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XAA In X.Org Has Finally Met Its Executioner

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  • #51
    Thanks Pallidus. Am I correct in saying that your only reason for thinking that XAA vs EXA is the problem is forum posts you have read ?

    IIRC there were much bigger changes going on at the same time, eg enabling compositing by default, and I would expect those to have a much larger impact on performance. We could all be wrong, of course, but please consider that there are a number of people on here who *have* done the tests I talked about and concluded that XAA was not accelerating anything and that shadowfb would work comparably well.

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    • #52
      Originally posted by Pallidus View Post
      ... and there you go gilboa, you hit the nail right in the head.
      ...
      to me this " let's drop unity 2d, let's drop old mesa, let's kill xaa, etc etc" it's sort of alienating the few users you have in this region
      A couple of comments.
      1. In your previous post demanded [SHOULD, etc] support. As long as you're not a paying customer (E.g. RHEL) your demands are *way* out of line.
      2. Xorg developer resources are finite. Personally, I rather have them spend their time supporting new(er) hardware than 12+ y/o hardware - especially given the fact that most Linux users use recent hardware. You may think otherwise.
      3. I *really* don't understand why people with older hardware can't use long-term-support Linux such as CentOS or Ubuntu 10.04 instead of using bleeding edge distros (that are more likely to break on older hardware)?
      4. In the end, given sufficient bug reports and community effort, bugs in *supported* hardware (E.g. r200) will most likely get fixed. Than again, if I was sitting at X.org and I should have decided, which is more important r600 or r100, I'd choose the former.

      In the end, this is OSS.
      Report bugs, try being as productive as possible (E.g. Create *informative* bug report upstream as opposed to ranting down-stream or in forums) and hope for the best. Again, unless you prepared to pay for support (By using, RHEL or SLES), demanding support will get you no-where-fast.

      The irony is that if you *buy* Windows 7 and face a major issue (such as the one I faced a couple of days ago w/ Windows update failing for no-good-reason) you get *zero* support and *zero* bug-report capability, and yet, no one is claiming that Microsoft is "alienating" their users....

      - Gilboa
      Last edited by gilboa; 08-23-2012, 01:51 PM.
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      • #53
        " Thanks Pallidus. Am I correct in saying that your only reason for thinking that XAA vs EXA is the problem is forum posts you have read ? "

        yes, not a forum but those official ubuntu bug/discussion things where there is a orangle circle with numbers. A american guy actually messed around with xorg.conf and by putting XAA instead of EXA and changing more stuff he was able to get on his words "much of my perfomance back" (the version after hardy heron I think)

        the conclusion they reached was that EXA was simply not good for our radeons.


        " no one is claiming that Microsoft is "alienating" their users.... "

        Microsoft alienated me beyond the point of no return... not because of drivers or bugs or what not (I actually prefer the windows downloading driver system than having them in the kernel) but because of security... cybercriminality and identity theft etc is a gold mine for these ukrainian/eastern european gangs and I was told by several people to avoid windows like the plague.

        and don't get me wrong I didn't want to demand or anything like that, this is just anger and frustration of not being able to use all this bunch of old laptops.

        I didn't want them to support anything (they already had really nice support in 2007) I just wanted them not to drop it or delete it and instead grab that 2007/2008 driver and call it radeonlegacyoss or something and have the first generations of radeons use it in the new kernels, I know that won't happen and I will be better off asking those pup doggy people to see if they can load old drivers instead
        Last edited by Pallidus; 08-23-2012, 02:07 PM.

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        • #54
          Originally posted by Pallidus View Post
          I didn't want to install linux again and changing EXA to XAA is impossible in a live cd so what I did was run a very old cd that I had burned some years back when I first wanted to see linux and low and behold opensuse 11.1 with kde ran just fine ... same for ubuntu 8, same for any 2007/2008 distro
          Basically exactly what I said - way too many variables, impossible to know what's really going on.

          Instead of booting up random liveCDs, you should do this (I'm assuming radeon driver here):

          1) Actually *install* a distro, preferably one that uses the latest X (1.12) and xf86-video-ati (6.14.6). See how it feels.

          2) If it doesn't feel well, create a /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-radeon.conf with
          Code:
          Section "Device"
              Identifier  "some old radeon thingy"
              Driver      "radeon"
              Option      "AccelMethod"  "XAA"
          EndSection
          Then restart X, see how it feels now.

          3) Still not well, disable acceleration entirely (=shadowfb)
          Code:
          Section "Device"
              Identifier  "some old radeon thingy"
              Driver      "radeon"
              Option      "NoAccel"  "true"
          EndSection
          There's also RenderAccel and AccelDFS options to play with. And disabling the Composite extension.

          That and only that will give us a definite picture of what's going regarding different acceleration architectures.
          Last edited by Gusar; 08-23-2012, 02:21 PM.

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          • #55
            Originally posted by Pallidus View Post
            well if anything this can prove to be interesting to people who study linux:

            The hardware I wanted to install linux was a bunch of HP laptops from 2004. They are all 32 bit south bridge intel PIV's. I picked the one in top condition and stole a ram from another one so it now had 1 gig of ram. (PIV 3ghz, 1g ram, 100gb hdd, Ali sound, Ati agp radeon 345m igp 128megs)

            I removed all the extra stuff that I deemed unnecessary for the person who this laptop was for ( infrared sensor, firewire, modem etc..) and proceeded to install ubuntu 12.04

            it immediately defaulted to unity 2d. The system was unusable, opening a few firefox youtube tabs would mean a freeze, the cpu fans (that had just been cleaned) were at max, in short it was torture... XP back on it, chrome was smooth etc etc etc but had the overhead of ESET and the distrust I have of windows since I saw what those ukrainians were able to do so let's try linux yet again...

            Fedora 17 with lxde: opening more than a tab in firefox was asking for touble, same bad perfomance but you could at least use it yet it was a no go compared to XP...

            let's try something even weaker: Arch linux with openbox (I can't remember the name of the distro but it was pretty much that, arch openbox and firefox) perfomance was just like slighty better than lxde but still nothing I would give to someone to use or that I consider usable.

            Bodhi linux: the enlightment proved to be the speedier and most responsive desktop yet the video playback wasn't smooth, firefox scrolling was choppy... again same shit different day.

            the latest version of that dog pup linux thing made for older hardware: was almost usable but the icons and the system itself just seemed too primitive .


            then I gave up

            I couldn't understand this because it simply did not make sense, then I do a search for my graphics card and linux and I see a bunch of people in forums complaining about a huge perfomance drop when they upgraded from ubuntu 8 and then I read about the XAA, EXA thing and that you had to edit xorg conf and make sure the accel= something was XAA or else you could kiss your perfomance goodbye...

            I didn't want to install linux again and changing EXA to XAA is impossible in a live cd so what I did was run a very old cd that I had burned some years back when I first wanted to see linux and low and behold opensuse 11.1 with kde ran just fine ... same for ubuntu 8, same for any 2007/2008 distro

            so yep pretty much everything worked well until 'new and improved' acceleration methods were made the default and the first radeons had to be xorg sodomized.


            by all means kill all the old tech you want, just understand that the decision to simply delete stuff instead of putting it in a nice little radeonlegacyoss or something like that that switches on if it detects rs200 or whatever is gonna keep many people from not being able to use linux .
            If you've read the thread at all, you'd see that XAA literally doesn't accelerate much of anything on a modern linux system, the acceleration method isnt the sole reason for the performance issues. Switching to XAA on a modern distro wouldn't help. XAA is currently pretty pointless and makes sense for it to be dropped. To get good performance on those old cards you really need the *entire* older stack, which is why those old distros run well for you, using XAA on a new distro would not improve things, because again, its now fairly useless.

            See this post: http://phoronix.com/forums/showthrea...383#post247383

            In practical terms, you're not getting acceleration anyway. XaaNoOffscreenPixmaps has been the default since 2008, which means that XAA will only accelerate operations where the only drawable referenced is the screen pixmap. For GTK and Qt, this means nothing ever, since they do all their rendering to an offscreen pixmap first, and then copy that to the screen pixmap. If you're running in a composited environment -- it's all offscreen. So, about the only effect this really has is making xtank and Motif apps in a non-composited environment slower.

            These cards are old, and use a very outdated graphics architecture, which simply don't perform well with the current software stack, you either run an old distro or upgrade your hardware.
            Last edited by bwat47; 08-23-2012, 02:55 PM.

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            • #56
              ... or you make your own driver like that rage guy did.


              I know how things play out.... It would just be more decent in that x.org site and the docs to remove these old cards from the list because they indeed 'work' if by 'work' you mean having your computer slower than a pentium2 with a 8mg vga, would save people time from installing distros like I did just to be disappointed.

              well I'll be back to linux land when I can finally purchase that cheap ivy bridge i3 that was supposed to have come out 3 months ago. gg intel

              Comment


              • #57
                Originally posted by Pallidus View Post
                ... or you make your own driver like that rage guy did.


                I know how things play out.... It would just be more decent in that x.org site and the docs to remove these old cards from the list because they indeed 'work' if by 'work' you mean having your computer slower than a pentium2 with a 8mg vga, would save people time from installing distros like I did just to be disappointed.

                well I'll be back to linux land when I can finally purchase that cheap ivy bridge i3 that was supposed to have come out 3 months ago. gg intel
                As agd5f has previously pointed out, if things have indeed regressed that seriously and ShadowFB doesn't help - it does make an enormous difference for all those cards when you don't have acceleration - then you could always stick with an older server, at least for now.

                Comment


                • #58
                  Originally posted by Gusar View Post
                  Basically exactly what I said - way too many variables, impossible to know what's really going on.

                  Instead of booting up random liveCDs, you should do this (I'm assuming radeon driver here):

                  1) Actually *install* a distro, preferably one that uses the latest X (1.12) and xf86-video-ati (6.14.6). See how it feels.

                  2) If it doesn't feel well, create a /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-radeon.conf with
                  Code:
                  Section "Device"
                      Identifier  "some old radeon thingy"
                      Driver      "radeon"
                      Option      "AccelMethod"  "XAA"
                  EndSection
                  Then restart X, see how it feels now.

                  3) Still not well, disable acceleration entirely (=shadowfb)
                  Code:
                  Section "Device"
                      Identifier  "some old radeon thingy"
                      Driver      "radeon"
                      Option      "NoAccel"  "true"
                  EndSection
                  There's also RenderAccel and AccelDFS options to play with. And disabling the Composite extension.

                  That and only that will give us a definite picture of what's going regarding different acceleration architectures.
                  Note that almost all modern live cds use unionfs so you can change the X configuration in your booted livecd and restart just X (without rebooting) to test it. So Pallidus, if you trully want to get your issue resolved there is no reason not to try XAA and ShadowFB on a modern distro and see if it actualy improves performance or it's something else that changed.

                  Comment


                  • #59
                    Ansla I had no idea you could change X settings in a live cd session.


                    The way I red was holding the shift key while booting and then xconf 1 or something... obviously it would require a install.


                    Can you please point me in a general direction of where I can read about terminal commands used to configure X in the context of a live cd session ??

                    Comment


                    • #60
                      Easiest way would be:

                      1. boot your favorite live cd like you do normaly
                      2. open this forum thread in a browser
                      3. open a terminal
                      4. in the terminal paste the following
                      Code:
                      sudo mkdir -p /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d && sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/radeon.conf
                      5. if no error occured you should see the nano window saying [New File] at the bottom
                      6. paste the text from the first code section in Gusar's post
                      7. exit nano by pressing CTRL + X and answer Y then press ENTER to save the file
                      8. hit CTRL + ALT + BACKSPACE to kill the x server
                      9. at this point the X server should restart and you can test the new setting
                      10. repeat steps 4 - 9 for the second code block in Gusar's post

                      One problem you might encounter is that the live cd comes with an existing xorg.conf file containing a Device section, you can check this by doing a
                      Code:
                      grep -r "\"Device\"" /etc/X11/x*
                      and in that case edit the existing file and replace the Device section.

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