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No support 3D acceleration for ATI Legacy Cards in Ubuntu 10.04, options?

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  • No support 3D acceleration for ATI Legacy Cards in Ubuntu 10.04, options?

    So I just recently upgraded to Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx from 9.04, and there doesn't seem to be an easy way to enable 3D acceleration for my card (Mobility Radeon x600). On 9.04, i found a tutorial on how to downgrade xserver and a few other things to allow the fglrx driver to work properly. I haven't tried that method on 10.04 yet, but from what i understand, it wont work anyway.

    So my question is, how can get 3D acceleration working? Is there any way to get it working under 10.04? The only other options i could think of were to either downgrade to Ubuntu 8.04, switch to Debian (i read somewhere that fglrx drivers for my card will work with Debian Lenny), or even dual boot Windows XP.

    And if it makes any difference, I only want 3D acceleration support for gaming. Right now, the open source drivers seem to be working well for everything else (video playback, compiz etc)

  • #2
    3D acceleration should work out of the box. If Compiz is working then you have 3D acceleration.

    What does "glxinfo | grep render" give you ?

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    • #3
      My bad, maybe i should've been more specific. I guess more than just having 3D acceleration work, I want it to work at full speed in terms of gaming. From previous experience, i've found that fglrx drivers are the only way to go, as far as gaming is concerned. I just downloaded tuxracer as a simple benchmark, and it ran extremely slowly.


      By the way, the output was:

      direct rendering: Yes
      OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI R300 (RV380 3150) 20090101 x86/MMX/SSE2 TCL
      Thanks for the response

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      • #4
        I'm a bit rusty on the details but that renderer string looks a bit dated. I think there should be a DRI2 string at least if you are running with KMS, which should be the default with Ubuntu 10.04...

        ... and if you are running with KMS then I think you have all the bits in place to start looking at the latest Gallium3D driver, which should get you higher levels of GL support.

        Are you running with KMS at the moment ?

        If you want to run fglrx then you will need to change distros. You might want to look at Kanotix (which AFAIK still runs the legacy fglrx nicely) or Ubuntu 8.04 / 8.10 (8.10 preferred except support has ended IIRC).

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        • #5
          I actually turned KMS off because i had a serious issue with it. Anytime i tried to do anything, my computer would stutter. For example, I would open up the Applications menu from the panel, and it would stutter. I would go into another folder in nautilus, and it would stutter. It was pretty much unusable because it would stutter so often. I researched the problem a bit and the only solution i found was to turn KMS off. So thats what i did and now i don't have that stuttering problem

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          • #6
            Ahh, OK. That explains the rendering string.

            Not sure what the status of the stuttering is, specifically whether or not it has been reproduced on a drm developer's system yet.

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            • #7
              Well, i finally broke down and decided to install Windows XP on a separate partition. It took me a while (windows doesn't seem to like ubuntu) but i think it will be worth it in the long run. This way i wont have to deal with unsupported drivers or WINE.

              Just out of curiousity, is there any advantage to having KMS enabled? I have no idea what it is, and disabling it doesn't seem to negatively affect my computer.

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              • #8
                It's sort of a two part answer. KMS on its own gives you a number of operational benefits, from a smoother boot (GPU comes up in high res graphics mode almost immediately rather than flickering through a number of mode changes as new drivers start up) to faster VT switch (no handoff between X and kernel drivers) and a simpler environment for suspend resume, which should result in more consistent suspend resume behavior on average.

                The bigger advantage comes from the fact that KMS and GEM/TTM memory management were implemented together, in the sense that KMS was "the first customer" of GEM/TTM. Having a common kernel memory manager (GEM/TTM) allows a number of other new features to be implemented, mostly related to 3D functionality (GL 2.x and higher needs GEM/TTM and indirectly KMS) and better interoperation between 2D and 3D when compositing etc...

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                • #9
                  I'll be honest, most of that went over my head, but thansk for the explanation anyway. Hmm, maybe this explains why the xubuntu splash image (shown right before the GDM login screen) looked so low res after i disabled KMS.

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                  • #10
                    You can get a high res console without KMS too. It's just a bit more work on Ubuntu since it doesn't do it by default. The trick is to pass the appropriate graphics resolution to the kernel VESA framebuffer driver in the Grub configuration.

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                    • #11
                      You really start to hate kms when you want to be able to unload the drivers. Would be nice if somebody could explain me how to switch to a default text console and unload the driver in a script which is not executed via ssh. That's a basic requirement to install binary drivers later. There is basically a hack that can be used to unload, but that kills the vt. For reference you can try this:
                      Code:
                      for x in $(ls /sys/class/vtconsole/*/bind 2>/dev/null); do echo 0 > $x; done
                      rmmod radeon ttm drm_kms_helper drm
                      Of course X needs to be stopped while you do that.

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                      • #12
                        @RealNC: Only vesa resolutions supported, no widescreen there

                        @Kano: That is possible? Thanks, didn't know of that.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by curaga View Post
                          @RealNC: Only vesa resolutions supported, no widescreen there
                          There are extended VESA resolutions for widescreen monitors (I say 'extended' for lack of a better term). My Nvidia laptop has a 1680x1050 monitor and it was possible to boot at that resolution using the Nvidia blob (the KMS driver would do that out of the box).

                          Very slow, unfortunately, Ati seems to provide a faster framebuffer for some reason.

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