Known Graphics Issues - Mepis 7

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!!! Warning! The info contained in this article pertains to older versions of MEPIS !!!
=Resolution Support=

  • Odd Resolutions and Widescreen support
Many MEPIS users today are picking up Widescreen 16:9 or 8:5 wide-screen monitors, and finding that they cannot get full resolution from the Live-CD. Well, in most cases, you won't get full resolution. Many X.org drivers have issues supporting Widescreen or odd resolutions, such as 1440*900, 1280*800, 1280*720, and 1280*960.
The general rule of thumb is that proper resolution support is provided by accelerated drivers, such as these: Nvidia-Glx, Nvidia-Glx-Legacy, xf86-video-ati (X.org Radeon), xf86-video-radeonhd (RadeonHD), AMD Fglrx, and Intel's Open-Licensed driver. In most cases, MEPIS 7 will need to be installed to the hard-drive in order for many of these drivers to be activated.


Contents

ATi

  • Fglrx issues
currently MEPIS 7 provides the 8.43 driver release from ATi. This driver is semi-known to have some issues depending on the distribution, so there is a bit of a history to be covered here. The MEPIS 7 Beta's started with the 8.39 driver in which the setup process generated an Unsupported hardware overlay on the screen. ATi's fix was to simply run the driver from their site which would set the appropriate driver signing tagline and remove the hardware overlay. We posted this fix A on Mepisguides.
The driver was then upgraded to the 8.40 release, which created an additional issue as we noted in the MEPIS 7 Upgrade FAQ. Our solution was as follows:
Open up the MEPIS X-Assistant and start the Fglrx Driver install.
Give it about 2 minutes, then cancel.
Try to open up Synaptic. There should be an error and the Synaptic Icon on the taskbar will display a question mark.
Synaptic will instruct to run the command dpkg --configure -a
Open up Konsole and SU to root
Run dpkg --configure -a
Close the console and REBOOT.
When MEPIS comes back up, open the X Window Assistant back up and select the Fglrx driver again.
Reboot one more time.
However, the 8.40 release was the final driver set of the old ATi code base. The 8.41 release introduced a completely new OpenGL rendering engine, and also marked the introduction of the xf86-video-radeonhd driver, an official Open-Licensed driver from AMD. MEPIS 7 Skipped the 8.41 driver because support was only official for the RadeonHD 2x00 series of graphics cards. The Radeon 8.42 driver introduced official support for all Radeons back to anything labeled 95xx or above. The Radeon 8.43 driver introduced beta support for the RadeonHD 3x00 series of graphics cards, although it has a few known issues with an OpenGL memory leak and artifacts.
The 8.43 driver was the most recent driver available as MEPIS 7 was being finalized. The 8.44 driver was released on December 20 and is known to squash several of the known glitches with the 8.43 driver. The 8.44 driver is not expected to be merged until after the New Year. The 8.43 driver was included so that buyers of recent ATi graphics cards would not be locked out completely from using MEPIS 7 Series.
Glitches one may experience with the 8.43 driver include non-functional or missing 3D functions in native OpenGL applications. One may also experience glitches and crashes in DirectX applications being run with W.I.N.E. based technologies such as Wine and Cedega. Other reported issues specific to MEPIS 7 include glitches such as display corruption in the lower right hand corner, and screen outlines of previous windows tracking the cursor. These issues have been tested and duplicated on a Radeon x1800 XT graphics card.
Users will also find that the advanced 3D options in the AMD Control Center are currently disabled in the 8.43 driver, although the options were available on the 8.40 driver. It is important to keep in mind that the current driver is only 3 release versions old and that some of us will yapp AMD employees ears off when problems are found.
For users with graphics cards from the original Radeon Lineup, the Radeon 7x00 series, the Radeon 8500 series, and the Radeon 8500 derivatives including all 9000-9250 graphics cards should note that support for these cards was dropped in August 2006. These cards will not operate with the Fglrx driver from AMD.


Most ATi cards can be safely started from the LiveCD using the default option. However, for some mobile solutions, like the RadeonHD 2600, use the VESA option to boot.


  • ATi issues
Currently MEPIS 7 Series ships with X.orgs 6.6.3 release of the ATi driver. This driver is well out of date, having been released on 2006-10-03.
Unfortunately we do not know when a more recent X.org driver will be included with MEPIS 7. This means that DRI for Rage chips is currently known to not work, and TV output may or may not work with the 6.6.3 release on supported cards.
Cards that are supported on the older ATi driver should operate in all resolutions and provide 3D support. Tested cards include Radeon 9600 Pro, Radeon 8500 AIW, Radeon 7500 AIW, and Radeon Xpress 200 mobile.


  • RadeonHD issues
Currently MEPIS 7 does not include any version of the RadeonHD driver. A package has been posted on MEPIS Community forum, but there is no indication of when the driver will be packaged in. As the driver is not included, the MEPIS X.org X-assistant does not make any provisions for installing the RadeonHD driver.

Intel

  • Intel driver
Saist doesn't have one of these and is talking in third person again. Somebody who happens to have one on hand and who can fill this in would be much appreciated.

Nvidia

  • Nvidia Glx
Currently most Nvidia cards will need to be started using the VESA mode from the LiveCD. Most Nvidia cards will also require running dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg in order to obtain a proper resolution. Tested Nvidia cards include Geforce 4 4200 OC on the .96 driver release, Geforce 6600 GT AGP on the 100.19 driver release, and Geforce 7900 GT KO on the 100.19 driver release using both LCD and CRT monitors.
Because most Nvidia cards will need to be started with VESA, Widescreen and odd resolutions will generally not work off the disc with MEPIS 7.
Currently the 64bit drivers are known to have issues similar to the 8.43 ATi drivers. Certain 3D operations are known to be broken and many OpenGL applications are known to have corruption issues.


  • Nvidia-GLX Legacy
Currently MEPIS 7 repositories contain both the 71xx driver release and the 96xx driver release from Nvidia. Installing the drivers from the MEPIS X.org X Assistant results in the 96xx drivers being installed automatically. Currently the X Assistant makes no provisions available for selecting and installing the older 71xx driver from the GUI.
The 96xx driver included in MEPIS 7 is the 9639 released on May 29, 2007. This is not the most current release, that would be the 96.43.01 driver released on September 18th. Unfortunately, this means that many of the memory leaks and OpenGL rendering issues are still in the MEPIS 7 release. There is currently no known timeline on when the most recent driver will be added.


  • Nouveau
Currently MEPIS 7 does not include any version of the Nouveau driver, nor are there any known packages available.

Splashy

  • Splashy Bars at the top
There is currently a known issue where Splashy is generating black vertical bars at the top of the display which appear to be a low-level overlay. This often occurs after hitting Control-Alt-F1 during the boot process in order to get rid of Splashy and view the boot messages. When the x-server starts the KDE desktop display, the small vertical bars appear and persist. Restarting the x-server usually clears these up.
  • Splashy during Boot
There is another known issue that involves hitting Control-Alt-F1 during the boot process. While the splashy background goes away and displays the text from the boot up process, the Splashy loading bar does not go away, and continues to display itself during the loading process. The result is apparent display corruption during the boot up process.
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