Who listens to what music?

I should know better.

This month’s Red Hat Magazine had a feature on Fedora Core 5, the latest release of their leading-edge Linux distribution. I’ve been running Fedora Core 3 on my laptop (Dell D600) for a while now, and since FC3 is now only receiving maintenance updates from Fedora Legacy I figured it would be a good idea to upgrade.

The upgrade went passably — there’s a DMA bug between the D600 and the installer kernel that means the install goes slowly, and this time it hung at 90%, but that was enough for yum to make up the difference. Up and running, pleased to see that power management worked without any configuration (it was a bear in FC3), everything else seemed to work OK. It even fixed the volume button madness.

And then I got to work, docked, and stared for a while at the “no signal present” on the 21″ monitor on my desk at work.

Well, damn.

After a couple hours of futzing and Googling, I conclude that X.org 7 doesn’t support dual-headedness on a single Radeon. This is bad. It never occurred to me that a feature that had been stable in X for years would disappear, and now it’s hard to get normal work done. (My in-office workflow really depends on having those two screens.) So I decided that the first priority would be to get it working somehow, and then when I have a bit more spare time I’d fix things. Long story short, it’s possible to take xorg 6.8.2 from FC4, apply a good dose of –nodeps, –force and duct tape, and get it running in FC5. I feel dirty, though.

It’s supposed to be rainy this weekend, though, so I’ll probably just back up home directories and configuration, wipe it, and throw CentOS 4.3 on this weekend. I really should’ve done CentOS from the beginning. I’m used to having separate machines at work and at home, so screwing up one just means using the other, but with the laptop, I ended up dead in the water. Woops.

7 responses to “Who listens to what music?”

  1. You can get dual-headedness on a single Radeon? I’m confused. (Then again, I’m always behind-the-times when it comes to monitors.)

  2. One card, with the laptop’s LCD and the VGA port on the back separately addressible:

    (II) RADEON(0): vgaHWGetIOBase: hwp->IOBase is 0x03d0, hwp->PIOOffset is 0x0000
    (--) RADEON(0): Chipset: "ATI Radeon Mobility 9000 (M9) Lf (AGP)" (ChipID = 0x4c66)
    (--) RADEON(0): Linear framebuffer at 0xe8000000
    (II) RADEON(1): vgaHWGetIOBase: hwp->IOBase is 0x03d0, hwp->PIOOffset is 0x0000
    (--) RADEON(1): Chipset: "ATI Radeon Mobility 9000 (M9) Lf (AGP)" (ChipID = 0x4c66)
    (--) RADEON(1): Linear framebuffer at 0xe8000000

    If I wanted to I could even set them both up to share one giant framebuffer with two viewports — sort of hardware Xinerama — but I like having separate X screens instead of one big one, so I don’t.

  3. Aha, I thought you meant “single-headed video card” and it was doing some sort of software trickery that I’d never heard of.

  4. Copied from the internal 6A blogs today:

    So I replaced WinXP with FedoraCore5 on my laptop today but I wasn’t going to sleep until I got the Thinkpad LCD and Dell CRT monitor playing nicely together. Now they are both happening in beautiful 24 bits, all because I finally RTFM’d the right man page (man radeon – the video driver in these laptops) and put Option “CRT2Position” “Above” in the Device section of my /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Exciting! The glamorous life of a hacker! ;-)

    Maybe that’ll be relevant?

  5. Thanks, but this one’s broken a level below that — it knows it should do something with the second display, it just can’t detect that there is a second port to do anything with. (It tries, and complains that there is no monitor connected.)

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