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

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

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

    Yesterday we shared the first numbers from our 2009 Linux Graphics Survey that showed the open-source ATI driver is now more popular than ATI's official Catalyst driver. The full results from this survey that concluded last month will be published tomorrow, but in yesterday's graph that we showed there was also something else interesting: the X.Org VESA driver usage...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=Nzc3Nw

  • #2
    Maybe Intel means GMA 500 too, that's psb not intel.

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    • #3
      I will tell you why

      1) In rare situations NVIDIA releases hardware which is not supported nor by their binary drivers, neither by NV driver.

      2) In rare situations you want to check out if the graphics glitch you've faced is caused by VENDOR_NAME drivers so you run generic VESA drivers.

      However I'm still puzzled who might want to use vesa driver on a regular basis.

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      • #4
        Probably these are mostly servers accessed with vnc/ssh. In this case only advantage running a full-blown driver would be power management.
        Or people enraged with crashing drivers

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        • #5
          Keep in mind this was a web poll. The validity of every entry is not guaranteed. I bet there were a few people that went "lol vesa" and picked that.

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          • #6
            I sometimes use the VESA driver on my two GeForce GTX285 (2Gb each) because it is the only way to use their vram as swapspace without hanging the system (using the phram module). This way I can get up to 8 Gb of RAM on my M2N32-SLI Deluxe (4 Gb of system RAM and 4 of video RAM). But I think this is not so common.

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            • #7
              Buying 2x2 gb extra ram would be smarter

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kano View Post
                Buying 2x2 gb extra ram would be smarter
                Yes, but RAM sticks don't render X-Plane very well

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                • #9
                  Maybe the VESA driver is preferable to fglrx?

                  IIRC, fglrx is targeted at distros which run older X servers. I know from personal experience that running fglrx against a modern X server (such as the one found in Fedora 10) is an agonising exercise in frustration and pain. And AFAIK, fglrx isn't compatible with Fedora 12's X server at all!

                  So if fglrx isn't an option, and the dedicated Open Source drivers don't support your hardware yet, then which driver is left to use?

                  But then again, the latest graphics card I'm buying is a HD4890 rather than a HD5xxxx precisely because I wouldn't want to end up running the VESA driver either...

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                  • #10
                    Just that this card is not faster than any nvidia offering

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                    • #11
                      I've got an intel GMA 500. My distro (archlinux) ships with xserver 1.7. The psb driver doesn't work on it. I've patched it heavily (if anyone is interested, please ping me), but since Xpsb is compiled for xserver 1.6, it doesn't load correctly. That's the reason I'm using vesa with 855resolution to get the correct resolution.

                      Of course, i could downgrade xserver...

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                      • #12
                        I actually like Radeon hardware...

                        Originally posted by Kano View Post
                        Just that this card is not faster than any nvidia offering
                        Ultimately, the Open Source support for the HD4890 will outstrip the Open Source support for NVIDIA's offerings. The nouveau project may indeed do great things, but there's no substitute for having the documentation...

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            Wider variety than you think

                            Methinks it's underestimated just the range of hardware that's out there, along with overestimation of how good hardware detection is.

                            The laptop I'm using is a fairly old one that doesn't even have a battery, but still works and works quite well. By default, Ubuntu uses the VESA driver, and I have to edit xorg to get it to use the right one (the hardware is a Twister K or whatever), but even then it isn't much of a step up in performance.

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                            • #15
                              Why not?

                              I guess vesa users have their reasons they use it, they most likely wouldn't complete the survey if they didn't know howto change it.

                              So why not leave them happy, instead of telling them what to do?
                              Like the advise to buy an new graphic card...

                              - Clemens

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