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Old 12-09-07, 02:56 PM   #1
HamRadio
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Default Framebuffer and X

Hi,
I think that Nvidia Linux support can't be considered to be *complete* as long as Nvidia drivers conflict with the kernel framebuffer driver (nvidiafb/rivafb), and/or without providing an alternative framebuffer driver into their official proprietary driver.
In fact a Linux user is not just an Xwindow user, he/she could well be also a console user.
So if Nvidia doesn't support the console display they cannot say they "support Linux" completely.
When will we have a good driver working on *both* the framebuffer and X?
Cheers.
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Old 12-09-07, 04:55 PM   #2
energyman76b
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Default Re: Framebuffer and X

If you have a running X, why do you need a framebuffer?
Why is the vesa framebuffer not good enough?
Why is text (vga) console not good enough?


Is there any driver that provides hardware accelerated 2d and 3d AND plays well with its framebuffer counterpart?
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Old 12-10-07, 12:14 PM   #3
HamRadio
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Default Re: Framebuffer and X

Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
If you have a running X, why do you need a framebuffer?
To have everything working 100%


Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
Why is the vesa framebuffer not good enough?
Because it is limited to standard VESA resolutions, and it doesn't support most recent widescreen monitors such as 1680x1050.


Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
Why is text (vga) console not good enough?
Same as above.


Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
Is there any driver that provides hardware accelerated 2d and 3d AND plays well with its framebuffer counterpart?
We should aim that videocard vendors really support Linux *completely*.
Nvidia has made a very good job with its drivers, it just lacks framebuffer support...
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Old 12-10-07, 12:34 PM   #4
zbiggy
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Default Re: Framebuffer and X

Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
If you have a running X, why do you need a framebuffer?
Professionals developing applications for Linux are usually logged to X for reading docs, the Internet, mail and desktop work.
Text consoles are test field or long term data/stats output. I usually use 4 vesafb text consoles 1024x768x8bpp and one X (same resolution but 24bpp).
In my daily life having only X is not enough (or opening several xterms in X).
There are some long term working apps you do not want to have laying around on taskbar in X for ages. You only want to jump from time to time to see how progress look (I know about fg bg jobs commands but I prefer VC switchibng as more comfortable). This is why 4 text consoles are used by me (I usually use XvMC to play DVD fullscreen when my CPU is busy processing). That is why I'm sad there is no XvMC in Geforce8 - I have to buy Geforce7 instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
Why is the vesa framebuffer not good enough?
Because:
* it is not accelerated
* X<->VC switching flashes screen which is ugly
* vesafb not always cowork with nvidia (however Nvidia compatibility is near perfect).
* there is no extra features you can get from nvidiafb which is conflicting with Nvidia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
Why is text (vga) console not good enough?
This is a joke question?
"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates, 1981
"Why is text (vga) console not good enough?" - energyman76b, 2007

Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
Is there any driver that provides hardware accelerated 2d and 3d AND plays well with its framebuffer counterpart?
Opensource drivers.
VIA Unichrome IGP driver made by VIA.

From technical point of view there should be no problem as framebuffer driver is in kernel module. The problem with nvidia and nvidiafb modules is both try to control one device. This is not possible - that is why there is conflict and both can not be used at one time. Nvidia binary driver already uses kernel module. 95% of full frambuffer code is already present (mode setting, power management, display control, blits and fills, edid) it is just not available at console.
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Old 12-10-07, 12:54 PM   #5
energyman76b
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Default Re: Framebuffer and X

Quote:
Originally Posted by HamRadio
Because it is limited to standard VESA resolutions, and it doesn't support most recent widescreen monitors such as 1680x1050.
Well, I am using 'only' text console on my 1680x1050 screen.
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Old 12-10-07, 01:01 PM   #6
energyman76b
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Default Re: Framebuffer and X

Quote:
Originally Posted by zbiggy
Professionals developing applications for Linux are usually logged to X for reading docs, the Internet, mail and desktop work.
Text consoles are test field or long term data/stats output. I usually use 4 vesafb text consoles 1024x768x8bpp and one X (same resolution but 24bpp).
In my daily life having only X is not enough (or opening several xterms in X).
xterm is slow and memory hungry. There are better solutions - like konsole. I usually have two konsoles with several tabs open. Every tab namend to make it easy to find the right one.

Welcome to the 21 century.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zbiggy
There are some long term working apps you do not want to have laying around on taskbar in X for ages. You only want to jump from time to time to see how progress look (I know about fg bg jobs commands but I prefer VC switchibng as more comfortable). This is why 4 text consoles are used by me (I usually use XvMC to play DVD fullscreen when my CPU is busy processing). That is why I'm sad there is no XvMC in Geforce8 - I have to buy Geforce7 instead.
and you need an accelerated framebuffer for some stupid compile/encode/wtf job? Wow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zbiggy
Because:
* it is not accelerated
* X<->VC switching flashes screen which is ugly
* vesafb not always cowork with nvidia (however Nvidia compatibility is near perfect).
* there is no extra features you can get from nvidiafb which is conflicting with Nvidia.
and since when do you need acceleration for text-stuff?
X<->VC switching does not need to flash.
vesa worked surprisingly well for me - until I decided that even vesa fb is just overblown for something that is only used to have tar oder gcc running.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zbiggy
This is a joke question?
"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates, 1981
"Why is text (vga) console not good enough?" - energyman76b, 2007
First. Bill Gates never said that. You should update your knowledge.
Second. Why is text console not good enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zbiggy
Opensource drivers.
VIA Unichrome IGP driver made by VIA.

From technical point of view there should be no problem ... sorry but have to stop. I'm still laughing at ""Why is text (vga) console not good enough?" - energyman76b, 2007" - I will return typing when I stop laughing.
yeah, laugh as much as you want. Is there really somebody out there using via graphics?

And from a technical standpoint there should be a lot of problems. A partly userspace driven system (X) and a 100% kernel solution (framebuffer) fighting about the same hardware. If that does not sound fishy to you, you are beyond help.
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Old 12-10-07, 01:45 PM   #7
Keyper7
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Default Re: Framebuffer and X

Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
Well, I am using 'only' text console on my 1680x1050 screen.
But not on a 1680x1050 resolution, I suppose.
Methinks you're probably on a stretched lower resolution?

I can understand why people want X and fb to work well together. The console given by nvidiafb is gorgeous, much better than vesafb. And it's not just a matter of aesthetics: I like smaller fonts because for me it's easier to read and I like having more to see without scrolling too much. Is this something extremely necessary? No. But if we are going to overthink about this, neither are high resolutions for X or non-monochromatic monitors.

I think you're believing too much that what's good enough for you should be good enough for everyone.
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Old 12-10-07, 02:28 PM   #8
HamRadio
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Default Re: Framebuffer and X

Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
Well, I am using 'only' text console on my 1680x1050 screen.
If you're using your text console at 1680x1050, could you please tell me how you do it?
Perhaps with vesa-ng?
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Old 12-10-07, 02:51 PM   #9
zbiggy
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Default Re: Framebuffer and X

Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
xterm is slow and memory hungry. There are better solutions - like konsole. I usually have two konsoles with several tabs open. Every tab namend to make it easy to find the right one.

Welcome to the 21 century.
I also use konsole if I use KDE (and other terminals too). You can welcome me in 21 century when someone make full featured Linux driver. Nvidia is the nearest company to finish line. I appreciate Nvidia involvement and feature quality and completness of binary driver. However accelerated fb is one of things Linux people would be happy to find under christmas tree from green Santa Clause. I would be happy to drop vesa and nvidiafb in favor of nvidia kernel module with accelerated fb. This way I could have full accelerated X and console too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
and you need an accelerated framebuffer for some stupid compile/encode/wtf job? Wow.
I need accelerated fb for many things. I use text console so much I sometimes never login to X. Programmers/admins used to have many tools,scripts for text console. Some of them are long running. For example on servers only nvidiafb is running to have fast console and due to incompatibility Nvidia binary driver will never be installed on such box.

If you will work longer in pure text mode you will not keep up wit VGAcon 80x25.

Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
and since when do you need acceleration for text-stuff?
X<->VC switching does not need to flash.
vesa worked surprisingly well for me - until I decided that even vesa fb is just overblown for something that is only used to have tar oder gcc running.
Since always. Flashing is present during mode switch - this is how hardware works - this not driver bug or software limitation. I confirm it is not so awful on Nvidia driver and works but a man can feel afraid of stability of such vesafb<->nvidia driver switch. Nothing wrong happened so far but I would feel better if only one driver (nvidia kernel module extended with console fb features) would control one hardware. It may be optional so such energyman76 will not feel abused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
First. Bill Gates never said that. You should update your knowledge.
Second. Why is text console not good enough?
That say Microsoft PR. I do not trust them.
http://tickletux.wordpress.com/2007/...the-640k-line/

Quote:
Originally Posted by energyman76b
And from a technical standpoint there should be a lot of problems. A partly userspace driven system (X) and a 100% kernel solution (framebuffer) fighting about the same hardware. If that does not sound fishy to you, you are beyond help.
This happens if you try to use nvidiafb and nvidia module (both kernel modules for same hardware). If nvidia module will be extended by fb feature the nvidiafb or vesafb will not be needed anymore and the conflict will be resolved because one nvidia module will be exclusive Geforce user.
The userspace nvidia X driver talks to nvidia kernel module.
By extending nvidia proprietary module with console fb features stability and compatibility will be improved because nobody will try to fill the gaps by using vesafb/nvidiafb driver.
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Old 12-10-07, 03:30 PM   #10
zbiggy
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Default Re: Framebuffer and X

I confirm that open source nvidiafb is great. I have compiled it as module.
If I do not plan to use X I load nvidiafb module. If I need to use X I load nvidia module.

I do not understand why Nvidia not implemented accelerated fb in nvidia module. There is open source, fantastic, working proof of concept: nvidiafb present in any kernel 2.6 tree: /usr/src/linux/drivers/video/nvidia/
95% of code for accelerated console FB is already present in nvidia module because the same code is used for X acceleration. Console acceleration only uses very small subset of X drawing functions:
sync()
copyarea()
fillrect()
mono_color_expand()
imageblit()
y-panning for scrolling
These functions sits in nvidia binary driver since first version when there was no nvidiafb open source module yet because they are basic accelerators for X. The nvidia fb support can be optional e.g. modprobe nvidia fb=1 fbaccel=1
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Old 12-10-07, 04:44 PM   #11
Thunderbird
 
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Default Re: Framebuffer and X

If you want you can make your own 'nvidiafb' around the nvidia Xorg driver. Just grab the necessairy code from xorg to load a driver and map the few needed driver functions from your own 'nvidiafb'. This is doable.
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Old 12-11-07, 04:02 AM   #12
Keyper7
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Default Re: Framebuffer and X

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderbird
If you want you can make your own 'nvidiafb' around the nvidia Xorg driver. Just grab the necessairy code from xorg to load a driver and map the few needed driver functions from your own 'nvidiafb'. This is doable.
I'd appreciate more specific instructions... Anyone? ;-)
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