Monday, March 15, 2010

XOrg 1.7.5 and Linux Kernel 2.6.33

Indonesian Slackware user, Arman Idris posted on Plurk that he is now running XOrg 1.7.5 with the latest -Current update. I was curious and asked him what did he do in order to make that combination works? I have tried to upgrade this before and the result was misserable. I couldn't start KDE. I have tried several ways, but ended with failure.

He replied that he did nothing. It was a default configuration, which makes me more curious about it. So i looked the Changelog and i saw no major changes to XOrg except for Mesa which is rebuilt to remove --enable-gallium-intel and --enable-gallium-radeon configure parameter (which i think it's not related at all).

So i tried the upgrade on my workstation at my office which uses Intel VGA card. I installed the generic kernel and create initrd, upgrade all packages in x/ and re-ran lilo to update the lilo and reboot and YES, it worked like charm. It works automatically without any additional configuration. All you need is the latest -Current (March 12 and newer) and it should work.

Next, i tried this on my laptop which uses Intel + NVidia (yes, it's a hybrid laptop). Unfortunately, Linux is not ready for GPU switching yet (until 2.6.34), so basically it's Intel-based laptop. I upgraded all packages in x/ and installed the generic-smp kernels in -Current and reboot, but what did i get? a Lockup. It won't boot at all. It won't even pass the initial kernel dots.

So i decided to compile my own Linux 2.6.33 kernel using Pat's config file on generic-smp which i modified a little bit to make the EXT4 file system static (so i won't have to make initrd), change the processor type, and enable HIGHMEM64G in order for Slackware to detect my 4 GB of RAM (i'm still using 32 bit system FYI). After rebooting, voilaa.... it works Yahoo

So, if you are using Slackware-Current and having problem with the latest XOrg 1.7.5, please make sure you are using Linux kernel 2.6.33 or newer. If the default kernel packages in Slackware-Current doesn't work out for you, i would recommend you to compile your own kernel based on Slackware's config (just to be safe, but you can always make your own config).

Right now i'm compiling Linux 2.6.33 in my desktop. This is my third attempt to upgrade all of my machines and i'm hoping it will work also Big Boss