Running an X (Xorg) server on your Raspberry Pi is frustrating. You can either use the fbdev or fbturbo driver which will give an un-accelerated 2D environment with swrast 3D (OpenGL) all beating your poor RPi’s CPU. Overclocking it will only help you so much which is a pity considering that there is another layer on the SoC that would be perfect for that but is now unused.
Enter the VideocoreIV (VC4) and Eric Anholt (formally of Intel, now of Broadcom), who are going to breath new life into the RPi. The idea is to offload the 2D rendering, via Glamor, to the VC4 with OpenGL calls. Since a OpenGL stack needs to exist, that means there will be a Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) Linux kernel module and Gallium/DRI module in Mesa.
This is happening now, here is the current status of support via the Piglit test-suite: skip 19102, fail 3866, pass 3146, crash 153, total 26267
With the release of Ubuntu (Meerkat) 10.10 just 10 days away, the ubuntu x-swat people have been busy getting fglrx ready for release. The fglrx now compiles against latest Meerkat kernel and finally resolves the unknown symbol issue.
In the laptop is a ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670 and with the latest fglrx driver usability is awful. There is horrible tearing when using “Appearance -> Visual Effects -> Normal”, which had to be set back to “None” just to be usable. Even on “None”, scrolling down in documents, chrome, firefox and Skype all give blurred or stuttered graphics.
These are for me “do not use” releases.
After a brief time with Karmic (10.04), the laptop was upgraded to the beta of Maverick. Everything works out of the box with no additional tricks necessary in getting the Dell Studio XPS 1640 fully functional.
The only drawback I found in upgrading from Karmic was the loss of fglrx as a xorg-server driver. Maverick is shipping with the 1.9 version of xorg-server which is ABI incompatible with what fglrx is compiled against.
The exact error is:
undefined symbol: savedScreenInfo
which causes X not to start.
The very first thing I did when the company I work for gave me a laptop, a Dell Studio XPS 1640, was to install Ubuntu Karmic on it. No need for windows on this thing, I plan on working, not playing.
Dell is very good about their laptops. Whenever I had a question, everything I ever needed to know about their hardware I could easily look up on the online. The 1640 is no exception with their manual.
So tried my hand at getting Linux up and running on a hand me down laptop that I’ll be doing a lot of work on. It is a Dell Latitude D505 with 1.2 Gigs of DDR ram, 1024×768 15in LCD, Pentium-M 1.5Ghz, Intel based wireless (802.11b), 120Gig Drive, and Intel based video card.
Started off wired to the Internet, Debian 3.1 install CD, linux26 install and everything was smooth sailing during install process. I selected http for getting my apt sources, wrapped up the install, rebooted. Once logged in, I immediately added testing and performed a aptitude dist-upgrade. This bumped me up to Debian 4.0. I installed the latest kernel 2.6.22 as it comes with the ipw2100 driver automatically. The earlier kernels do not and require you to compile yet more source code.