Your First Date With Vbespy
Jerome Glisse and his posse of open-source developers have been making good progress with an open-source "Avivo" graphics driver for the ATI Radeon X1000 (R500) series hardware (see the original announcement). However, one roadblock they have hit along the way is with TMDS setting issues on the Radeon X1200, X1300, X1400, and X1900 series. This roadblock had also led to postponing the Avivo 0.1.0 release. Now if you are an ATI R500 owner and have been wondering how you can help with the advancement of this open-source driver, there is a way even without prior development experience and that is by providing VBE mode-setting BIOS dumps. As you have probably never created such dumps before, we have written a brief tutorial on using vbespy/vbetest for the first time.
First off you must obtain the vbespy source code. We have mirrored the vbespy source package for easy downloading or grab vbetest/vbespy from your distribution's package repository (if available). This package contains vbespy (vbetest) along with ddcprobe, ddcxinfo, and a converter utility to make these dumps easily readable. These VBE/DDC utilities were created by Nalin Dahyabhai. After you download the package and extract it, change to the vbespy directory and run make (followed by make install if you desire).
For proper results you should run vbetest from your console with root privileges. X should not be running nor should the fglrx driver be loaded. An easy way to go about doing this is by editing your GRUB entry on boot. To do this press the ESC key while the GRUB screen is present, select your kernel, hit 'e' to edit the command, append '3' to the end of the string, and hit 'b' to boot. Of course, that is making assumptions you are using GRUB as the boot loader, etc. Anyhow, it's important that you are not running X.Org and rmmod fglrx.