Linux Setup question

Posted on 1997-09-23
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I am unsure as to what my video card is exactly, it is either Trident 9440 or 9660 with 1mb of video ram.  I cannot get my monitor any better than 16 colours.   Does anyone know where I can get drivers for these Trident cards?  Also, why does Xwindows start in 640x480, I want it to start in 800x600, and at VERY LEAST 256 colours, but preferably more.
Question by:sbishop
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Accepted Solution

unicorntech earned 0 total points
ID: 1629964
OK In your XFConf file you can change the default behaviour of the x settings. If you need more help email me at or read the X man pages and FAQ's at

2. Hardware requirements

As of XFree86 version 3.3 the following video chipsets are supported. The documentation included with your video
adaptor should specify the chipset used. If you are in the market for a new video card, or are buying a new machine that
comes with a video card, have the vendor find out exactly what the make, model, and chipset of the video card is. This
may require the vendor to call technical support on your behalf; in general vendors will be happy to do this. Many PC
hardware vendors will state that the video card is a ``standard SVGA card'' which ``should work'' on your system.
Explain that your software (mention Linux and XFree86!) does not support all video chipsets and that you must have
detailed information.

You can also determine your videocard chipset by running the SuperProbe program included with the XFree86
distribution. This is covered in more detail below.

The following standard SVGA chipsets are supported:

     Tseng ET3000, ET4000AX, ET4000/W32, ET6000
     Western Digital/Paradise PVGA1
     Western Digital WD90C00, WD90C10, WD90C11, WD90C24, WD90C30, WD90C31, WD90C33
     Genoa GVGA
     Trident TVGA8800CS, TVGA8900B, TVGA8900C, TVGA8900CL, TVGA9000, TVGA9000i,
     TVGA9100B, TVGA9200CX, TVGA9320, TVGA9400CX, TVGA9420, TGUI9420DGi, TGUI9430DGi,
     TGUI9440AGi, TGUI9660XGi, TGUI9680
     ATI 18800, 18800-1, 28800-2, 28800-4, 28800-5, 28800-6, 68800-3, 68800-6, 68800AX, 68800LX,
     88800GX-C, 88800GX-D, 88800GX-E, 88800GX-F, 88800CX, 264CT, 264ET, 264VT, 264VT2, 264GT
     NCR 77C22, 77C22E, 77C22E+
     Cirrus Logic CLGD5420, CLGD5422, CLGD5424, CLGD5426, CLGD5428, CLGD5429, CLGD5430,
     CLGD5434, CLGD5436, CLGD5440, CLGD5446, CLGD5462, CLGD5464, CLGD6205, CLGD6215,
     CLGD6225, CLGD6235, CLGD6410, CLGD6412, CLGD6420, CLGD6440
     OAK OTI067, OTI077, OTI087
     Avance Logic ALG2101, ALG2228, ALG2301, ALG2302, ALG2308, ALG2401
     Chips & Technologies 65520, 65530, 65540, 65545, 65520, 65530, 65540, 65545, 65546, 65548, 65550,
     MX MX68000, MX680010
     Video 7/Headland Technologies HT216-32
     SiS 86C201, 86C202, 86C205
     ARK Logic ARK1000PV, ARK1000VL, ARK2000PV, ARK2000MT
     RealTek RTG3106
     Alliance AP6422
     Matrox MGA2064W and Mystique cards
     NVidia/SGS Thomson NV1, STG2000

The following SVGA chipsets with accelerated features are also supported:

     8514/A (and true clones)
     ATI Mach8, Mach32, Mach64
     Cirrus CLGD5420, CLGD5422, CLGD5424, CLGD5426, CLGD5428, CLGD5429, CLGD5430,
     CLGD5434, CLGD5436, CLGD5440, CGLD5446, CLGD5462, CLGD5464.
     S3 86C911, 86C924, 86C801, 86C805, 86C805i, 86C928, 86C864, 86C964, 86C732, 86C764, 86C765,
     86C868, 86C968, 86C325, 86C988
     Western Digital WD90C31, WD90C33, WD90C24A
     Weitek P9000
     IIT AGX-014, AGX-015, AGX-016
     IBM XGA-2
     Tseng ET4000/W32, ET4000/W32i, ET4000/W32p, ET6000
     Ark Logic ARK1000PV, ARK1000VL, ARK2000PV, ARK2000MT

Video cards using these chipsets are supported on all bus types, including VLB and PCI.

All of the above are supported in both 256 color and monochrome modes, with the exception of the Avance Logic, MX
and Video 7 chipsets, which are only supported in 256 color mode. If your video card has enough DRAM installed,
many of the above chipsets are supported in 16 and 32 bits-per-pixel mode (specifically, some Mach32, P9000, S3 and
Cirrus boards). The usual configuration is 8 bits per pixel (that is, 256 colors).

The monochrome server also supports generic VGA cards, the Hercules monochrome card, the Hyundai HGC1280,
Sigma LaserView, and Apollo monochrome cards. On the Compaq AVGA, only 64k of video memory is supported for
the monochrome server, and the GVGA has not been tested with more than 64k.

This list will undoubtedly expand as time passes. The release notes for the current version of XFree86 should contain the
complete list of supported video chipsets.

One problem faced by the XFree86 developers is that some video card manufacturers use non-standard mechanisms for
determining clock frequencies used to drive the card. Some of these manufacturers either don't release specifications
describing how to program the card, or they require developers to sign a non-disclosure statement to obtain the
information. This would obviously restrict the free distribution of the XFree86 software, something that the XFree86
development team is not willing to do. For a long time, this has been a problem with certain video cards manufactured by
Diamond, but as of release 3.1 of XFree86, Diamond has started to work with the development team to release free
drivers for these cards.

The suggested setup for XFree86 under Linux is a 486 or better with at least 8 megabytes of RAM, and a video card
with a chipset listed above. For optimal performance, we suggest using an accelerated card, such as an S3-chipset card.
You should check the documentation for XFree86 and verify that your particular card is supported before taking the
plunge and purchasing expensive hardware. Benchmark ratings comparisons for various video cards under XFree86 are
posted routinely to the USENET newsgroups and comp.os.linux.x.

As a side note, the personal Linux system of Matt Welsh (this FAQ's originator) was a 486DX2-66, 20 megabytes of
RAM, equipped with a VLB S3-864 chipset card with 2 megabytes of DRAM. He ran X benchmarks on this machine
as well as on Sun Sparc IPX workstations. The Linux system was roughly 7 times faster than the Sparc IPX (for the
curious, XFree86-3.1 under Linux, with this video card, runs at around 171,000 xstones; the Sparc IPX at around
24,000). In general, XFree86 on a Linux system with an accelerated SVGA card will give you much greater
performance than that found on commercial UNIX workstations (which usually employ simple framebuffers for graphics).

Your machine will need at least 4 megabytes of physical RAM, and 16 megabytes of virtual RAM (for example, 8 megs
physical and 8 megs swap). Remember that the more physical RAM that you have, the less that the system will swap to
and from disk when memory is low. Because swapping is inherently slow (disks are very slow compared to memory),
having 8 megabytes of RAM or more is necessary to run XFree86 comfortably. 16 is better. A system with 4 megabytes
of physical RAM could run much (up to 10 times) more slowly than one with 8 megs or more.

Sorry that you got all that but that is the hardware section of the XFree86 How-To and your card is supported by X. Get the latest version of X if you don't have it and then reinstall it making sure that you include support for your card and make sure you include your card in the setup phase of installing X,

Need more help let me know,



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