FAQ
Hello Everyone,

I'm running the x86_64 bit version of CentOS 4 on a dual AMD Opteron
server. The graphics card is an ATI Radeon X300. At the moment, Xorg
is configured to use the open source driver, radeon. The server itself
is connected to a KVM switch, which has otherwise not caused any issues.

Recently, the virtual terminals have started to go blank and then not
come back. What I mean by that is that the VTs from 1 to 7 do not
display anything (the server is typically running in run level 5). I
thought perhaps DPMS was on, but no amount of typing on the keyboard
brings them back.

I then considered it was related to the vgay1 parameter I was passing
to the kernel - there were many mtrr errors reported
in /var/log/messages. However, removing that parameter hasn't fixed the
problem.

Restarting GDM or changing the server's run levels doesn't work either.
Only a reboot resolves the issue. (Hmmm...now that I think about it,
removing the radeon module and adding it again might be equivalent to
the reboot).

There's nothing in /var/log/messages or in the xorg log file to indicate
a problem. All the tty processes are running normally.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced this before. If so,
is switching to the proprietary driver the only option? Is there
anything else I can look at? I'm suspecting it's a driver issue, and so
will shortly try the proprietary driver from ATI.

Thanks,

Ranbir
--
Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu
Linux 2.6.15-1.1833_FC4 i686 GNU/Linux
16:31:58 up 10:01, 3 users, load average: 0.94, 0.33, 0.20

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  • Rodrigo Barbosa at Mar 14, 2006 at 11:33 pm

    On Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 04:44:20PM -0500, Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu wrote:
    I'm running the x86_64 bit version of CentOS 4 on a dual AMD Opteron
    server. The graphics card is an ATI Radeon X300. At the moment, Xorg
    is configured to use the open source driver, radeon. The server itself
    is connected to a KVM switch, which has otherwise not caused any issues. (...)
    I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced this before. If so,
    is switching to the proprietary driver the only option? Is there
    anything else I can look at? I'm suspecting it's a driver issue, and so
    will shortly try the proprietary driver from ATI.
    ATI support on Xorg is very iffy at the moment. I have been having problems
    all over when I have any ATI based card.

    I suppose it will get sorted out by 4.3. At least I hope it will.

    - --
    Rodrigo Barbosa <rodrigob@suespammers.org>
    "Quid quid Latine dictum sit, altum viditur"
    "Be excellent to each other ..." - Bill & Ted (Wyld Stallyns)
  • Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu at Mar 15, 2006 at 3:06 pm

    On Tue, 2006-14-03 at 20:33 -0300, Rodrigo Barbosa wrote:
    ATI support on Xorg is very iffy at the moment. I have been having problems
    all over when I have any ATI based card.
    That sucks.

    What's really irritating is that it was fine for several months, and
    then all of a sudden the screen started to blank out.
    I suppose it will get sorted out by 4.3. At least I hope it will.
    Hopefully. But, in the meantime, I'm going to switch to the vesa
    driver. I'm not concerned about 2D performance since it's a server -
    it's reliability that's important.

    Thank you very much for replying. At least I have a better
    understanding of what's going on.

    Regards,

    Ranbir

    --
    Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu
    Linux 2.6.15-1.1833_FC4 i686 GNU/Linux
    10:01:45 up 3:31, 2 users, load average: 0.84, 0.44, 0.28
  • Rodrigo Barbosa at Mar 15, 2006 at 3:23 pm

    On Wed, Mar 15, 2006 at 10:06:53AM -0500, Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu wrote:
    On Tue, 2006-14-03 at 20:33 -0300, Rodrigo Barbosa wrote:
    ATI support on Xorg is very iffy at the moment. I have been having problems
    all over when I have any ATI based card.
    That sucks.

    What's really irritating is that it was fine for several months, and
    then all of a sudden the screen started to blank out.
    Yup. Worked without a problem on 4.1
    I suppose it will get sorted out by 4.3. At least I hope it will.
    Hopefully. But, in the meantime, I'm going to switch to the vesa
    driver. I'm not concerned about 2D performance since it's a server -
    it's reliability that's important.
    Why do you need X on a server ? Just run it on runlevel 3 and be
    happy.
    Thank you very much for replying. At least I have a better
    understanding of what's going on.
    Yeah. We can all cry together now.

    - --
    Rodrigo Barbosa <rodrigob@suespammers.org>
    "Quid quid Latine dictum sit, altum viditur"
    "Be excellent to each other ..." - Bill & Ted (Wyld Stallyns)
  • Centos at Mar 15, 2006 at 12:51 am

    Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu wrote:
    Hello Everyone,

    I'm running the x86_64 bit version of CentOS 4 on a dual AMD Opteron
    server. The graphics card is an ATI Radeon X300. At the moment, Xorg
    is configured to use the open source driver, radeon. The server itself
    is connected to a KVM switch, which has otherwise not caused any issues.
    CentOS 4.2 does NOT work with ATI! Period! not x86-64 and x86.. X
    is completely screwed up. I hope that this will be fixed with
    4.3. I had to switch to an nVidia card that works perfectly.

    This is not just CentOS, it's X. I had the same problem with
    Ubuntu, but SuSE worked perfectly without any problem, they have
    newer drivers.

    I tried with the drivers from X and from ATI, same.

    If you can live with it, you can edit Xorg.conf and change the
    driver to VESA, but it's ugly.

    --
    Thanks
    http://www.911networks.com
    When the network has to work
  • Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu at Mar 15, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    On Tue, 2006-14-03 at 16:51 -0800, centos@911networks.com wrote:
    CentOS 4.2 does NOT work with ATI! Period! not x86-64 and x86.. X
    is completely screwed up. I hope that this will be fixed with
    4.3. I had to switch to an nVidia card that works perfectly.
    Yeah, that's what I'm discovering. I wish I had heard these reports
    earlier before slapping an ATI card in.

    Switching to another card, such as one from nvidia, is an option of last
    resort.
    This is not just CentOS, it's X. I had the same problem with
    Ubuntu, but SuSE worked perfectly without any problem, they have
    newer drivers.
    Ok. Good to know.
    I tried with the drivers from X and from ATI, same.

    If you can live with it, you can edit Xorg.conf and change the
    driver to VESA, but it's ugly.
    Yep, that's what I'm going to do. Degraded 2D performance isn't a
    problem. It's a server, so reliability is more important for me.

    Thanks for replying.

    Regards,

    Ranbir

    --
    Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu
    Linux 2.6.15-1.1833_FC4 i686 GNU/Linux
    10:06:57 up 3:36, 2 users, load average: 0.03, 0.23, 0.24
  • Troy Engel at Mar 15, 2006 at 5:20 pm

    centos@911networks.com wrote:
    CentOS 4.2 does NOT work with ATI! Period! not x86-64 and x86.. X is
    completely screwed up. I hope that this will be fixed with 4.3. I had to
    switch to an nVidia card that works perfectly.
    Possible investigation path for y'all -- something like this happened in
    a recent Fedora update (which affected my laptop with ATI at home), it
    turned out to be the module-init-tools and udev or something like that.
    Not saying this is the same thing, but worth reading the bug report.

    https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id9041

    -te

    --
    Troy Engel | Systems Engineer
    Fluid, Inc | http://www.fluid.com
  • Aleksandar Milivojevic at Mar 15, 2006 at 2:58 am

    Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu wrote:
    I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced this before. If so,
    is switching to the proprietary driver the only option? Is there
    anything else I can look at? I'm suspecting it's a driver issue, and so
    will shortly try the proprietary driver from ATI.
    I'm running X300 on one of my boxes, and it seems that my particular
    card runs OK. I don't think it's original ATI card, just uses the ATI
    chipset. Of course, there's no 3D acceleration (just 2D).
  • Rodrigo Barbosa at Mar 15, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    On Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 08:58:55PM -0600, Aleksandar Milivojevic wrote:
    Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu wrote:
    I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced this before. If so,
    is switching to the proprietary driver the only option? Is there
    anything else I can look at? I'm suspecting it's a driver issue, and so
    will shortly try the proprietary driver from ATI.
    I'm running X300 on one of my boxes, and it seems that my particular
    card runs OK. I don't think it's original ATI card, just uses the ATI
    chipset. Of course, there's no 3D acceleration (just 2D).
    What really counts is the chipset.

    So, either you are running using the vesa driver, or you are damn
    lucky.

    - --
    Rodrigo Barbosa <rodrigob@suespammers.org>
    "Quid quid Latine dictum sit, altum viditur"
    "Be excellent to each other ..." - Bill & Ted (Wyld Stallyns)
  • Aleksandar Milivojevic at Mar 15, 2006 at 4:00 pm
    Quoting Rodrigo Barbosa <rodrigob@suespammers.org>:
    On Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 08:58:55PM -0600, Aleksandar Milivojevic wrote:

    I'm running X300 on one of my boxes, and it seems that my particular
    card runs OK. I don't think it's original ATI card, just uses the ATI
    chipset. Of course, there's no 3D acceleration (just 2D).
    What really counts is the chipset.

    So, either you are running using the vesa driver, or you are damn
    lucky.
    I guess I'm just damn lucky then.

    From lspci:

    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV370 5B60
    [Radeon X300 (PCIE)]

    From xorg.conf:

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Videocard0"
    Driver "radeon"
    VendorName "Videocard vendor"
    BoardName "ATI Radeon X300"
    EndSection

    --
    See Ya' later, alligator!
    http://www.8-P.ca/
  • Rodrigo Barbosa at Mar 15, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    On Wed, Mar 15, 2006 at 10:00:23AM -0600, Aleksandar Milivojevic wrote:
    Quoting Rodrigo Barbosa <rodrigob@suespammers.org>:
    On Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 08:58:55PM -0600, Aleksandar Milivojevic wrote:

    I'm running X300 on one of my boxes, and it seems that my particular
    card runs OK. I don't think it's original ATI card, just uses the ATI
    chipset. Of course, there's no 3D acceleration (just 2D).
    What really counts is the chipset.

    So, either you are running using the vesa driver, or you are damn
    lucky.
    I guess I'm just damn lucky then.

    From lspci:

    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV370 5B60
    [Radeon X300 (PCIE)]

    From xorg.conf:

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Videocard0"
    Driver "radeon"
    VendorName "Videocard vendor"
    BoardName "ATI Radeon X300"
    EndSection
    Are you sure that is a 4.2 box ?

    - --
    Rodrigo Barbosa <rodrigob@suespammers.org>
    "Quid quid Latine dictum sit, altum viditur"
    "Be excellent to each other ..." - Bill & Ted (Wyld Stallyns)
  • Aleksandar Milivojevic at Mar 15, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    Quoting Rodrigo Barbosa <rodrigob@suespammers.org>:

    Are you sure that is a 4.2 box ?
    Yup, positive:

    $ cat /etc/redhat-release
    CentOS release 4.2 (Final)
    $ rpm -q xorg-x11
    xorg-x11-6.8.2-1.EL.13.20

    --
    See Ya' later, alligator!
    http://www.8-P.ca/
  • Karanbir Singh at Mar 16, 2006 at 12:14 am

    Rodrigo Barbosa wrote:
    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1
    On Wed, Mar 15, 2006 at 10:00:23AM -0600, Aleksandar Milivojevic wrote:
    Quoting Rodrigo Barbosa <rodrigob@suespammers.org>:
    On Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 08:58:55PM -0600, Aleksandar Milivojevic wrote:
    I'm running X300 on one of my boxes, and it seems that my particular
    card runs OK. I don't think it's original ATI card, just uses the ATI
    chipset. Of course, there's no 3D acceleration (just 2D).
    What really counts is the chipset.

    So, either you are running using the vesa driver, or you are damn
    lucky.
    I guess I'm just damn lucky then.

    From lspci:

    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV370 5B60
    [Radeon X300 (PCIE)]

    From xorg.conf:

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Videocard0"
    Driver "radeon"
    VendorName "Videocard vendor"
    BoardName "ATI Radeon X300"
    EndSection
    Are you sure that is a 4.2 box ?
    iirc, its just dri that causes issues, disabling dri and using the
    radeon driver directly seems to keep the system usable.


    --
    Karanbir Singh : http://www.karan.org/ : 2522219@icq
  • Aleksandar Milivojevic at Mar 16, 2006 at 4:16 pm

    Quoting Karanbir Singh <mail-lists@karan.org>:

    iirc, its just dri that causes issues, disabling dri and using the
    radeon driver directly seems to keep the system usable.
    That's a separate issue.

    "Stable" open source DRI drivers are available up to RV280 chipset
    (RV100, R100 and RV200 chipsets using radeon driver, R200 to RV280
    using r200 driver). RV200 is really R100 on steroids, hence it uses
    radeon driver. X300 has RV370 chipset. The r300 driver that should
    support 3xx and (at least some) 4xx chipsets is still under development
    (experimental version available). AFAIK, still nothing for 5xx
    chipsets (X1x00 cards) -- maybe r300 will support those too, or maybe
    it supports them even now, I don't know. The r300 website clearly
    states "The source code on this website may damage your hardware". I
    might give it a try one of these days ;-)

    If somebody is having issues with X300 card, it's not DRI. Since
    neither radeon or r200 DRI device drivers support this card (not to be
    confused with 2D radeon module for X server which is used for all ATI
    Radeon cards). William has Radeon 7000/VE (according to his lspci
    output), which uses RV100 chipset (and optionally radeon DRI device
    driver, if DRI is enabled). That card works fine without DRI, and some
    versions of it work with DRI too. I have one Radeon 7000 card that
    works correctly with DRI (however, it's PCI card, not AGP, so somewhat
    slower) -- seems like I'm an lucky bastard ;-)

    --
    See Ya' later, alligator!
    http://www.8-P.ca/
  • Aleksandar Milivojevic at Mar 16, 2006 at 6:23 pm
    BTW, I've just tryed out ATI drivers on X300. 2D seems to be more
    responsive (but this might be purely subjective, I've not run any
    benchmarks), and of course there's also 3D acceleration. Installation
    is not for the faint of hearth indeed. Shame that people working for
    free in their spare time are polishing their software more than paid
    programmers.

    Make sure you donwload correct version of RPM (i386 or x86_64).
    Uninstall xorg-x11-Mesa-libGL (ATI RPM containst those libs too).
    You'll need to use '--force', and on x86_64 you'll also need
    --allmatches (in case you had both i386 and x86_64 lib installed).
    Install ATI RPM package. The x86_64 ATI RPM has both 32-bit and 64-bit
    libraries, so you need only one RPM, don't try to install both i386 and
    x86_64.

    After installing RPM, you need to reconfigure xorg.conf. Documentation
    points to non-existing fglrxconfig. It was replaced by aticonfig
    (found it with little Googling), but documentation was not updated.
    Simply run:

    # aticonfig --initial --input=/etc/X11/xorg.conf

    Then make sure devel package for current kernel is in place (make sure
    to use smp devel package if running SMP kernel). Execute (replace
    KERNEL_PATH to match kernel version, architecture and SMP or non-SMP).

    # cd /lib/modules/fglrx/build_mod
    # KERNEL_PATH=/usr/src/kernels/2.6.9-34.EL-smp-x86_64 sh make.sh
    # cd ..
    # sh make_install.sh

    You will get an error in second step. *Ignore* error as long as you
    get instruction to execute make_install.sh in parent directory! Took
    me a bit of Googling to find that out.

    You can kill your X server now. After logging in, lsmod should show
    fglrx is loaded. fglrxinfo should show "ATI" in OpenGL vedor string.

    There's still couple of gotchas I'm figuring out. Like resolution
    defautls to highest my card/monitor combo supports (1792x1344 hurts
    eyes on 19" monitor). I'm able to change resolution only for current
    user by going to Applications->Preferences->Screen Resolution. I guess
    there's option in aticonfig to set that up, haven't looked yet. Try
    running fgl_glxgears, it should be fast.

    Anyhow, seems to be working, if 3D is required...

    --
    See Ya' later, alligator!
    http://www.8-P.ca/
  • Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu at Mar 16, 2006 at 9:08 pm

    On Thu, 2006-16-03 at 12:23 -0600, Aleksandar Milivojevic wrote:
    BTW, I've just tryed out ATI drivers on X300. 2D seems to be more
    responsive (but this might be purely subjective, I've not run any
    benchmarks), and of course there's also 3D acceleration. Installation
    is not for the faint of hearth indeed. Shame that people working for
    free in their spare time are polishing their software more than paid
    programmers.
    [snip...]

    Holy shit. And here I was thinking the ATI driver install was as simple
    as the nvidia installer. It's not even close.

    I'm starting to understand why people complain so much about ATI support
    for Linux.

    Anyway, thanks for the post, Alexander. That will definitely come in
    handy.

    Regards,

    Ranbir
    --
    Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu
    Linux 2.6.15-1.1833_FC4 i686 GNU/Linux
    16:06:04 up 43 min, 2 users, load average: 0.24, 0.45, 0.57
  • William L. Maltby at Mar 15, 2006 at 9:19 pm

    On Wed, 2006-03-15 at 10:00 -0600, Aleksandar Milivojevic wrote:
    Quoting Rodrigo Barbosa <rodrigob@suespammers.org>:
    On Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 08:58:55PM -0600, Aleksandar Milivojevic wrote:

    I'm running X300 on one of my boxes, and it seems that my particular
    card runs OK. I don't think it's original ATI card, just uses the ATI
    chipset. Of course, there's no 3D acceleration (just 2D).
    What really counts is the chipset.

    So, either you are running using the vesa driver, or you are damn
    lucky.
    I guess I'm just damn lucky then.

    From lspci:

    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV370 5B60
    [Radeon X300 (PCIE)]

    From xorg.conf:

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Videocard0"
    Driver "radeon"
    VendorName "Videocard vendor"
    BoardName "ATI Radeon X300"
    EndSection
    And I must be living right too. Fully updated 4.2 box.

    From rom lspci:

    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon RV100 QY
    [Radeon 7000/VE]

    From rom xorg.conf:

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Videocard0"
    Driver "radeon"
    VendorName "Videocard vendor"
    BoardName "ATI Radeon 7000"
    EndSection
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