb dotpets from the previous post, and install both.
Do some research to find out the best (native) resolution of your monitor. If you don't know this information, you can diagnose with this command -
Code:
ddcprobe

A resolution typical for Atom netbooks is 1366x768, which is considered a non-standard resolution, and I will use these values in the following example.
First you need to 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

Next you need to totally disable the vesa Xorg driver, otherwise the Xorg launch script will reinstate it, and disallow you from using the fbdev driver.
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
So 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
which will drop you back to a command prompt. Prior to Xorg configuration you must first load the "uvesafb" kernel module, specifying the correct resolution, with this command -
Code:
modprobe uvesafb mode_option=1366x768@60

Notice the "@60" at the end of the command - this is to set the refresh rate to 60Hz. It's a fairly safe value. Later you can try 65 or 70 if you think your screen flickers.
Now run the configuration wizard, with -
Code:
xorgwizard

Select "Probe" and after a few seconds you should be presented with a list of resolutions to choose from. There's a fair chance that your correct resolution is not listed - don't worry, the resolution set by the kernel module actually overrides anything set by the Xorg configuration, so you can safely choose any value. The wizard will ask you if you want to TEST your configuration, which you should accept. Once the wizard finishes, you will be back at the command prompt. Now go ahead and re-launch X with this command -
Code:
xwin

and hopefully you should now see your desktop - at the correct resolution - thanks to a better graphics driver!

There's just one more step to make these settings permanent - open /etc/rc.d/rc.local in Geany, and add this line -
Code:
modprobe uvesafb mode_option=1366x768@60

Save.

Reboot to check that the new driver settings hold. There's a small chance that X may fail to launch at bootup, and drop you at the command prompt - if this happens, you should just need to run the "xwin" command. This is a minor annoyance, but will hopefully not affect many users.

Last edited by tempestuous on Fri 05 Jun 2015, 03:43; edited 1 time in total
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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: 5405
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  601 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: 5405
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: 4634
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 Carolina 1.3 & Lighthouse64-b602 & JL64-603
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5405
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: 3427
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: 5405
Location: Australia

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

EDIT
Instructions updated in the 2nd post.
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