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XFree86 problems

Posted on 2000-02-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I have a couple of XFree86 problems.

1) In XF86Setup, I select IMPS/2 as the mouse type.  However, sometimes it reverts back to PS/2 on it's own.  What would cause this?

2) In XF86Setup, I select a resolution/color depth combination (1280x1024x32) and that works fine.  However, sometimes when I log in and run startx, I find that the color depth has been reduced to 16 bit or 8 bit or something.  What would cause this?

Also, how do I know what the current resolution/color depth is?
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Question by:red5
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by:jyu_88
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a central configuration file is at
/etc/X11/XF86Config or /etc/XF86Config
defending on your distr.

at the end of the file, locate section blocks desigated to the Xservers type you are using: Accelerated, or Mono, etc. There would be several Subsection in it each has 'depth' and 'modes' defined. Move the Subsection contains depth 32 modes 1280x1024 to be the first subsection within this section.
Or add 'defaultColorDepth 32' line in the section definitions, i.e., before any subsection defs, again, within this section.

`xwininfo` will ask you click on a window. click on the root window, i.e. the blank part on your desktop. There you will see it.

with startx, you can specify the color depth you want by issuing 'startx -- -bpp 32'. By default the X will start at first working resolution/mode combination, aka, the subsection as describe above.

I am not quite sure about you saying about automatically reverting of the mouse though. could you show me two things:
1) from the XF86config, show me the mouse section
2) show me the ls -l /dev/mouse and/or ls -l /the/device/shown/in/your/mouse/section.

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by:red5
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xwininfo reports color depth 24.

There are "Screen | Display" entries in the config file for 8,15,16,24, and 32 bit depths.  Why does X choose 24? It is not the last nor the first.  The DefaultColorDepth was 8.



Here is the mouse stuff:

Section "Pointer"
   Protocol        "IMPS/2"
   Device          "/dev/mouse"
   Resolution      100
   Buttons         3
EndSection

/etc/X11> ls -l /dev/mouse
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root            5 Feb  9 22:44 /dev/mouse -> psaux
/etc/X11>

FYI- my mouse is an Intellimouse explorer (the big grey optical mouse) and it is connected to the ps/2 port.


Thanks for you help.
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by:Reinier
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1. command line options like "-bpp 24" override the DefaultColorDepth setting. Check your startx script.

2. Some Xservers will accept 32 bits depth although they do not support it. They will silently (actually not so silently if you where to look) use 24 bit depth. Check your X documentation.

What do you actually mean by "sometimes"? Do you have a ghost in your machine? ;-)
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by:red5
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Well, I switch between linux and windows at least once a day - often more than once a day.  This means I start the X server fairly frequently.

I'd say that ~20% of the time either the color depth or mouse is changed.

I haven't noticed any correlation between my activities and these problems.  I know I 'leave' linux in different ways - sometimes I type 'reboot' in an xterm while in X, sometimes use the Gnome 'reboot', sometimes logout of X, then type reboot at the login shell.  Maybe X gets messed up if you don't do it the right way (that's my best guess).
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by:Reinier
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Hmm, you better don't reboot without logging out of gnome or KDE because their session management will get screwed up if you do. It shouldn't cause any spontaneous changes in /etc/X11/XF86Config though.
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by:jyu_88
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check  /etc/sysconfig/mouse to see what mouse config you have

if you run gpm on the console mode, also run mouseconfig and choose Intellimouse (PS/2) and it will  change the gpm setting and automatically update the /etc/rc.d/init.d file.
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by:red5
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/etc/sysconfig> cat mouse
MOUSETYPE="ps/2"
XMOUSETYPE="PS/2"
FULLNAME="Generic 3 Button Mouse (PS/2)"
XEMU3=no

This time when I boot up, the middle mouse button works, but the colors are lowres (8 bit according to xwininfo)

Here is all the screen related stuff from my XF86Config file.  I don't understand the difference between the different drivers: 'Accel', 'SVGA', 'VGA126', 'VGA2'.  Which one is used?  And then which subsection is used?

(I am definitely willing to up the points for more good information)

Section "Device"
   Identifier      "My Video Card"
   VendorName      "Unknown"
   BoardName       "Unknown"
   Clocks          25.18
EndSection

Section "Screen"
   Driver          "Accel"
   Device          "My Video Card"
   Monitor         "My Monitor"
   DefaultColorDepth 32
   BlankTime       0
   SuspendTime     0
   OffTime         0
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        8
      Modes        "1280x1024"
      ViewPort     0 0
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        15
      Modes        "1280x1024"
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        16
      Modes        "1280x1024"
      ViewPort     0 0
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        24
      Modes        "1280x1024"
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        32
      Modes        "1280x1024"
      ViewPort     0 0
   EndSubSection
EndSection
Section "Screen"
   Driver          "SVGA"
   Device          "My Video Card"
   Monitor         "My Monitor"
   DefaultColorDepth 8
   BlankTime       0
   SuspendTime     0
   OffTime         0
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        8
      Modes        "1280x1024"
      ViewPort     0 0
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        15
      Modes        "1280x1024"
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        16
      Modes        "1280x1024"
      ViewPort     0 0
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        24
      Modes        "1280x1024"
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        32
      Modes        "1280x1024"
      ViewPort     0 0
   EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
   Driver          "VGA16"
   Device          "Generic VGA"
   Monitor         "My Monitor"
   BlankTime       0
   SuspendTime     0
   OffTime         0
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        4
      Modes        "1280x1024"
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        8
      Modes        "1280x1024"
      ViewPort     0 0
   EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
   Driver          "VGA2"
   Device          "Generic VGA"
   Monitor         "My Monitor"
   BlankTime       0
   SuspendTime     0
   OffTime         0
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        1
      Modes        "1280x1024"
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth        8
      Modes        "1280x1024"
      ViewPort     0 0
   EndSubSection
EndSection

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by:Reinier
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Please also tell us what kind of video card you use: brand, chipset and memory that is.

The file /etc/X11/X is a link to your XF86 driver. That link I think determines which Screen section is used. Please post here where the link points to. Virtually everyone uses SVGA or Accel.

The Display section that is used is determined by de colordepth that is required: The one specified on the command line, or the one specified by DefaultColorDepth, or simply the first.

Please also post here the contents of the Pointer section.
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by:red5
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I have the Voodoo3 3000 AGP card.
It has 3dfx chipset and 16MB of memory I think.

/etc/X11> ls -la X
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           29 Oct 15 15:24 X -> ../../usr/X11R6/bin/XF86_SVGA


I posted the 'Pointer' section above, but here it is again as I have changed the number of buttons to 5 (trying to get the mouse wheel working)

Section "Pointer"
   Protocol        "IMPS/2"
   Device          "/dev/mouse"
   Resolution      100
   Buttons         5
EndSection

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Reinier earned 150 total points
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Try adding this to the pointer section

    ZAxisMapping 4 5

and go read http://www.inria.fr/koala/colas/mouse-wheel-scroll/ for setting up the mouse wheel in several apps.

The XFree86 FAQ refers to
http://glide.xxedgexx.com/3DfxRPMS_vb_glibc.html for your card. This is what I found there about your video card

"XFree 3.3.5 does have support for the Banshee and Voodoo3, but it contains some bugs. Those bugs are fixed in the version
on the 3dfxgamers website (http://linux.3dfx.com/open_source/download/voodoo3_banshee.htm ) and in XFree 3.3.6."

So, which version of XFree86 are you using?
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by:red5
Comment Utility
sorry - I was out a couple days.

~> X -version

XFree86 Version 3.4 / X Window System
(protocol Version 11, revision 0, vendor release 6300)
Release Date: March 8 1999
      If the server is older than 6-12 months, or if your card is newer
      than the above date, look for a newer version before reporting
      problems.  (see http://www.XFree86.Org/FAQ)
Operating System: Linux 2.2.6 i686 [ELF]
Configured drivers:
  SVGA: server for SVGA graphics adaptors (Patchlevel 0):
      NV1, STG2000, RIVA128, RIVATNT, ET4000, ET4000W32, ET4000W32i,
      ET4000W32i_rev_b, ET4000W32i_rev_c, ET4000W32p, ET4000W32p_rev_a,
      ET4000W32p_rev_b, ET4000W32p_rev_c, ET4000W32p_rev_d, ET6000, ET6100,
      et3000, pvga1, wd90c00, wd90c10, wd90c30, wd90c24, wd90c31, wd90c33,
      gvga, ati, sis86c201, sis86c202, sis86c205, sis86c215, sis86c225,
      sis5597, sis5598, sis6326, tvga8200lx, tvga8800cs, tvga8900b,
      tvga8900c, tvga8900cl, tvga8900d, tvga9000, tvga9000i, tvga9100b,
      tvga9200cxr, tgui9400cxi, tgui9420, tgui9420dgi, tgui9430dgi,
      tgui9440agi, cyber9320, tgui9660, tgui9680, tgui9682, tgui9685,
      cyber9382, cyber9385, cyber9388, cyber9397, cyber9520, 3dimage975,
      3dimage985, clgd5420, clgd5422, clgd5424, clgd5426, clgd5428,
      clgd5429, clgd5430, clgd5434, clgd5436, clgd5446, clgd5480, clgd5462,
      clgd5464, clgd5465, clgd6205, clgd6215, clgd6225, clgd6235, clgd7541,
      clgd7542, clgd7543, clgd7548, clgd7555, clgd7556, ncr77c22, ncr77c22e,
      cpq_avga, mga2064w, mga1064sg, mga2164w, mga2164w AGP, mgag200,
      mgag100, oti067, oti077, oti087, oti037c, al2101, ali2228, ali2301,
      ali2302, ali2308, ali2401, cl6410, cl6412, cl6420, cl6440, video7,
      ark1000vl, ark1000pv, ark2000pv, ark2000mt, mx, realtek, s3_virge,
      AP6422, AT24, AT3D, s3_svga, NM2070, NM2090, NM2093, NM2097, NM2160,
      NM2200, ct65520, ct65525, ct65530, ct65535, ct65540, ct65545, ct65546,
      ct65548, ct65550, ct65554, ct65555, ct68554, ct69000, ct64200,
      ct64300, mediagx, V1000, V2x00, p9100, spc8110, Voodoo Banshee,
      Voodoo3, generic
~>
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Author Comment

by:red5
Comment Utility
Well, I've made some changes based on what I've learned from jyu_88 and Reiner. I still have a few problems, but things are better. I'm going to close this question.

Reiner posted 4 comments and jyu_88 posted 2.  Thus I will give the 150 points here to Reiner and will post another question worth 75 points for jyu_88.  Hope that sounds fair.

jyu_88, see Q.10309629
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by:Reinier
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Thanks, and I guess you will get the best results from upgrading to XFree version 3.6. I heard version 4.0 was released last week. You might want to check it out. I dont't think an RPM packaged version is already available though.
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