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  • Trouble with Radeon KMS on Debian

    So with the lack of newer X server support in fglrx, I decided to take the plunge and try out the open source drivers. However, I ran into a minor problem. When I enable KMS and start X, I get a blank black screen. Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance.

    I'm running Debian testing, have a Radeon HD4670 (ChipID = 0x9490).
    X.org - X Server 1.7.5
    Kernel - 2.6.32-trunk-686
    Libdrm - 2.4.18
    Radeon - 6.12.4

    I can confirm KMS does work, if I stop X and goto a terminal, I can rmmod radeon, modprobe radeon modeset=1 and clearly see a KMS terminal. dmesg | grep drm shows [drm] radeon: Initializing kernel modesetting. However, when I then try to restart X, either by /etc/init.d/kdm start or startx, the screen goes blank and the machine becomes unresponsive. Booting with modesetting enables causes a similar problem - after grub I get no video output.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tillin9 View Post
    So with the lack of newer X server support in fglrx, I decided to take the plunge and try out the open source drivers. However, I ran into a minor problem. When I enable KMS and start X, I get a blank black screen. Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance.

    I'm running Debian testing, have a Radeon HD4670 (ChipID = 0x9490).
    X.org - X Server 1.7.5
    Kernel - 2.6.32-trunk-686
    Libdrm - 2.4.18
    Radeon - 6.12.4

    I can confirm KMS does work, if I stop X and goto a terminal, I can rmmod radeon, modprobe radeon modeset=1 and clearly see a KMS terminal. dmesg | grep drm shows [drm] radeon: Initializing kernel modesetting. However, when I then try to restart X, either by /etc/init.d/kdm start or startx, the screen goes blank and the machine becomes unresponsive. Booting with modesetting enables causes a similar problem - after grub I get no video output.
    I believe this requires radeon ddx driver of at least version 6.13 or a git build. I could be wrong, but I dont think the KMS bits are in 6.12

    Comment


    • #3
      Yep, you want 6.13 for KMS on a 7xx GPU. A newer kernel wouldn't hurt either - AFAIK the combination of 6.13 and 2.6.33 is intended to be "the KMS release".

      Consider getting a new mesa when you get around to 3D or compositors.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks a bunch - compiled Radeon from git and everything seems to work as advertised with one minor warning. Loving KMS terminal switching, btw.

        As far as the minor issue, when running glxinfo or glxgears I get:
        do_wait: drmWaitVBlank returned -1, IRQs don't seem to be working correctly.
        Try adjusting the vblank_mode configuration parameter.

        As far as the heads up - not 100% sure what you mean about needing a new MESA for 3D or compositing (Kwin4 seems to work fine and 3D is fairly fast - at least for what I use). Maybe the above (and other such minor issues) are fixed in Mesa 7.8?

        Comment


        • #5
          Both kernel 2.6.33 and xf86-video-ati 6.12.191 (the 6.13 pre-release) are available in Debian experimental, so building from git isn't necessary.

          Comment


          • #6
            IIRC the 2.6.33 kernel enables interrupt support. You'll need an additional microcode binary, ending in ...rlc.bin. I don't remember if you need a newer Mesa or not...

            Comment


            • #7
              I took a look at Debian experimental. Looks like some dependencies are currently broken so I can't just apt-get install to the newer versions cleanly. Compiling from git doesn't scare me, but I don't like breaking my system if I can avoid it. I think I'll just wait for 2.6.33 - it looks like it will fix my IRQ warning, but its not a big deal.

              Thanks again for all the help.

              Looking forward to the things just over the horizon in the Open Source driver effort.

              Comment


              • #8
                The new 2.6.32 kernel that arrived in unstable a day or two ago has the DRM bits from 2.6.33. The Debian version is 2.6.32-10, but it shows up in /boot as 2.6.32-4 for some reason I don't understand. The linux-image-2.6-686 metapackage from sid will give you the correct version (linux-image-2.6-amd64 did for me at least). I don't know if this interrupt support is part of what's been backported though.

                The 6.12.192 radeon driver is in experimental now also. It installed for me on Squeeze without pulling in anything else with it.

                Just an FYI I guess, I only just installed myself a test partition last night and haven't done much but install those two items. Kwin effects were working nicely enough but I haven't gotten around to booting that install again with KMS enabled yet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You can try installing the Liquorix kernel at http://liquorix.net. They are built for Debian and use the zen kernel sources along with a configuration for optimized desktop performance.

                  Right now it's based off of the 2.6.33 kernel, plus all the new stable patches. That's probably what you need too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by damentz View Post
                    You can try installing the Liquorix kernel at http://liquorix.net. They are built for Debian and use the zen kernel sources along with a configuration for optimized desktop performance.

                    Right now it's based off of the 2.6.33 kernel, plus all the new stable patches. That's probably what you need too.
                    I tried your stuff as a quick test and it works well. It actually could become my working kernel (it includes the PHC patch!).

                    As for KMS, I tried it with radeon from experimental (no git for me these busy days) and it's pretty cool. I'm not a big fan of compositing but I tried it all the same. One thing I noticed is that applications that use OpenGL don't have weird artifacts using this while desktop effects are on; i.e. the OpenGL windows are not mangled by what is behind or hovers over them, which is what I get with 2.6.32 and radeon 6.12 (if composite is on).

                    I was also curious about the BFS scheduler. I wouldn't be able to say for sure, but if anything it seems that scrolling in Firefox with composite on is less laggy, and effects such as expose or window switching come up more snappy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      With the 2.6.32-3 kernel (no .33 drm bits), I can boot into a KMS desktop with no 3d, and running the proper resolution.

                      When I try to do the same with the 2.6.32-4 (or even the 2.6.33 from experimental that I can't ultimately use without the installable headers that it currently lacks), I get a black screen on boot and then my monitor just shuts off.

                      If I try the .32-4 or .33 kernel without trying to enable kms, I get 3d and a maximum resolution of 1152x864 instead of 1600x1200.

                      I figure there's something I can do with an xorg.conf (like for starters creating one!) to fix the resolution issue, but it seems like there's always at least one upstream project that isn't current enough in Debian for me to not need fglrx anymore. The radeonBuildHowTo says that I shouldn't be able to use KMS on my rv740 without mesa 7.8-rc1, but I've been able to use with the 3d-less .32 kernel.

                      Apparently I can't even get a kernel built anymore either, my attempts to build-in the firmware files keep failing with zero useful information being output by the build process upon failure. "error 2" yeah that's useful!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I decided to try the Liquorix kernel (.33) and bim bam boom, 3D+KMS on my 4770!

                        [drm] Initialized drm 1.1.0 20060810
                        [drm] radeon kernel modesetting enabled.
                        [drm] radeon: Initializing kernel modesetting.

                        OpenGL vendor string: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
                        OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI R600 (RV740 94B3) 20090101 TCL DRI2
                        OpenGL version string: 1.4 Mesa 7.7.1-DEVEL

                        6294 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1258.709 FPS (LOL)

                        Now just to configure it so I can use my TV and hopefully not have a desktop on it, and to see how hot my card is getting, and if the lower clock setting I believe bridgman posted about recently is needed and/or helps. *big grin* It's always nicer when stuff works nicely.

                        Am I correct in thinking there's no way I can currently get a temperature reading on my GPU?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by oblivious_maximus View Post
                          Am I correct in thinking there's no way I can currently get a temperature reading on my GPU?
                          AFAICS not with a vanilla kernel; patches to allow access to the i2c bus are available in drm-radeon-testing branch; chances are that the monitoring chip driver is already available in hwmon subsystem.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I figured something like that was the case, thanks tettamanti.

                            My first attempts to get the svideo output going haven't been terribly fruitful as yet, so temps while running radeon aren't going to be the immediately pressing concern I thought they would.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Debian kernel minor version number

                              Originally posted by oblivious_maximus View Post
                              The new 2.6.32 kernel that arrived in unstable a day or two ago has the DRM bits from 2.6.33. The Debian version is 2.6.32-10, but it shows up in /boot as 2.6.32-4 for some reason I don't understand.
                              The minor version is incremented by Debian kernel packager only when the kernel ABI changes. So this number does not follow upstream kernel 4th number.

                              HTH

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