Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Arch Linux 2.6.37, Xorg 1.9.4, Vesa driver and Intel 845/945 graphics

After a long time, I decided to retry upgrading Xserver to the current 1.9.4 version on the P4 with Intel 845 graphics controller. My experience had been that the systems with intel 845/945 graphics  would hang often with the new version of intel driver.  So, I have continued to use Xserver 1.6.3! The wonderful aspect of Arch Linux is that it allowed me to upgrade everything else but hold back 6 packages needed to keep using the xf86-video-intel-legacy driver.

After the upgrade, I got an unexpected error:
 /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers/ undefined symbol: resVgaShared
I have probably made a mistake in the upgrade and some old library might not have been uninstalled. I have not had a chance to check it out as yet.

However, meanwhile, the vesa driver worked very well. Earlier, it also used to give errors on this hardware and would not work at 1280x1024 at all.  The system is stable and working well with the Vesa driver; so there is no need for me to revert to the old intel driver anymore even if the current intel driver still gives problems on this hardware.

Update: The error was pretty obvious and silly. Since the package names of the old and new inter video drivers were different - xf86-video-intel-legacy and xf86-video-intel. A pacman update did not replace the legacy driver with the new one! I am now using the updated intel driver. A short usage did not create any problem but will have to wait and see.

Update: Even with Intel driver, the system no longer seems to hang. However, several times, the display was distorted, especially when the screensaver was active. Hence, I have switched to the Vesa display driver, which is good enough for the needs of the old system.

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