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Old 22nd September 2013
stan98765 stan98765 is offline
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Default OpenBSD 5.4 Nvidia Driver Issue and KDE Desktop disappearing text.

Hi all,

I have been using OpenBSD for the last 8 years. It does an excellent job as a firewall and partial desktop. Here is my dilemma listed below.

Scenario:
I have used OpenBSD 5.3 on my older PC using motherboard GA-8IK1100 and a Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4600 - 128MB DDR (AGP 4x) - RAMDAC 350MHz, using NV25 chip. All has worked well.

Attacked files:
1. dmesg.boot_OB53
2. Xorg.0.log_OB53
3. dmesg.boot_OB54
4. Xorg.0.log_OB54
5. xorg.conf_OB54

I next tried a (NEW) install with OpenBSD 5.4 snapshot from the Alberta, Canada ftp web link using the openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/snapshots/i386 and openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/snapshots/packages/i368.

I use KDE for my Desktop display and only install kdebase-3.5.10p25.tgz as minimal KDE setup.

I had no problems with basic console setup after installation of OpenBSD 5.4 snapshot. The problem started with the installation of kdebase-3.5.10p25.tgz. I did my basic KDE setup as usual. The desktop pops up with text disappearing on my display monitor.

I created a (NEW) xcorg.conf file and copied it to the /etc directory. I am using the "nv" and "vesa" settings from the OpenBSD manual for this configuration. After some experimentation, I noticed that if I change Option "NoAccel" "false" and Option "ShadowFB" "false", I get the text disappearing on my LCD display. Next if I, change Option "NoAccel" "true" and Option "ShadowFB" "false", I get the text appearing on the LCD display. The only problem with this is that the KDE Konqueror Windows display properly, but if moved, they refresh themselves very slowly.

Attachment "xorg.conf_OB54.txt" causes the disappearing text on KDE desktop.
NOTE: It is only a quick modified setup to tweak my graphics card.

I have read on the X.Org Web Site that they decided to take out the "xaa" extension and replacing it with "exa". Noticed that some of the /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/extensions and /usr/X11R6/lib/modules have missing files in OpenBSD 5.4. Read that "exa" only used for Nvidia (nv80) chipsets and upward.

IDEA... Can they not keep both modules in? One for for older and the other for newer systems.

This leads me to the next question.
Why can't OpenBSD 5.4 be backwards compatible with older hardware and newer hardware at the same time? Like backing up to previous older drivers that work with older hardware.

X.org Web Site development document mentions quote "xaa is largely inadequate for accelerating modern desktop usage."
Here is the Link: http://www.x.org/wiki/Development/Do...on/Performance

The "exa" does not help me with the nv25 chip on my graphics card.

I don't want to buy another Graphics Card if the one I have work great with OpenBSD 5.3.
Question: Is there a work around, tweak or patch for OpenBSD 5.4 for using the Nvidia GeForce4 Ti 4600 - 128MB DDR (AGP 4x).

I've been searching the Internet for a solution, but have not found any helpful information.
Thank you for any ideas on this issue.

NOTE: I'll try to keep this issue updated until I find a solution.
Attached Files
File Type: txt dmesg.boot_OB53.txt (6.6 KB, 34 views)
File Type: txt dmesg.boot_OB54.txt (6.6 KB, 10 views)
File Type: txt Xorg.0.log_OB53.txt (40.0 KB, 13 views)
File Type: txt Xorg.0.log_OB54.txt (37.8 KB, 11 views)
File Type: txt xorg.conf_OB54.txt (3.6 KB, 41 views)

Last edited by stan98765; 23rd September 2013 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 22nd September 2013
shep shep is offline
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Some of the upstream xorg packages broke a number of drivers and I believe that nv was one of them.

This thread (openbsd-x11) in the mailing groups should shed some light.

At this point in time options would be
1) OpenBSD 5.3
2) FreeBSD (will provide 3-D acceleration)
3) Replacing the graphic card
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Old 30th September 2013
shep shep is offline
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Some pertainent news
Nvidia Releasing GPU Documentation
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Old 1st November 2013
Martillo Martillo is offline
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Well, after upgrade to 5.4, moving windows in X is dead slow. Asus ENGTX260 Nvidia graphics card.

As a side note, X loging initial screen takes its time (about 15 seconds) to appear.

Last edited by Martillo; 1st November 2013 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 1st November 2013
shep shep is offline
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More news:

Mailing list entry from Xenocara Maintainer
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Old 2nd November 2013
Martillo Martillo is offline
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Sell Nvidia stock, buy AMD and Intel shares!

So it is all Xorg upstream fault? And the Xenocara thing?

The way I see it there was a X implementation in 5.3 and lower that worked well in 2D with Nvidia hardware. Now X renders almost unusable and the situation forces me to tiling WM. However, I have a laptop with Intel and AMD grapchics hardware that works better with 5.4 due to the new implementations.

So the situation is clear for me: keep OpenBSD in the laptop and migrate the desktop to FreeBSD.

Last edited by Martillo; 2nd November 2013 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 2nd November 2013
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LeFrettchen LeFrettchen is offline
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Nvidia video cards are not recommended with OpenBSD, since Nvidia doesn't release enough informations to create a correct driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by www.openbsd.org/i386.html
X Window System support is available for most graphics cards, using the X.Org server. As with other free operating systems it is highly recommended that Nvidia cards are avoided since this vendor continues to show tremendous resistance towards releasing information that would allow X.Org to support their hardware properly.
So, using a Nvidia video card is a gambling game...
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Old 2nd November 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeFrettchen View Post
Nvidia video cards are not recommended with OpenBSD, since Nvidia doesn't release enough informations to create a correct driver.

So, using a Nvidia video card is a gambling game...
But my card worked in 5.3...
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Old 2nd November 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martillo View Post
But my card worked in 5.3...
Yes. Please read shep's post above.
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Old 2nd November 2013
Martillo Martillo is offline
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I have set the vesa driver in the xorg.conf file, and now the display is responsive, but resolution does not go above 1024x768, even when following directions from http://www.openbsd.org/faq/faq11.html#amd64i386. Native is 1280x1024.

Digging more...
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Old 2nd November 2013
Martillo Martillo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
Yes. Please read shep's post above.
Yep. I reckon

P.S.: Oh, I forgot: 4) NetBSD.

Last edited by Martillo; 4th November 2013 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 8th November 2013
Martillo Martillo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shep View Post
Ah... politics...

What I do not understand is why it is not technnicaly posible to keep an already working solution for Nvidia cards, even if the development of new features for them is abandoned.

But politics are politics.
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Old 8th November 2013
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It's not just politics... As Xorg develops, API's change. NVIDIA used to maintain the open source nv driver. They no longer do. Someone else has to be willing to update the drivers.

Adam
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Old 8th November 2013
shep shep is offline
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Quote:
What I do not understand is why it is not technnicaly posible to keep an already working solution for Nvidia cards, even if the development of new features for them is abandoned.
My understanding is that the culprit was Mesa. The newer intel and radeon drivers needed an updated Mesa library. OpenBSD made the decision to support the more open and widely used drivers.

Quote:
P.S.: Oh, I forgot: 4) NetBSD
In my opinion, Xorg in NetBSD is disjointed. The Xorg implementation that comes with the *.iso/*.img is very old. Modular Xorg installs a newer version with the updated Mesa Library. I am guessing that you are using the older Xorg and if you were to try modular xorg you might experience the same problems.

I learned this the hard way by trying to use NetBSD on an old desknote with a Sis 630 video chip. The Sis driver also broke with the new Mesa libs.

I'm wondering why you don't use FreeBSD. Nvidea provided a FreeBSD driver and has good documentation on how to do it.
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Old 8th November 2013
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If Nvidia does not maintain the nv driver, part of the responsibility is theirs, also if Xorg changes the APIs they are responsible if that change break things.

Yes, I stick to standard Xorg in NetBSD for I the same reason. FreeBSD works wonderfully thanks to the binary blob, even vdpau video acceleration works.

I really like OpenBSD, but slow and laggy 2D in nv and limited resolutions in vesa make impossible for me to use in my desktop pc.
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Old 12th November 2013
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Well, I have plenty of USB ports, so an USB to VGA External Video Card would work?

Something like http://es.startech.com/en/AV/USB-Vid...pter~USB2VGAE3
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Old 12th November 2013
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You would need an applicable USB driver for whichever OS you wanted to use it with. It's unclear if you are considering this for one of the BSDs, and if so, which one.

Your linked product is supported with drivers for various releases of Windows, only. And if you were thinking of OpenBSD, while there are five MCT products listed in sys/dev/usb/usbdevs, the MCT T2-285A is not one of them.
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Old 13th November 2013
Martillo Martillo is offline
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Well, it seems things are difficult.
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Old 13th November 2013
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Maybe you could find a radeon video card...

I think your motherboard has some free PCI slots, so something like this : http://www.materiel.net/carte-graphi...ive-66696.html

And this video card is fully supported by OpenBSD
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Old 13th November 2013
Martillo Martillo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeFrettchen View Post
Maybe you could find a radeon video card...

I think your motherboard has some free PCI slots, so something like this : http://www.materiel.net/carte-graphi...ive-66696.html

And this video card is fully supported by OpenBSD
Thanks LeFrettchen . It is an option, and once I have to buy a graphics card I could take the chance to upgrade performance, so do you know something more powerful and equally fully supported by OpenBSD?

The other option is to keep my GTX 260 and add the HD 5450 to the system. In that case I do not know if OpenBSD will manage having both cards installed.
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