Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope 9.04 with ATI X1300

I usually upgrade early to Ubuntu's newest beta or release candidate.  I figure this is my way to contribute by sending in bug fixes.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to contribute to what happened to ATI.

When I originally upgraded to Jaunty, my ATI Radeon X1300 card was working better than ever using the RADEONHD driver instead of FGLRX.  I was getting wiggly windows with AIGLX on both montiors.  Previously, I had to choose between multiple monitors and wiggly windows :(  One week before Jaunty's launch I got a bad kernel upgrade that took out my entire system.  A good old kernel panic like it couldn't find the lvm root.

Taking out my system didn't bother me because I was running in a test environment and I didn't know what caused the problem.  (I also run lvm2 which is not standard)  I attempted to fix the problem by running the live CD and chrooting to the mounted hard drives but I kept getting a bash error.
mount /dev/mapper/main-root /mnt
mount /dev/mapper/main-home /mnt/home
mount /dev/mapper/main-libvirt /mnt/var/lib/libvirt
mount -o bind /proc /mnt/proc
mount -o bind /dev/ mnt/dev
chroot /mnt /bin/bash
  --error can't find bash even when I ran chroot /mnt /bin/bash although chroot /mnt bash sort of worked.
After a couple of weeks of creating a new ext4 root /dev/mapper/main-root2 and migrating my entire configuration over
dpkg --get-selections --root /mnt > ~/selection.backup
and later
dpkg --set-selections < ~/selection.backup
I decided to not copy my /etc configurations because I wasn't sure if my configuration was what was creating the kernel panic.

This story is getting very long.  Okay that is the history of the problem and here is the way that I "fixed" the ATI card.  (I had tried using ATI's fglrx but I had even more problems and I was pretty certain the radeonhd driver is finally ready for true 3D.

Here is my current /etc/X11/xorg.conf after looking at the example at
Section "Monitor"
    Identifier    "Dell0"
    Option        "RightOf"    "Dell1"

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier    "Dell1"

Section "Screen"
    Identifier    "Default Screen"
    Device        "Configured Video Device"
    DefaultDepth    24
    SubSection "Display"
        Depth    24
        Virtual    2560 1024

Section "Device"
    Identifier    "Configured Video Device"
    Driver        "radeonhd"
    Option        "UseFBDev"        "true"
    Option        "RROutputOrder"        "Dell0"
    Option        "DRI"
The xorg.conf file is probably not any more helpful than Ubuntu's default.  However after I use the Display system preference to indicate that I don't want to mirror my monitors.  After logging out and in again, I can only drag windows to no more than 60% of the right window (I'll try to show a screenshot of what that looks like later)

The fix was to run this command after logging in:
xrandr --output VGA_1 --right-of PANEL
I'm not sure exactly why it works and it might need to be modified to reflect my new display names as seen in my xorg.conf file.