[ubuntu-x] i8xx, again!

Charles Barnwell cgbarnwell at gmail.com
Mon Sep 6 10:02:38 BST 2010


We appreciate your continued support on this.

I am supporting a group that uses LTSP with Dell clients using a mixture of
these two cards:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation
82845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE Chipset Integrated Graphics Device (rev 01)

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82865G Integrated
Graphics Controller (rev 02)

The 82865G cards work fine, but the Brookdale cards experience regular
crashes.  This system was upgraded from Karmic (on Karmic the system was
reliably stable) and all clients seem to be using the i915 driver rather
than vesa driver.  How did the blacklisting in Lucid work?  Would it not
affect an upgrade?

I have tried the workarounds described in
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Bugs/Lucidi8xxFreezes and the most successful was
to enable KMS and disable DRI.  I tried to force use of VESA driver, but I
never managed to get an acceptable resolution on the Brookdale cards.

My big concern is that if you use option 1, and it really does force VESA
driver then many people may experience poor resolution, which is not a good
experience for new users.

If we can be sure that people would not experience crashes, but would have a
good resolution then I also vote for option 1.

I'm afraid we are going to be swapping the Brookdale machines for devices
that have a different card, so I will not be able to help in any more
diagnosis, but we really have to give this customer a stable system now.

Thanks again for the continued work.

Charles Barnwell
cgbarnwell at gmail.com

On 6 September 2010 05:29, Christopher James Halse Rogers
<raof at ubuntu.com>wrote:

> Hello X wranglers!
> It's that time of the release, again(!), where it's too late for a
> magical fix for i8xx to appear, and we need to work out the least-bad
> option to use as the default.
> It, again(!), looks like there's hope for the next release with Chris
> Wilson's accel-less shadow branch, but there are still problems with
> that branch, it's not mainline, and it's too late to switch for
> Maverick.
> This, as I count it, leaves us with 3 options:
> 1) Blacklist KMS on the cards, as we did for Lucid, and let VESA drive
> them.  This is my current favourite, and what we've got in the kernel
> now.
> Pros:
>  * Users get the VESA driver, which should work.
> Cons:
>  * Laptops might not have the panel's native modes in their VESA bios,
> leading to suboptimal resolution or -vesa not working at all (there's a
> report of -vesa failing completely).
>  * Users need to fiddle with grub options or modprobe config to load the
> intel driver.
> 2) Don't blacklist KMS, but drop these cards from X's autoload list.
> This will let fbdev take over.
> Pros:
>  * If KMS brings up the native mode, users get the native mode.
>  * Resolution can be set on the kernel command line.
>  * Dual-head will work in clone mode if second head is connected at boot
> time.
> Cons:
>  * Can't change resolution at runtime
>  * Non-default resolutions *must* be set on the kernel command line.
>  * User needs to generate an xorg.conf to use the intel driver.
> 3) Do nothing, let the intel driver load on kms.
> Pros:
>  * If it doesn't crash, everything works.
> Cons:
>  * Lots of crashes.
> I favour option (1).  I think that the ability to switch resolution is
> likely to be more important than starting in the best possible
> resolution.  I also think that users are more likely to be familiar with
> the VESA driver, and be more likely to ask useful questions.
> We'll release-note this, again(!).
> Does anyone have any further insights or better ideas?
> --
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