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Thread: Fedora 21 Drops Support For A Bunch Of Old GPUs

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by torsionbar28 View Post
    Nobody uses VGA these days, everything is DVI (and HDMI) so it makes sense to drop support for cards that never came equipped with DVI ports.
    That's the funniest thing I've read today.

    'Nobody uses VGA these days'... hilarious.

  2. #52
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    I always wonder how small those use-cases are in reality. Seems to me most first world people forget that there are large parts of this planet where people can't just get the newest hardware, but have to use that older hardware. I would think (and I would really like to see data on that, so if anybody has a link please post) that in many parts of the world Pentium III or IV and MGA or Sis cards are not that uncommon. Of course that shouldn't be a problem for Fedora in particular, but shouldn't Linux as the most used open operating system take care of these use cases?

  3. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vim_User View Post
    I always wonder how small those use-cases are in reality. Seems to me most first world people forget that there are large parts of this planet where people can't just get the newest hardware, but have to use that older hardware. I would think (and I would really like to see data on that, so if anybody has a link please post) that in many parts of the world Pentium III or IV and MGA or Sis cards are not that uncommon. Of course that shouldn't be a problem for Fedora in particular, but shouldn't Linux as the most used open operating system take care of these use cases?
    Sure and they do by using a older distro with a longer lifecycle or using one of the distros tailored for lower end hardware. You don't have all the latest features in that scenario though and that is a important trade off to recognize.

  4. #54
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    And let us not forget that certain modern Linux features would not work well on such hardware anyway, which makes having them made inaccessible easier to stomach.

  5. #55
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    Default Noobody _does_ care about the older ATI GPUs. Noobody volunteered on Monday.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrugiero View Post
    Not only that, but it sounds overly complicated, comparing to step up and just maintain the drivers and make them use the current way of doing things. Also, the same way nobody stepped up to support them, makes clear nobody will step up to support a whole fork of the OS, which is a harder task.
    Actually, on Monday I volunteered to pick up support for the mach64 and r128 drivers, with the intent of converting them to KMS once I am up to speed. I've been collecting older ATI/Radeon cards and some corresponding test systems (AGP 1x/2x with > 1GB is hard to find these days). My original desire was to become involved with the R100, R200 and R300 driver support because of issues I am seeing with recent Fedora releases on the older GPUs. Supporting the oldest families is a tangent from that, but in the end will likely help me get up to speed and improve my understanding of the ATI/Radeon GPUs in general.

    See http://www.spinics.net/lists/fedora-...msg190461.html and http://www.spinics.net/lists/fedora-...msg190462.htmlfor some more details.

    I have set up AlDunsmuir as my primary Phoronix ID, but could not resist creating this ID for this discussion 8^)

  6. #56
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    Default Fedora gives me the latest _base_ features... and I only need minima GPU power.

    Quote Originally Posted by RahulSundaram View Post
    Sure and they do by using a older distro with a longer lifecycle or using one of the distros tailored for lower end hardware. You don't have all the latest features in that scenario though and that is a important trade off to recognize.
    Rahul,

    It's not just the oldest GPUs where the support is deteriorating.

    I got into this primarily because the old Dell D810 laptop (X600, so R300 driver) worked fine with Gnome 3 at the start of Fedora 17, but after a few months regressed so that only fall-back would work. Towards the end of the F17 cycle, the regression was fixed. Unfortunately, I have been unable to use that laptop with F18 or F19. F19's initial logon with Plymouth (softpipe even though Gnome only had R100/R200 blacklisted) was truly problematic. I'm currently using F19, with Mate on the laptop (only), until things improve.

    I like this laptop because of the 1920 x 1200 display, as is my main Samsung display for my office (via 8-way KVM). Current mid-range replacement hardware would represent a reduction of functionality for my purposes. Meh.

    My original BZ was unanswered, as are many these days. This is likely due to a combination of lack of developer test hardware and limited developer cycles and interest. I figured that if I wanted it fixed, I would need to get more directly involved with debugging (and perhaps fixing) the issue with X (or mesa, if that was the case). My plan I would start out by providing test feedback for the hardware I had (which included cards with R100/R200 GPU). I started out getting a spare laptop for testing, and another test system with a few more R300 family cards to regression test any changes I might make. Branching out to R128 and mesa started after Ajax's original post in August. I've had to build up an AMD KT7 system from scratch to be able to test AGP 1x/2x with enough storage to install and run Fedora reasonably. I've also picked up an Apple PowerMac G5 (currently with Radeon 9650) to check for big/little endian issues.

    This level of hardware handles the minimum I need - my servers handle grunt work (and actually have HD 4xxx to 6670 level Radeon GPUs). They don't handle lying in bed surfing at the end of the day. My older laptops are the level of hardware that is also being used by those on limited incomes (often off-lease, or discards), or by users with minimal interest in keeping up with the latest and greatest.

    I want a current distribution across my laptops, desktops and servers with access to the latest security fixes, and base functionality. I tried Ubuntu a couple of years ago... and it was not a good fit for me. Fedora has hit the sweet spot for me since FC3... and I am stubborn enough to want to keep it that way.

    Al

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
    And let us not forget that certain modern Linux features would not work well on such hardware anyway, which makes having them made inaccessible easier to stomach.
    The Fedora distribution supports a wide selection of desktops, including Gnome 3, KDE, Mate, XFCE, LXDE and Enlightenment.

    Older hardware may not be able to handle graphics intensive applications, but for casual use (basic EMail, web access) may be quite workable with Gnome 3... provided the driver (X and mesa) are fully functional for that GPU.

    Where older hardware (or the driver) is not up to the task, a less demanding desktop may work well on the same hardware.

    It is important that basic installation tasks work. That is why the F19 Plymouth problems with first logon caused havoc.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noobody View Post
    Actually, on Monday I volunteered to pick up support for the mach64 and r128 drivers, with the intent of converting them to KMS once I am up to speed. I've been collecting older ATI/Radeon cards and some corresponding test systems (AGP 1x/2x with > 1GB is hard to find these days). My original desire was to become involved with the R100, R200 and R300 driver support because of issues I am seeing with recent Fedora releases on the older GPUs. Supporting the oldest families is a tangent from that, but in the end will likely help me get up to speed and improve my understanding of the ATI/Radeon GPUs in general.

    See http://www.spinics.net/lists/fedora-...msg190461.html and http://www.spinics.net/lists/fedora-...msg190462.htmlfor some more details.

    I have set up AlDunsmuir as my primary Phoronix ID, but could not resist creating this ID for this discussion 8^)
    Very good. I'm glad to be proven wrong, actually. I'm just tired of most people just expecting someone else will scratch their itch, when it was always scratching their own. I'd like to learn how to code drivers, so if you are able to document how you've learned, I'd thank you a lot (however, my only unsupported hardware at the moment is an Unichrome, so I can't help in this specific case).

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrugiero View Post
    I'd like to learn how to code drivers, so if you are able to document how you've learned, I'd thank you a lot.
    Sounds reasonable. I've got a personal web site, but nothing like a blog - will have to check what my hosting provider makes available.

    I've already found that a number of related presentations and product descriptions have vanished from the active internet, so I expect that I'll be making heavy use of the Internet Archive. I already had to do so for the latest BIOS for the test machines.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noobody View Post
    Actually, on Monday I volunteered to pick up support for the mach64 and r128 drivers, with the intent of converting them to KMS once I am up to speed. I've been collecting older ATI/Radeon cards and some corresponding test systems (AGP 1x/2x with > 1GB is hard to find these days). My original desire was to become involved with the R100, R200 and R300 driver support because of issues I am seeing with recent Fedora releases on the older GPUs. Supporting the oldest families is a tangent from that, but in the end will likely help me get up to speed and improve my understanding of the ATI/Radeon GPUs in general.

    See http://www.spinics.net/lists/fedora-...msg190461.html and http://www.spinics.net/lists/fedora-...msg190462.htmlfor some more details.

    I have set up AlDunsmuir as my primary Phoronix ID, but could not resist creating this ID for this discussion 8^)
    When XAA support was dropped for X there was a guy who implemented EXA support for r128 because he still wanted to use his old laptop. He wrote a blog post about it: www.smallperturbation.com/r128-exa the link doesnt seem to be working for me at the moment but it may be my internet. Anyway I recall he said he may look at adding KMS support if it was to become required.
    If he's still using his old laptop maybe you guys could work together towards this, or he might at least give you some tips on where to start as I think he had at least started looking into how to support it.

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