x server crashing - sometimes

Lucio M Nicolosi lmnicolosi at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 04:04:29 UTC 2009

On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 5:51 AM, Stephen <stephanos at writeme.com> wrote:
> Stephen wrote:
>> Ray Parrish wrote:
>>> Stephen wrote:
>>>> Stephen wrote:
>>>>> Dear All
>>>>> Kubuntu 8.10
>>>>> I want to reduce the resolution as a way of improving the graphics and
>>>>> text size as these are to small.  I have seen these setting in two places:
>>>>> 1) K > System > System Settings > Display
>>>>> 2) K > System > KR and RTray Screen Resize & Rotate
>>>>> When I chose either of these, the server exits to a login screen and I
>>>>> have to login again.  Odd, as I have used these before.
>>>>> The most recent change I have made was in K > System > System Settings >
>>>>> Desktop -All Effects tab, where I unticked most of the 3D options and
>>>>> improved performance.
>>>>> I would also like to reduce colour depth.  When I last looked at the
>>>>> settings for changing the resolution I did not see anything about
>>>>> reducing the colour depth.  I have looked around System Settings.
>>>>> Any help appreciated
>>>>> Stephen
>>>> Dear All
>>>> This issue has proved problematic to resolve.  I have tried some
>>>> suggestions about editing /etc/X11/Xorg.conf, but what doesn't crash X
>>>> at start up makes no difference to the display.
>>>> I still have the problems of
>>>> 1) most of the time I cannot access Display or KR and RTray Screen
>>>> Resize & Rotate.
>>>> 2) When I maximise a window it is too wide for the screen and goes off
>>>> the right edge so losing the X out icon and other bits
>>>> 3) Windows render slowly
>>>> 4) I cannot control the resolution enough to have text on screen of a
>>>> size that I can read - it is all too small
>>>> 5) When I had a 17inch screen I used a res on 1024 X 768, now I have a
>>>> wide screen 17inch (16/9 ratio), I think I want a res of 1280 X 768.
>>>> But I cannot access the display options to change it.
>>>> I have looked in the BIOS and up to 8MB of memory is allocated to the
>>>> onboard graphics.  The pc has 1GB of RAM.  If I installed a PCI graphics
>>>> card I would not have to make a change in the BIOS as it is already
>>>> configured to select a user installed graphics card if one is installed.
>>>> One of the editions of Linux Format had an article that mentioned
>>>> onboard/Intel graphics are problematic.  Now I am fed up with the problem.
>>>> I want to explore installing a graphics card.  Has any one any
>>>> recommendations that will allow me to overcome these problems and not
>>>> have to be fiddled with.
>>>> I appear to have two PCI slots and a very short slot above that - not
>>>> sure what it is.
>>>> Any recommendations welcomed.
>>>> Stephen
>>> Hello,
>>> Since you have 1 GB RAM, you have plenty to spare that can be assigned
>>> to your on board video card's use. You state that the BIOS shows 8 MB's
>>> currently assigned to the video card.  This is way too low, and you
>>> should be able to change that setting  right there where it's displayed
>>> in the BIOS. On my motherboard I have selections that start at 8 MB's,
>>> and go all the way up to 256 MB's.
>>> Currently I have this set to 64 MB's out of my 512 MB's of available
>>> system RAM. This setting allows running in the highest graphics mode
>>> with 3D acceleration, all of the eye candy features of Compiz enabled,
>>> all with no problems whatsoever.
>>> When I got this computer, it was set to use 128 MB's for  the video card
>>> and this seemed to work pretty good, but at times programs would gray
>>> out and be unresponsive for a few seconds up to as much as a minute or
>>> two. Now that I have reduced the video card to 64 MB's, I no longer have
>>> the gray out problem.
>>> An easy way to test and change video resolutions is with xvidtune. It
>>> works in conjunction with a terminal, but is actually a small GUI
>>> program. You start it from Terminal, and it then uses the terminal
>>> screen to write modelines fetched from your system or which you create
>>> with xvidtune to so you can inspect or copy them. On the GUI portion of
>>> it, there are buttons which allow cycling through your available video
>>> resolutions in either the up or down direction. The resolution changes
>>> take place when you press one of these buttons immediately.
>>> xvidtune also presents you with sliders to change the hsyncstart,
>>> hsyncend, vyncstart, and vsyncend values for the current mode, and a
>>> Test button to try any changes you make to those settings. xvidtune will
>>> then warn you if your selections result in an invalid combination.
>>> There are also Apply and Restore buttons which allow you to write your
>>> changes to the xorg.conf file.
>>> Later, Ray Parrish
>> Dear Ray
>> Thanks for the responses.  I tried the BIOS to adjust the video memory
>> and it only allows selection between 1MB and 8MB.  Nice idea but thwarted.
>> xvidtune was revealing.  I started it as root as I assumed it had to
>> write to Xorg.conf, and it showed that my res is 1440 X 900.  I could
>> indeed use the Left/Right, Wider/Narrower, up/down, shorter/taller
>> buttons.  No sliders I am sorry to say.
>> However, when I adjusted using Narrower/Shorter and then pressed Test I
>> got an error message that "Sorry you have requested a Mode-Line that is
>> not possible, or not supported by your hardware or configuration"
>> Not sure if this is user error.  Should I have logged out of the GUI (if
>> so not sure how to do that)?
>> Should I have used Wider/Taller?
>> Dell have replied to my  enquiry and confirmed that  can only use PCI
>> (not PCI express) graphics cards.  Any recommendations if I am not able
>> to increase onboard video memory
>> Hope to hear from you
>> Stephen
> Dear All
> Thanks to all who have tried to assist with this problem.
> Dell have confirmed that the BIOS cannot allocate anything more than the
> 8MB option.  So I am very likely to purchase the Nvidia GE Force 6200
> (PCI, and 256 MB RAM) graphics card as a way of overcoming the
> limitation of only 8MB system RAM allocated to my onboard graphics card.
> It appears supported as well.  The ubuntu website has stated that the
> package I need is nvidia-glx.
> Does anyone have any knowledge of this graphics card ?
> Hope to hear
> Thanks
> Stephen

(no BIOS update available?)

Since part of the computer's RAM is used to manage graphic cards like
the NVidia 6200, you should expect some decrease in available memory
(1 Gb) after installing a 0.25 Gb board. You will probably end up with
less available RAM than before. Perhaps you should consider a more
conservative approach or be prepared to eventually increase your
computer's RAM (even though Ubuntu will still run nicely with the
remaining memory). Most applications will run perfectly with a 128 Mb
video board.

Lucio M Nicolosi, Eng. - Sao Paulo - Brazil
skype: lmnicolosi1
Lat.:  23°34'4.79"S - Long.: 46°39'59.53"W
Linux Regist. User #481505 - http://counter.li.org/

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