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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
Howto use XF86_SVGA X server with VIA passive motherboards
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BarryK
Puppy Master


Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 7084
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul 2005, 21:38    Post subject:  Howto use XF86_SVGA X server with VIA passive motherboards  

The NTA-6010A thin pc has a VIA Eden cpu with passive cooling.
There are a whole heap of similar motherboards made by VIA, and as
far as I know, having looked at only two boards, the video is:

Trident CyberBlade/i1

Running Puppy Xvesa Kdrive X server on the NTA-6010A will do
800x600 or 1024x768 but only at 60Hz.

So, I tried the "xf86_svga-3.3.6" Pupget package, and yes, it works, but you
have to fiddle with a few things.

This X server is intended for older pre-2000 video hardware, but it does
have support for "Trident CyberBlade (generic)", which works.

However, two things have to be changed.
The file /etc/X11/XF86Config does not work -- after installing the package, if you reboot, X will fail to start and you will get dumped back to the commandline. You can fix this by running the program "xf86config" from the commandline, and it takes you through step by step, to create a new XF86Config file -- except at the final step it wants to save to /etc/XF86Config -- just accept this and move the file to /etc/X11/.
When it asks about which video hardware you have, you have the option of bringing up a list and you choose -- the "Trident CyberBlade (generic)" is in that list.
When it asks what video modes you want to support for each color-depth, get rid of the "640x480", as the X server will default to that.

One thing that is very confusing is that there is no way to specify the default color depth -- it is 8 bits, 256 colors. The docs state that an entry "DefaultDepth 16" can be used in XF86Config, however this particular X server doesn't recognise that keyword and X won't start.

Solution, edit /usr/X11R6/bin/xwin, insert "-bpp 16" into this line:

Code:
  /usr/X11R6/bin/xinit /root/.xinitrc -- -bpp 16 > /tmp/xerrs.txt 2>&1


After doing all the above, you should be ready for action. Type "xwin" and X should start.
If X dumps back to the console, you can see the error messages in /tmp/xerrs.txt.
Use the excellent "mp" text editor to edit these files:
# mp /etc/X11/XF86Config
# mp /usr/X11R6/bin/xwin
# mp /tmp/xerrs.txt

If anyone comes up with a nice and neat XF86Config file that will work with these motherboards, post it here. My NTA-6010A has a ps/2 mouse and ps/2 keyboard, which is probably same as most systems. I'm using a cheap 14-inch monitor that can only do 800x600, but most 15-inch monitors should handle 1024x768.

One final note. The xf86_SVGA-3.3.6 pupget package has the program "xvidtune" but it gives an error message that it isn't installed and exits. I can probably fix that and will post a patched version soon.
xvidtune has a docs file, /usr/share/doc/xvidtune.htm.

Another final final note: I'll probably create a special version of Puppy using Unleashed, with the SVGA X server, so won't need to install it as a pupget, since there's a lot of interest in these tiny passive VIA motherboards.
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spark

Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jul 2005, 15:51    Post subject: Problem with xf86_svga-3.3.6 - 'XF86Config' file  

Barry wrote:

"The docs state that an entry "DefaultDepth 16" can be used in XF86Config, however this particular X server doesn't recognise that keyword and X won't start."



See my post regarding xf86_svga-3.3.6 - 'XF86Config' file helps at all:

http://www.goosee.com/puppy/sforum/simpleforum_pro.cgi?fid=02&topic_id=1114452606&highlight=defaultcolordepth
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cygnus


Joined: 20 Jul 2005
Posts: 59
Location: Casper, WY

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jul 2005, 16:13    Post subject: Re: Howto use XF86_SVGA X server with VIA passive motherboar  

BarryK wrote:

<snip>

Another final final note: I'll probably create a special version of Puppy using Unleashed, with the SVGA X server, so won't need to install it as a pupget, since there's a lot of interest in these tiny passive VIA motherboards.


I'll look for this, as it might help me with my ongoing problems running Puppy on my laptop. Very Happy

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