Linux viewing problem
August 4, 2004 9:25 PM   Subscribe

I finally took the plunge into Linux (Fedore Core) and almost everything went perfectly, except for my screen. Using a sony laptop with a ATI Raidon 345m graphics card, which I have found is not directly supported by Sony or ATI. However, any linux techies know how to fix it? I can view stuff, but FC likes to reduce my screen size and if I mess around to make it bigger, then the enlarged screen image burns onto my screen which I'm guessing is not a good thing in the long run. Anyone help or solved this problem in the past? (Also assume while I know a lot about Windows, but know nothing about the functionality of Linux).
posted by jmd82 to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
I haven't used the 345m, so I only have general advice:

You might find some clues by looking at the X server logfiles, often found in /var/log/XFree86.*.log . Warnings and errors are marked by (WW) and (EE), respectively.

The X configuration file is /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 . Take a look at that to make sure Fedora is choosing reasonable settings for your hardware, especially in Section "Device" and Section "Screen".
posted by Galvatron at 10:15 PM on August 4, 2004

I'm not sure if this is your precise model, but have you read this?

What do the 'Section "Device"', 'Section "Monitor"' and 'Section "Screen"' entries in your /etc/X11/XF86Config file (or appropriate Fedora Core equivalent) look like? Posting them in the thread would make it easier to diagnose the problem.

Also, you have an LCD display, so (AFAIK) nothing actually can "burn into" your screen.

My aging Vaio laptop has a Radeon chip, and it works fine with XFree86 on Linux and FreeBSD (even works with BeOS!), so I think it's just your configuration.
posted by cmonkey at 10:21 PM on August 4, 2004

Response by poster: Galvatron: I don't see either of those exact files, though i did find /etc/X11/xorg.confg which looks to have some important information and closest file to XFree86*.*log is Xorg.O.log which looks like it has some more important stuff so I assume it is what I'm looking for. It appears that FC does indeed recognize i have a Raedon Video Card, just not the exact model and things look very pixelated. The biggest problem, though, is that images burn on my screen and take a good ten+ seconds to fully go away. However, I have no idea how I would even edit anything in that file to fix problems.

On preview:
excellent link, cmonkey! That looks close to what I've been looking for and will have to try it out (I need more than just the max default 800x600 settings and it looks like that fixes it).
Let me rephrase "burn into" my screen: When I'm doing something on my laptop and change to another program or even another webpage, I can still see what I was last doing on the screen very ligthyl for a little while. Does that make sense?

Also, what version of XFree does Fedora Core 2 use?
posted by jmd82 at 10:50 PM on August 4, 2004

Response by poster: Hm, upon checking the (WW) and (EE) info from Galvatron, I found this:

(WW) Open APM failed (/dev/apm_bios) (No such device)
(WW) RADEON(0): Direct rendering not yet supported on IGP320/330/340/350, 7000, 9000 integrated chips

I think that second (WW) warning kind of sums up my some of my problems!
posted by jmd82 at 10:54 PM on August 4, 2004

What's the actual model # of your laptop?
posted by cmonkey at 11:05 PM on August 4, 2004

Response by poster: Sony Vaio PCG-FRV37
The model you linked is nearly identical in specs and the video set is exactly the same (ATI Radeon IGP 345M 64MB, 128MB Max).
However, that link says I need XFree4.3 sintead of 4.2 and I dunno which version I have.
posted by jmd82 at 11:11 PM on August 4, 2004

XOrg is a recent fork of XFree86 4.3.

The first warning in the logfile indicates that X will be unable to make use of APM-based power-saving features. Not a huge problem. The second warning only indicates that the driver for your chipset does not yet support 3D acceleration (via the "direct rendering infrastructure", or DRI). Again, shouldn't cause any problems just rendering the (2D) desktop.
posted by Galvatron at 11:26 PM on August 4, 2004

Response by poster: Ok, that makes sense. I've read that lots of people have problems rendering 3D games without much success in fixing it but I see what's going on now- thanks!
posted by jmd82 at 11:30 PM on August 4, 2004

Response by poster: Update:
I finally tried to fix my video card via cmonkey's link, and it it fixed the readily aparent visual problems a charm, including the "temporary burning image" and bad pixelation. As an added bonus, the default setting is now 1024x768 even though there's no option for it in Display settings.
Thanks all for your help!
posted by jmd82 at 11:48 PM on August 4, 2004

Here's another example that sounds pretty similar to your machine. (Found via Linux on Laptops, a useful resource.)
posted by Galvatron at 11:49 PM on August 4, 2004

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