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dCore Graphic Servers and Drivers

The following sections discuss dCore graphic servers and drivers. Refer to the dcore X Window System page and the Essential dCore README links to get a graphic system up and running.

dCore Xvesa Installation

The Xvesa graphic server, also known as the tiny X server, and it's associated VESA driver is included in some dCorePlus-*.iso downloads but will slowly be phased out. To install Xvesa run sce-import -b Xvesa (capital x). Xvesa should not be confused with X.org's 'xorg-vesa' driver. The Xvesa server is a lighter, older alternative to X.org. As the Xvesa link indicates, it should only be used in trusted environments.

Similar to running Xvesa in Tiny Core, specific boot codes may be used to set desired screen resolution. For reference, review boot codes explained and Tiny Core boot codes, especially vga=*. Reboot and test system graphics.

Noted 1024×768 appears to be the maximum resolution available and some Window Managers or Desktop Environments no longer work with Xvesa. For example, FLWM worked fine but LXDE did not work at all. Ensure Xvesa, Xprogs and the preferred Window Manager is listed in sceboot.lst, but not any of the xorg-* extensions.

Upon first run if graphic resolution is poor, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete to exit to TTY, run xsetup.sh, choose desired screen resolution and mouse, enter startx to restart Xvesa session. If the scroll mouse does not work, try appending ',5' (comma five) in the first ~/.xsession line, as below. If Xvesa resolution is still not adequate or it does not work with the desired Window Manager, remove Xvesa and install either xorg-all or a more specific xorg-* extension.

/usr/local/bin/Xvesa -br -screen 1024x768x24 -shadow -mouse /dev/psaux,5 -nolisten tcp -I >/dev/null 2>&1 &

dCore Xorg-all Driver Installation

All xorg-* drivers are based on X.org. The xorg-all extension is convenient for initial system setup if uncertain regarding graphic hardware. The driver must be installed to load onboot and a system reboot after installation is required for proper testing.

  • Install the xorg-all graphic driver by running the sce-import -b xorg-all command.
  • Reboot and test system.

dCore Xorg-<specific> Driver Installation

As most systems require only a single graphic driver (eg. Intel, NVidia), installation of the specific driver vs xorg-all is preferred if familiar with the graphic hardware. The driver must be installed to load onboot and a system reboot after installation is required for proper testing. Basic steps to identify hardware and install the correct video driver:

  • Import and load either 'pciutils', 'hwinfo' or 'lshw'.
  • Run the appropriate command to identify graphic hardware. If the xorg-all extension is already loaded the lspci command will also specify the driver being used. For example, install and load the pciutils package, run the command lspci -v or even lspci -nnk | grep -i vga -A3 to check which driver is in use (eg. Intel i915).
  • Install the appropriate graphic driver. For example, for xorg-intel run the command sce-import -b xorg-intel to import the xorg-intel driver onboot. If uncertain regarding the extension name, the -c (contains) option may also be used with the sce-import command. For example, run sce-import -b -c xorg, then select the appropriate xorg-* driver for installation.
  • If xorg-all was previously installed, ensure it is no longer listed in /etc/sysconfig/tcedir/sceboot.lst.
  • Reboot and test system.
  • Upon successful testing, optionally run sce-remove to remove SCEs no longer required (eg. pciutils, xorg-all).

Although not fully resolved, there is a dCore forum thread on proprietary NVidia drivers.

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dCore Graphic Notes

Additional notes that may help set up a graphic system. Setting up graphics in dCore is similar to getting graphics running from most any other minimal Linux installation. As such a large variety of hardware is available and packages vary between dCore flavours (ie. older/newer Debian vs Ubuntu packages), internet searching for missing packages or configuration may sometimes be required. Post on the forum if unable to get dCore graphics running properly.

  • The extension being installed may contain video drivers plus additional data. For example, xserver-xorg-video-intel also contains the packages xserver-xorg-video-vesa and xserver-xorg-input-{all,wacom,mouse,vmmouse,synaptics}.
  • The Xprogs extension is now a dependency of any xorg-* extension.
  • Extensions to identify hardware, such as pciutils, can be removed when no longer required.
  • Review this dCore graphics FAQ entry if unable to get graphics running.
  • Review /var/log/Xorg.0.log for hints after a failed startx attempt.
  • If system boots into graphics but not desired resolution, run xrandr to determine available default resolutions. If the desired resolution is available, test enter the appropriate resolution (eg. xrandr -s 1280×800). If adequate then add this is an ~/.X.d/ entry. If a monitor resolution other than an available default xrandr output is desired, additional xrandr commands will be required or consider using an xorg.conf file (see below). Helpful xrandr links: xrandr man page, xrandr guide.
  • Although not typically required an xorg.conf file may be needed to get graphics, achieve desired resolution and colour depth or enable graphic driver options. For example, an old Intel i810 graphic system required the dCore xorg.conf example file below, including the “DRI” “FALSE” entry, to obtain any graphics in dCore-xenial.
  • To exit graphics when tweaking monitor resolution or xorg.conf configuration, run exittc or select Exit from a supported Window Manager, then select Exit to Prompt. This will exit Xorg and the Window Manager and return to a TTY. Enter startx to restart graphics and Window Manager.
  • Various software to test and benchmark graphic performance can be imported from the respective Debian/Ubuntu repository, such as GtkPerf, mesa-utils (provides glxgears) and nvidia-detect (requires loading Bash). This may help to identify problems and deficiencies. For example, a failed attempt to run glxgears on the Intel i810 system mentioned above required loading libgl1-mesa-swx11 in addition to xorg-intel and graphics-3.16.6-tinycore.

dCore xorg.conf Example

If an xorg.conf file is required to obtain proper graphic resolution:

  • Create an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file
  • Add this entry to /opt/.filetool.lst: etc/X11/xorg.conf
  • Run backup command to backup system.
  • Run sudo reboot command to reboot.

Hardware-specific settings

Intel i810

xorg.conf file for an old Intel i810 graphics system in dCore-xenial:

Section "Monitor"
	Identifier     "Monitor0"
	HorizSync      28.0 - 96.0
  	VertRefresh    50.0 - 75.0
    	Option         "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Device"
        ### Available Driver options are:-
        ### Values: <i>: integer, <f>: float, <bool>: "True"/"False",
        ### <string>: "String", <freq>: "<f> Hz/kHz/MHz"
        ### [arg]: arg optional
        #Option     "NoAccel"   "true"         	# [<bool>]
        #Option     "SWcursor"           	# [<bool>]
        #Option     "ColorKey"           	# <i>
        #Option     "CacheLines"          	# <i>
        #Option     "Dac6Bit"            	# [<bool>]
        Option      "DRI"  	"false"         # [<bool>]
        #Option     "NoDDC"              	# [<bool>]
        #Option     "ShowCache"          	# [<bool>]
        #Option     "XvMCSurfaces"       	# <i>
        #Option     "PageFlip"           	# [<bool>]
	Identifier  "Card0"
	Driver      "intel"
	BusID       "PCI:0:1:0"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
	Identifier   "Screen0"
	Device       "Card0"
	Monitor      "Monitor0"
	DefaultDepth 16
	SubSection "Display"
		Depth 16
		#Modes "1024x768"
		Modes  "1280x800"
	EndSubSection
EndSection

Intel 855GM

Various issues with this card could be overcome by adding “acpi_backlight=vendor” to the boot stanza. See the respective forum thread for additional information and pointers.

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