Sunday 31 August 2008

Intrepid Ibex on a Lenovo T60

Think of this post as somewhat of a response, or extension to Pavel Rojtberg's post regarding the need for closed-source drivers for the T60, that I've found on (posted August 30th). I'm also keeping this as install notes for when I will have to reinstall my laptop.

It seems that it is indeed no longer necessary to use closed-source drivers at all for a Lenovo T60 on Intrepid. On hardy, I also used to be forced to run the closed-source FGLRX drivers to handle advanced things like OpenGL (gaming and nice screensavers), dual-head setups, etc.

I've recently setup my work laptop to run Intrepid (alpha 4), and as such I did happen to notice this pretty nice change. So far, it works like a charm. A few notes I'd add however, is that the dual-head setup is slightly complicated if you want to not have to edit xorg.conf too much (since the possibility of running without the file is one of the features of Intrepid). So, here are my notes:

  • Don't even think of installing fglrx at all if you want the open-source drivers to work. The fglrx install (both from apt and from the ATI website) changes a lot of things, including the location of some libraries, it seems. If you install the driver, make sure you take all the steps to be really certain it's completely removed. If you're at the point that you think it's removed and you are now running on radeon or ati, and when you run glxgears or glxinfo it ends with a Segmentation fault, then it is VERY likely that it isn't completely removed yet. My guess would be to look in /usr/lib/xorg for the libGL libraries, and to remove the package that relates to these files (I'm not sure which one yet).
  • Go slowly, and if you're unsure, get rid of xorg.conf to start from scratch.
  • Don't trust the failsafe X configuration wizard too much, do the very basic, get back to some single-headed working config that pleases you and work from there.
  • If you want to run dual-head with a resolution any higher thant 800x600 (which I'd guess most people will want to do...), at this point in time you WILL need to slightly modify your xorg.conf file manually and add a Virtual line in the "Display" subsection of the "Screen" section to support your higher resolution, as described here, but you will NOT need the "MergedFB" option, since that will be taken care of by Xrandr. Hopefully the hard limitation of 1600x1600 as a Virtual resolution will be increased by the time Intrepid is released, but for now it blocks you completely from using xrandr right away to setup dual-head, and forces you to modify xorg.conf manually.
  • If you are like me and use a similar dual-head setup at work and at home with your laptop (but with different monitors), be ready for some minor modifications to xorg.conf. In my specific case, I found that modelines from my work secondary screen (a Samsung SyncMaster something 940a, 17inch), and my home secondary screen (Acer AL1716, 17inch), didn't always match. If I setup the dual-headed config with the failsafe wizard at work, and bring my laptop home, the modelines for work will not allow me to use my home screen, but if I do the config the same way at home, the modelines will still allow me to use my work screen. The modelines were of course completely handled by the failsafe wizard, I didn't have to edit xorg.conf.
  • Don't hesitate to break xorg.conf with some weird config (like refering to the fglrx driver when it isn't installed) to get in the failsafe X wizard if you need to... I don't know of a simpler way to get to it, but I admit I didn't really check.
  • Mind the command: "sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg" to build for you a base xorg.conf file, if you want to start over with a clean config that will work quite nicely for single-screen setups.
The only slight annoyance I can think of, it that the gnome panels show up on my secondary screen every time I boot, but I'm thinking of trying it out like that for a little while.

As for the ath9k drivers, I'm not sure if they are already being used or not, and haven't had a change to look and make sure.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

could you post your xorg.conf to me?