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Wary: Radeon failure

September 20, 2010 — BarryK
I have a PC that was given to me, with ATI Radeon video, that identifies itself as:

Radeon RV100 QY [Radeon 7000/VE]

I tried Wary 0.5.1 (which will be uploaded soon), Wary 0.4 and Slackpup 0.4, the video does not work with any of them. Even the Xorg 'vesa' driver does not work!

However, I built Wary 0.5.1 with Xvesa, and that does work. Good old Xvesa!

It is strange, as according to this site, the Radeon RV100 hardware should work:

To reiterate, 'cos people still get confused: The Xvesa driver has nothing to do with the Xorg 'vesa' driver. Xvesa is what is known as a "kdrive" server. It was bundled with Xorg up until Xorg 7.3, although it is not an Xorg driver. It was dropped from Xorg after that. Xvesa will not work in later Xorg versions (incompatible with the X libraries), hence it can only work in Puppy 4.x and Wary.

Xvesa and the Xorg 'vesa' driver are similar in that they are both un-accelerated generic X servers. The latter is a "proper" Xorg driver, which has certain advantages, such as being able to change the screen refresh frequency (the Xvesa driver operates at a fixed frequency, that may cause noticeable flicker on CRT screens). The 'vesa' driver will obey whatever is in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, Xvesa does not use that file at all.

Why was Xvesa dropped? ...I don't want to go into that, it is still a sore point with me. I have written about it in this blog.



Wary 051 video
Username: ozsouth
"This looks very good. Thankyou. My 7 year old Toshiba (ATI Radeon 9000) & my 7 month old Compaq (Intel GM45) both worked with Xvesa immediately. With Xorg, the old Toshiba worked with some manual fiddling, whilst the newer Compaq just hung. Quirky 1.2 works well with both. Xorg 7.3 vs 7.5 is obviously a substantial change.

No video
Username: Sage
"This is the best news I've heard in weeks. Whilst the community developers are revelling in self-congratulations over their Lupu release, to a man they have deliberately ignored all my exhortations that there are major faults in video performance, mostly, but not exclusively, with Full installations. These difficulties have been occurring since 4.3.1, as reported by other authors in another thread. I do not have the skills in SW to conduct a proper analysis but I do have a lot of skills in HW to discover such issues, and did in response to the call for testers. Only the intervention of our Dear Leader is going have any impact on this serious situation which is why I feel vindicated at last. Normally I do not use community releases, but this time it seemed to have official sanction. Failure to address small siren voices can sink titanics (sic).

Re Wary and Quirky
Username: BarryK
"I have just announced Wary 051. I have not forgotten Quirky though. Quirky is also "retro" in that it has the most recent Intel Xorg driver that works without KMS. It might turn out to be a better Xorg than that currently used in Wary. We will have to do a lot of comparing to determine that. In a nutshell, Quirky is non-KMS Xorg 7.5, Wary is Xorg 7.3+ with older i810, Xvesa and some latest drivers -- a really mixed breed.

Re Xvesa in later Xorg
Username: BarryK
"Jemimah, Yeah, I should have qualified that. Xvesa does work in later versions of Xorg, but with various issues. It won't compile in Xorg 7.4 or later, which shows that the incompatibilities are fundamental. Some people have tried to fix it to compile in Xorg 7.4 -- I don't recall the details, but I think they gave up.

Tags: wary