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How The X Stack In Ubuntu 10.04 LTS May Look

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  • #16
    I have a question: why is it that Ubuntu's Karmic 9.10 gives the WORST performance for the open source radeon driver by far compared to other distros? I *cannot* even boot up in most cases. I have tested by booting up in safe mode and then editing xorg.conf. If I boot up normally, the laptop crashes after trying apps like Firefox or Synaptic. Reading various reports on Launchpad and searching the Ubuntu forums brings no solution and just more confusion. It provoked my post/thread on Radeon and xorg but it's a slow process. I'm learning new stuff but I can't help think that the situation is unnecessary.

    I think Ubuntu and ATI or at least Ubuntu doesn't seem to think ATI drivers (or at least open source) drivers are a priority. Or they think the user should have to deal with it.

    I've tried Mandriva 2010 and it's WAY WAY WAY better! Out of the box, I can change to 3D effects and it works. 'Really says something to me.

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    • #17
      I was under the impression that it would be a snapshot of Debian testing this time which would make everything far more conservative than your best guest-imates. It will probably just be an Ubuntu-fied Squeeze if Debian's freeze happens on schedule.

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      • #18
        Karmic worked pretty well out of the box for me (with the caveat that I had to change permissions in xorg.conf to get DRI working), but either way the core problem here is that all of the components in the graphics stack lurch along on different release schedules so alignment with distro release schedules is a matter of luck more than anything else.

        If the driver stack was stagnant then it would be easy to just "be conservative" and pick up something old and known, but the changes going on right now are huge and sometimes hard to digest - but falling behind the current code means you lose features, performance and hardware enablement.

        I believe Karmic was the first Ubuntu release to use KMS for Intel parts, and picking up KMS requires a lot of changes outside the driver stack (and AFAIK the magnitude of those changes differs from one distro to the next). Early versions of some of the KMS-related changes (eg always loading the intel drm even if there was only ati hardware) broke the radeon driver during the main testing window, so it's probably a safe guess that ati hardware didn't get as much testing this time round as is normal for a Ubuntu release.

        I suspect the difference you're seeing is primarily luck of the draw w.r.t how the driver and distro release schedules aligned. Mesa in particular was problematic - AFAIK Karmic went with 7.6 to pick up a number of improvements but had to lock down before the final fixes were in (this is going from memory, don't treat it as fact). Ubuntu has normally been very good about integration and testing of graphics drivers (at least for our stuff, not sure about other vendors) so I seriously doubt it's a lack of care or attention.
        Last edited by bridgman; 11-20-2009, 10:59 AM.

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        • #19
          @yogi_berra

          Does not change anything for security support - universe/multiverse packages are not as good supported as main and main is REALLY small!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Kano View Post
            @yogi_berra

            Does not change anything for security support - universe/multiverse packages are not as good supported as main and main is REALLY small!
            Thank you for assuming that I wasn't aware of the poor security available from Canonical's distribution.

            @ bridgman

            People will choose to use the Lactating Lemur release because they want the software they will be using for the next four years to simply work for the next four years, they don't care about the latest and greatest half working feature that is being pushed.

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