The very sad saga continues...

Quirky 1.0 has xorg-server 1.7.5 and xf86-video-intel 2.9.1. There are later versions of xf86-video-intel package, but I tried 2.10.902 and today tried 2.11.0 and Xorg won't start with either.

I wondered about an older version, but 2.8.1 won't compile, seems to be designed for an older version of Xorg.

So, I'm "between a rock and a hard place". 2.9.1 works on my PCs, but some Quirky testers report it doesn't.

All versions of xf86-video-intel past 2.9.1 fail with an error message in /var/log/Xorg.0.log:

Screen(s) found, but none have a usable configuration

My guess is that the intel driver is now dependent on a KMS-enabled kernel, which Quirky doesn't have. I googled around and confirmed this:

After version 2.9.0 the -intel driver has dropped support for UMS, and needs KMS enabled in the kernel.

...but, 2.9.0? Quirky is using 2.9.1. Well, that was compiled in T2 and xorg-server 1.7.1, whereas now I'm using xorg-server 1.7.5. I did a test recompile of xf86-video-intel 2.9.1, and now it doesn't work. Hmmmm...

xorg-server 1.7.1
Reiterating what I stated above, this version was compiled in T2 and was used in the very early versions of Quirky.

When I recompiled xf86-video-intel 2.9.1 with this older xorg-server running, hey presto, it works!

So, xf86-video-intel 2.9.1 detects which server is running when it is configured/compiled and will work. I also tried compiling xf86-video-intel 2.11.0 with running xorg-server 1.7.1, but no-go.

Yikes, it's 2.30am. Will finish this off later. I think that I will roll back to xorg-server 1.7.1. Will keep xf86-video-intel 2.9.1, either that or 2.9.0, they are the only two versions that work.

Posted on 13 May 2010, 3:40


Posted on 13 May 2010, 4:51 by Jemimah
What's the downside to enabling KMS? I think you can do it for the intel drm driver only. Does KMS not work on old hardware?

Posted on 13 May 2010, 6:36 by happypuppy
Kernel Mode Setting (KMS)
ATI / Radeon cards can also work with KMS.
Actually, using KMS for ATI (Radeon) cards is preferred over the old user-space setting.

The old (non-KMS) method is going to be deprecated very soon.

All major distros are moving to KMS.

Posted on 13 May 2010, 6:38 by happypuppy
More about KMS
Another reason why distros are moving to KMS is security.

With KMS, the X server no longer has to be run as root.

Posted on 13 May 2010, 7:18 by kirk
I think there is a ./configure option for KMS.

Posted on 13 May 2010, 8:44 by BarryK
Yes, I read there are problems with KMS enabled on older Intel hardware. I also read just recently that the most recent Intel driver has recognised this and turns it off for older hardware (read on lxer.com I think).

But, I am leaving things non-KMS for the next release of Quirky. beyond that, I'll compile the latest kernel and give KMS a go.

Posted on 13 May 2010, 9:12 by BarryK
This report on our forum about Ubuntu Lucid is typical of what I have been reading about using a KMS-enabled kernel:


People just get a black screen. New users should not have to type in a special boot parameter to get their video to work, it should just work, especially as it works on older Ubuntu's.

Posted on 13 May 2010, 9:55 by BarryK
KMS in Lucid
According to this, Lucid dos have the kernel that automatically turns off KMS for older hardware:


However, many people still get the back screen. I suspect Lucid is using an Intel driver that insists on KMS being enabled.

Posted on 13 May 2010, 10:04 by KMS and more
How about compiling Quirky with KMS, but adding an option whether to enable KMS or not during the initial setup of Puppy (default being OFF).

And is your latest Quirky kernel compiled with HPET support? HPET is a hardware-based timer that allows for better / smoother / snappier performance on CPUs that support this feature (the majority of todays's CPUs support HPET).

Posted on 13 May 2010, 13:37 by BarryK
Yes, probably.

Posted on 14 May 2010, 21:08 by jamesbond
KMS and fbcon
I just found out that to use KMS successfully, you have to use fbcon. The standard VGA console doesn't cut it anymore. See here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/483301

What we can do: do "modprobe fbcon" after you probe the devices in rc.sysinit (ie, after replaying all the uevents - it's after line 240 in quirky 1.0's rc.sysinit).

Good luck :)

Posted on 14 May 2010, 22:08 by BarryK
Goodbye text mode
I read that Ubuntu thread with interest, and a little sadness.

I plan to release Quirky 1.1 in two versions, built with the kernel and a retro build with the kernel. I think that I need Xorg to be non-KMS to work with the older kernel -- that's another reason for me not to embrace KMS.

And yes, the ancient vga text mode is very fast, and guaranteed to work on every PC out there. Another reason for me to regret the way things are going.