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Re: [linux-dell-laptops] Re: XFree86 on a Dell Inspiron 8000

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  • ken
    ... There s been some changes in the config files for X over the years and there s differences these days depending upon your distibution. So I wouldn t just
    Message 1 of 14 , Sep 20, 2004
      Haedn Thorn wrote:

      >--- p4c0st4 <p4c0st4@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      >>--- In linux-dell-laptops@yahoogroups.com, Haedn
      >>Thorn
      >><lordhaedn@y...> wrote:
      >>
      >>
      >>>--- p4c0st4 <p4c0st4@y...> wrote:
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>>Dell Inspiron 8000 w/ an ATI Mobility M4
      >>>>
      >>>>I just finished emerging xfree and I ran
      >>>>/usr/X11R6/bin/X -configure
      >>>>and then ran /usr/X11R6/bin/XFree86 -xf86config
      >>>>/root/XF86config.new
      >>>>and the screen goes black for a second but it
      >>>>
      >>>>
      >>fails
      >>
      >>
      >>>>and gives me the
      >>>>ouput:
      >>>>
      >>>>/* I've only included select sections of the
      >>>>
      >>>>
      >>output
      >>
      >>
      >>>>after going
      >>>>through the /var/log file */
      >>>>
      >>>>(EE) R128(0): No valid modes found /* seen after
      >>>>
      >>>>
      >>it
      >>
      >>
      >>>>was trying to load
      >>>>anyof the screen resolution modes in the pool */
      >>>>
      >>>>(EE) Screen(s) found, but none have a usable
      >>>>configuration.
      >>>>
      >>>>Fatal server error:
      >>>>no screens found
      >>>>
      >>>>
      >>>You may just need to find a ModeLine (sorry if I
      >>>
      >>>
      >>got
      >>
      >>
      >>>the keyword wrong, I haven't set one up for a
      >>>
      >>>
      >>while)
      >>
      >>
      >>>that works with your screen.
      >>>
      >>>
      >>What is a ModeLine? Sorry I'm new to setting up X
      >>manually so I'm
      >>pretty clueless.
      >>
      >>
      >
      >Goto http://xfree86.org/4.4.0/XF86Config.5.html ...
      >"ModeLine" is explained down in the "Monitor" section
      >.... It might not be very easy from a beginer
      >standpoint. a Google for your particular setup might
      >turn up useable ModeLines ...
      >
      >
      >
      >
      There's been some changes in the config files for X over the years and
      there's differences these days depending upon your distibution. So I
      wouldn't just go out and use somebody else's XF86Config* file. It might
      not match the version of X you're using. It would be best to keep your
      current XF86Config* file. In fact, before you do anything else, copy it
      to XF86Config*.orig and then change the permissions on the *.orig file
      to read only.

      I've been saying "XF86Config*" (with an asterisk) because the name of
      this file is changed slightly in some distributions. Do us (and
      yourself) a favor and do "ls -l /etc/X11/XF86Config*" and send us the
      output of that command.

      About the "modeline".... It's called that because, in days past,
      "modeline" used to be a keyword used in XF86Config. In newer versions
      of this config file, it's not there anymore... the keywords are
      different. This is one reason why you shouldn't try to use somebody
      else's XF86Config file. Yeah, they might have the same laptop, but they
      could be running a different version of X.

      The modeline is a list (but perhaps containing only one item) of
      resolutions your screen (or monitor) is capable of. Therefore it's a
      description of your hardware. If you're going to edit in your own
      modeline, you need to know the resolutions your screen can handle. This
      information is best found in the tech specs for your laptop (though that
      section has been getting really skimpy over the years). The next-best
      bet is to run a program called 'modprobe'. Read the manpage on it
      before running it though.

      The 'modeline' in my XF86Config looks like this:

      Modes "1280x1024" "1280x960" "1152x864" "1024x768"
      "800x600" "640x480"

      As you might guess, this is a series of screen resolutions my monitor is
      capable of and which I want to use. There's more than one because I
      might want to use one of the others. The first one is the default, but
      I can cycle through these resolutions by doing Ctrl-Alt-[numkeypad-plus]
      and Ctrl-Alt-[numkeypad-minus]. You have to have the NumLock toggled
      on. To get things going, put the one most likely to work (like
      "640x480") at the beginning-- where I have "1280x1024". Later, when you
      get a few of them figured out, you can arrange them according to preference.

      An important point to understand out of all of this is that the modeline
      is a description of your screen/monitor hardware, so it's pretty much
      independent of the particular video card you're using (except that the
      video card-- more precisely, the chip on the video card-- has to be
      capable of providing the specified resolution to the monitor, of course).

      It's likely that there'll be some other items in your config file will
      need to be tweaked.

      hth,
      ken
    • Alexandre Tessier
      ... This is not Modeline. It seems to be a Modes line of a Display section. Modeline is an abstract on one line of a Mode of a Monitor section, for example:
      Message 2 of 14 , Sep 20, 2004
        ken wrote:
        > The 'modeline' in my XF86Config looks like this:
        >
        > Modes "1280x1024" "1280x960" "1152x864" "1024x768"
        > "800x600" "640x480"

        This is not Modeline. It seems to be a Modes line of a Display section.
        Modeline is an "abstract on one line" of a Mode of a Monitor section,
        for example:
        Modeline "1400x1050" 110 1400 1400 1648 1776 1050 1050 1053

        Did you try some XF86Config from the Files of the group:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/linux-dell-laptops/files/

        Alex.
      • ken
        ... It might not be a modline on your system, but it is a modeline on my system (RH9). As I said in my original post, the formatting of XF86Config has changed
        Message 3 of 14 , Sep 21, 2004
          Alexandre Tessier wrote:

          >ken wrote:
          >
          >
          >>The 'modeline' in my XF86Config looks like this:
          >>
          >> Modes "1280x1024" "1280x960" "1152x864" "1024x768"
          >>"800x600" "640x480"
          >>
          >>
          >
          >This is not Modeline. It seems to be a Modes line of a Display section.
          >Modeline is an "abstract on one line" of a Mode of a Monitor section,
          >for example:
          >Modeline "1400x1050" 110 1400 1400 1648 1776 1050 1050 1053
          >
          >Did you try some XF86Config from the Files of the group:
          >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/linux-dell-laptops/files/
          >
          >Alex.
          >
          >
          It might not be a modline on your system, but it is a modeline on my
          system (RH9).

          As I said in my original post, the formatting of XF86Config has changed
          somewhat over the years. (This might be part of the orignal poster's
          problem.)

          ken
        • cze_tom
          ... 1024x768 ... section. ... section, ... my ... changed ... poster s ... Alex is right, you are wrong. I am completly new to setting of X server, but....
          Message 4 of 14 , Sep 21, 2004
            --- In linux-dell-laptops@yahoogroups.com, ken <gebser@s...> wrote:
            > Alexandre Tessier wrote:
            >
            > >ken wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > >>The 'modeline' in my XF86Config looks like this:
            > >>
            > >> Modes "1280x1024" "1280x960" "1152x864"
            "1024x768"
            > >>"800x600" "640x480"
            > >>
            > >>
            > >
            > >This is not Modeline. It seems to be a Modes line of a Display
            section.
            > >Modeline is an "abstract on one line" of a Mode of a Monitor
            section,
            > >for example:
            > >Modeline "1400x1050" 110 1400 1400 1648 1776 1050 1050 1053
            > >
            > >Alex.
            > >
            > >
            > It might not be a modline on your system, but it is a modeline on
            my
            > system (RH9).
            >
            > As I said in my original post, the formatting of XF86Config has
            changed
            > somewhat over the years. (This might be part of the orignal
            poster's
            > problem.)
            >
            > ken

            Alex is right, you are wrong.
            I am completly new to setting of X server, but....

            Modeline is part of Section "Device"
            Modes are part of Section "Screen" and Subsection "Display"
            Its are two different things.

            Tom
          • ken
            ... Tom, For someone who is, as you yourself say, completely new to setting of X server , you re rather certain of yourself. First, in my post I specifically
            Message 5 of 14 , Sep 30, 2004
              cze_tom wrote:

              >--- In linux-dell-laptops@yahoogroups.com, ken <gebser@s...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >>Alexandre Tessier wrote:
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >>>ken wrote:
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>>The 'modeline' in my XF86Config looks like this:
              >>>>
              >>>> Modes "1280x1024" "1280x960" "1152x864"
              >>>>
              >>>>
              >"1024x768"
              >
              >
              >>>>"800x600" "640x480"
              >>>>
              >>>>
              >>>>
              >>>>
              >>>This is not Modeline. It seems to be a Modes line of a Display
              >>>
              >>>
              >section.
              >
              >
              >>>Modeline is an "abstract on one line" of a Mode of a Monitor
              >>>
              >>>
              >section,
              >
              >
              >>>for example:
              >>>Modeline "1400x1050" 110 1400 1400 1648 1776 1050 1050 1053
              >>>
              >>>Alex.
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>It might not be a modline on your system, but it is a modeline on
              >>
              >>
              >my
              >
              >
              >>system (RH9).
              >>
              >>As I said in my original post, the formatting of XF86Config has
              >>
              >>
              >changed
              >
              >
              >>somewhat over the years. (This might be part of the orignal
              >>
              >>
              >poster's
              >
              >
              >>problem.)
              >>
              >>ken
              >>
              >>
              >
              >Alex is right, you are wrong.
              >I am completly new to setting of X server, but....
              >
              >Modeline is part of Section "Device"
              >Modes are part of Section "Screen" and Subsection "Display"
              >Its are two different things.
              >
              >Tom
              >
              >

              Tom,

              For someone who is, as you yourself say, "completely new to setting of X
              server", you're rather certain of yourself.

              First, in my post I specifically said that there are different formats
              to the XF86Config* files. Unless you know all the various formats, how
              can you say I'm wrong?

              Second, have a look at
              <http://www.linuxforum.com/redhat-reference/s1-x-server-configuration.html>.
              It shows that for this particular XF86Config, it's not true-- as you
              assert-- that 'Modeline is part of Section "Device"'-- according to this
              webpage, it's part of the "Monitor" section.

              In addition, read
              <http://www.linuxforum.com/linux-xwindow/xfree86.html>. It says there,
              'In versions prior to v4.x, you would also see many "Modeline"
              statements that attempted to define the monitor's capabilities....
              Explicit "Modeline" definitions are not required as of 4.x', confirming,
              as I said before, that the formatting of XF86Config has changed over the
              years.

              Also if you check <http://www.xfree86.org/4.3.0/XF86Config.5.html>, you
              can see in more detail what entries in the config file are for.
              Further, if you compare this document with those for other versions of
              X, you'll see that the format of XF86Config is different for different
              versions of X. You might also find that in the latest version of X the
              'ModeLine ... entry is a more compact version of the Mode entry.... In
              most cases this isn't necessary because the built-in set of VESA
              standard modes will be sufficient.' So it's not true, as you say, that
              they are "two different things." The same information is available in
              the XF86Config manpage. You should have this manpage already installed
              on your system. What neither the manpage nor the cited document
              explains is the difficulties that can arise if you duplicate the video
              mode specifications in the older modeline format-- i.e., note that the
              variables used in each method are largely the same. In short, if the
              version of X permits it, forget about hand-editing or even using
              modelines; unless you have some strange, non-VESA-compliant 'monitor',
              you don't need it/them.

              I started using Linux in 1992 and have been using it just about every
              day of my life since then. Back in those early days it was necessary to
              hand-edit modelines and I did this (successfully) several times. I even
              wrote a program to do the calculations for this. In other words, I've
              been back and forth through X servers many times. I'd much prefer to
              help out here than to have to defend myself against a newbie who
              obviously hasn't read even the primary documentation on the subject.
              And I'm sure that others who might have less experience might also want
              to help here, but would be discouraged from doing so by hotshots like
              yourself who don't offer anything constructive and only want to crap on
              people who do. For the sake of the list and the people who want to
              help, be constructive. Just as important, read a couple of docs so you
              can more quickly put your newbie days behind you.


              hth,
              ken
            • Alexandre Tessier
              ... I started Linux in 1993 and I remember when it was necessary to hand-edit modelines and how happy I was when after hours I can see X11 on my screen! My PC
              Message 6 of 14 , Sep 30, 2004
                ken wrote:
                > I started using Linux in 1992 and have been using it just about every
                > day of my life since then. Back in those early days it was necessary to
                > hand-edit modelines and I did this (successfully) several times. I even
                > wrote a program to do the calculations for this. In other words, I've
                > been back and forth through X servers many times. I'd much prefer to
                > help out here than to have to defend myself against a newbie who
                > obviously hasn't read even the primary documentation on the subject.
                > And I'm sure that others who might have less experience might also want
                > to help here, but would be discouraged from doing so by hotshots like
                > yourself who don't offer anything constructive and only want to crap on
                > people who do. For the sake of the list and the people who want to
                > help, be constructive. Just as important, read a couple of docs so you
                > can more quickly put your newbie days behind you.

                I started Linux in 1993 and I remember when it was necessary to
                hand-edit modelines and how happy I was when after hours I can see X11
                on my screen! My PC was like a Sun. I remember I also wrote with a
                friend a program (using constraint logic programming) to compute the
                timings, dotclock... according to the possibilities of the video card
                and the screen (but it did not always work).

                I said your Modes was not a Modeline because I thought that the Modes of
                the Display section was just a reference to a Mode or Modeline of the
                Monitor section. Maybe I'm wrong, I've not used it for several years.
                Sorry. I agree with you for the rest.

                Alex.

                >
                >
                > hth,
                > ken
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
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                >
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                >
              • ken
                ... The point I was originally trying to make to the person who had the problem was that, depending upon the version of X used, there may be no need for a
                Message 7 of 14 , Oct 4, 2004
                  Alexandre Tessier wrote:

                  >I started Linux in 1993 and I remember when it was necessary to
                  >hand-edit modelines and how happy I was when after hours I can see X11
                  >on my screen! My PC was like a Sun. I remember I also wrote with a
                  >friend a program (using constraint logic programming) to compute the
                  >timings, dotclock... according to the possibilities of the video card
                  >and the screen (but it did not always work).
                  >
                  >I said your Modes was not a Modeline because I thought that the Modes of
                  >the Display section was just a reference to a Mode or Modeline of the
                  >Monitor section. Maybe I'm wrong, I've not used it for several years.
                  >Sorry. I agree with you for the rest.
                  >
                  >Alex.
                  >
                  >

                  The point I was originally trying to make to the person who had the
                  problem was that, depending upon the version of X used, there may be no
                  need for a Modeline. As the documentation cited in my last post
                  affirms, newer versions of XF86Config don't need them if the 'monitor'
                  is VESA-compliant. You would, however, need a Modes line of the kind I
                  included in my original post. (If you disagree with this, take it up
                  with the people who wrote the documentation.)

                  Secondly, let me say again that (as I see it anyway) the primary purpose
                  of this list is to help people solve their problems getting Linux to run
                  on their Dell laptops. Reading the rationale (above) for why you
                  disagreed with me, I see you didn't understand the point I was making...
                  sorry for not making it clearer to you. In view of helping solve the
                  original poster's problem, however, there's little reason at this point
                  in our discussion to consider your comments anyway.

                  So if we could return to the original problem....

                  What version of X is being used?

                  Is the 'monitor' VESA-compliant?

                  Does the person with this problem still have the original XF86Config*
                  file(s)?
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