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What Kind Of People Use X.Org's VESA Driver?

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  • #16
    @chrisr

    To test oss support you can buy the cheapest card too as it will never unleash the full potential. Even onboard would be enought to try.

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    • #17
      Binary nVidia blob is not very stable, even if it supported my FX5900 card, it paniced at least every 1-2 days, using xf86-vesa / xf86-nv (both had same results in gtkperf benchmark, so I do not know why everybody mention this 2D accelration) allowed me for 60+ uptimes (lack of power, this was not a server room box).

      Now I just use Intel GMAs and using only xf86-intel and everything works ok.

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      • #18
        If you use ubuntu which runs compiz the whole day it will lead certainly to instablity when something is wrong with the card. Maybe it just got too hot.

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        • #19
          At my job we have a Dell 4590T (I think, it looks exactly the same as one, though off my head I can't be sure 100% about the model) with a P4, intel integrated graphics. We use vesa on it because the intel driver DOES NOT WORK on it. It can't detect a usable output. I think it has Intel 845-series graphics. The situation is that it has a DVI out, but the driver only sees a VGA out that's unconnected so it's impossible to use the intel driver. Has been this way for every intel linux driver release I know of. I sort of suspect that this particular piece of hardware may have been customized in a nonstandard way by dell, so maybe the VGA port is converted to a DVI port that the intel driver can't detect, but it's mostly speculation. I think somebody filed a bug about it once, but never bothered to obtain all the detailed garbage the devs wanted that would have taken a day or so to collect when it works fine for how it's used with vesa and so the bug got closed or depreciated or whatever the term is for lack of info.

          In any case, since the intel driver doesn't work on this intel hardware, it's basically vesa or bust. Incidentally, because this is an old business all-in-one machine with no upgrade space, you can't add in a card or do other upgrades. So a video card is a no go.


          Other than instance, vesa is just used on my machines as a fallback or emergency xserver. I have a home server type system I mostly use through remote ssh, but it has vesa and and xserver installed for the rare instance that I really need to change anything with it (hardware changes, major config changes that offline the network, etc). I think if I were to install an updated OS on it, maybe I could use noveau, as the system is an old desktop with integrated nvidia graphics, maybe 6100 series, but on a home server-router that usually doesn't even have x running, I've never seen a reason to update. I figure I'll finally update it to either arch or the next ubuntu LTS this next spring, and at that point if I still want an emergency xserver, maybe it won't be vesa.
          Last edited by sloggerKhan; 12-06-2009, 02:17 PM.

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          • #20
            when running x11 with a kernel other than linux, you usually also don' t have the luxury to choose a binary driver.

            the oss stack has seen some turmoil in recent months, so it might just have been easier to use vesa then.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by phoronix
              Phoronix: What Kind Of People Use X.Org's VESA Driver?
              Me.

              a) Sometimes I have to use it on VIA GPUs cause it was the only working thing with the external VGA on the laptop for beamer presentations. (CLE266)

              b) Some HW just doesn't work with the appropriate driver or you have to configure the hell outta it. So first comer is VESA.

              c) the mentioned failsafe mode
              Even with my fine working Radeons I keep a xf86-video-vesa around, just in case. I know VESA driver kinda sucks and lately it even failed on a CN700 telling me it would not support 24bpp and things like this which must've been some strange error. Normally it should support 800x600 on 8, 16, 24 bpp or also 640x480 and 1024x786.

              I'm happy when I don't have to use it but I'm also happy that there is at least VESA so I will basically get a graphic image on the screen.

              Also for people with poulso or other stuff from imgtec or XGIs and the like VESA might still be the only working solution.
              Last edited by Adarion; 12-06-2009, 02:48 PM.

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              • #22
                s3 chrome 20

                I have a machine with an S3 Chrome 25, until the latest drivers (released on 2009-10-30), I had to use vesa cause the driver worked only on ubuntu 8.10 and not on mandriva or later versions of ubuntu... now that the new release is out i can have a try again...
                Last edited by TmTFx; 12-06-2009, 02:50 PM.

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                • #23
                  I was one of these respondent (who checked VESA), it is mostly because I am "too" bleeding edge. When some SVN/GIT build break X, vesa normally still work. So I stick with vesa until a patch is commited. I never use vesa for extensive period of time, it's installed just in case, and those kind of happens quite often.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Misel View Post
                    A friend of mine has an old Notebook with this graphics chip: "ATI Technilogies Inc Radeon IGP 330M/340M/350M".

                    He has some real trouble getting that to work with the open source stack. The "xf86-video-radeon" is supposed to support it but he never really got to get it working.

                    That's why he is still using Vesa with ATI hardware.
                    One of my laptops has this chipset. It's horrible. I call it the disease because it cripples what is otherwise a fairly capable machine. Having said that, it works just fine with xf86-video-ati (there's no such thing as xf86-video-radeon). It's never been supported by fglrx though. One very important thing to remember, enable the HyperZ option by installing driconf (or do it manually). It MAJORLY boosts the 3D performance. This may be the default now but it wasn't for a long time.

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                    • #25
                      What do you mean "try"?

                      Originally posted by Kano View Post
                      @chrisr

                      To test oss support you can buy the cheapest card too as it will never unleash the full potential. Even onboard would be enought to try.
                      Don't try, do! Or do not. There is no "try" .

                      The "cheapest" cards often have half the memory of the others. I trust that I can expect Linux to use a card's full 1024MB, if present. But I'm buying this card with the expectation that it will last me for a long while yet.

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                      • #26
                        If the VMware guest tools fail to install in your virtual machine or you don't bother to install them, you will end up with the VESA driver on many distributions.

                        If you set up a server with a very old video card that you had sitting on your shelf, chances are it is unsupported and you will also be using the VESA driver.

                        Perhaps not so much any more, but there used to be off-brand video cards with oddball hardware that was not recognized properly. If you tried to run the native driver you would get strange color artifacts or just a blank screen. However the VESA driver will still work with these odd cards.

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                        • #27
                          Server motherboard on-board video

                          Many server motherboards, Supermicro's AMD boards in particular, use the ATI ES1000 chipset which has no xorg driver. You will need the VESA driver if you go with the on-board video.

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                          • #28
                            The ES1000 should be supported by the radeon driver -- it's basically an RN50 spec'ed without 3D IIRC.

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                            • #29
                              A very simple explanation

                              I have a more simple explanation : it's a survey ! you cant expect 100% of all answers to be accurate... People can click randomly, some of them just click randomly for fun, some just like to input some unrealistic stuff so they get the impression they are cooler than other people, some have no clue what video driver they are using, some have no clue what video hardware they have in their PC, some might even not know what a video driver is . 1% of error for each answer is realistic, it does not mean there is anything wrong with the survey itself (and btw, phoronix rox

                              Next time put "Xorg-P3ngu1n-turboHD-DVD" on the list and you will see, people will click on it !

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                              • #30
                                The last adventure of PowerVR in PC space, the Kyro series has no native driver which works with current kernel/X.org. A proprietary driver exists but it is no longer maintained. xf86-video-vesa is your only option.

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