Trisquel Mini 9.0 and VIA Unichrome problems

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will-fin
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 01/30/2019

I have VIA Epia EX15000G motherboard with built-in VIA Unichrome graphics card.

When booting Trisquel Mini 9.0 from USB it boots OK altough I cannot set the maximum resolution supported by the display (1680 x 1050) but it will allow 1280 x 720 for example.

After installation and booting the installed OS I'm stuck at 640 x 480, no other options available in the menu. I decided to try installing xserver-xorg-video-openchrome which apparently was not installed.

After trying to boot I get only black screen so clearly there is now driver issue. Suggestions? What driver the live environment is using since it works better altough not perfect?

will-fin
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 01/30/2019

Booted t recovery mode and removed Openchrome, now the windows manager works again but max. resolution is 640 x 480.

glxinfo | grep render shows:

direct rendering: Yes
GLX_MESA_multithread_makecurrent, GLX_MESA_query_renderer,
GLX_EXT_visual_rating, GLX_MESA_copy_sub_buffer, GLX_MESA_query_renderer,
Extended renderer info (GLX_MESA_query_renderer):
OpenGL renderer string: llvmpipe (LLVM 10.0.0, 128 bits)
GL_ARB_conditional_render_inverted, GL_ARB_conservative_depth,
GL_MESA_ycbcr_texture, GL_NV_conditional_render, GL_NV_depth_clamp,
GL_ARB_conditional_render_inverted, GL_ARB_conservative_depth,
GL_NV_conditional_render, GL_NV_depth_clamp, GL_NV_fog_distance,
GL_EXT_polygon_offset_clamp, GL_EXT_read_format_bgra, GL_EXT_render_snorm,
GL_MESA_shader_integer_functions, GL_NV_conditional_render,
GL_OES_element_index_uint, GL_OES_fbo_render_mipmap,

nadebula.1984
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/01/2018

If possible, install a discrete graphics card that doesn't require non-free firmware (e.g. GTX750Ti) and see what happens.

It's not driver issue. Many "drivers" are actually (non-free) firmware loaders.

will-fin
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 01/30/2019

This board only has PCI slot for expansion cards, no PCI-E. It is Mini-ITX board based on many chips from VIA, in addition of crappy Unicrome GPU it has quite weak C7 1.5GHz CPU...

Also, Openchrome should be free driver?

https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Openchrome/

EDIT: Interestingly even slightly newer Ubuntu versions fail boot with this board, apparently some bugs with CPU power management, older Ubuntu I tried, I think it was something like 9.04, worked fine. Perhaps Trisquel's kernel does not include that code which causes CPU related issues in newer Ubuntus..

nadebula.1984
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/01/2018

There is an official package xserver-xorg-video-openchrome in Debian's main repository, so you could try to install it from Trisquel's repository (if there were no additional freedom issue).

I haven't checked the package so I'm not sure whether it's a driver or a firmware loader.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Hors ligne
A rejoint: 07/24/2010

You can try a newer kernel. Installing the package "linux-image-generic-hwe-18.04" (in Trisquel's repository) and rebooting will give you a 5.3 kernel. For a 5.10 (LTS) kernel or even a 5.12 (non-LTS) kernel, you can follow the instructions on https://jxself.org/linux-libre/

will-fin
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 01/30/2019

The resolution problem has been solved, before I used DVI to VGA adapter, after switching to DVI cable it autodetected correct resolution. I also did bios reset but maybe it was just switching the cable.

I installed the openchrome originally via terminal, when looking Synaptics I can see that one depency is "xserver-xorg-video-abi-23" package, it is in italic text. The package is not found in Synaptics and the system refuses to install it via terminal, instead saying that xserver core package will be selected instead. So, there is some issue with packages and since that video-abi-23 can't be installed, OpenChrome driver will not work?

I tried removing and reinstalling stuff and now keyboard and mouse don't work, I did read that other people faced similar issues when battling with this, xorg input package is probably missing now.

I might end up trying Windows 98 and making this something like retro gaming machine, I have owned PC containing Unichrome several years ago and I do remember having issues on Linux wayback then so I'm not that surprised that issues are present now as well.

nadebula.1984
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/01/2018

xorg-video-abi is a virtual package in Debian, so you can't install it. Instead, you need to install xserver-xorg-core

But why should you try Losedows 9x? To my best knowledge, the last chipsets still supporting Losedows 9x include Intel 855 (for mobile) and 865 (for desktop) series, which were released around 2003. Anything later don't support Losedows 9x at all.

If you insist on building a retro gaming console, I'd like to recommend legacy ThinkPads with integrated graphics. Even if you want Losedows 9x support, you can still choose ThinkPad X30 or X40 from antique shops. (Note: There weren't many legacy ThinkPad models that came with integrated graphics. Many legacy ThinkPads use either VIA S3 or ATI Radeon graphics cards, which are very hostile to free/libre software.)

will-fin
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 01/30/2019

Well VIA provides drivers for Windows, not 98 at least not directly on EPIA EX15000G product page but I think 98 could work, XP surely is supported but it's not interesting OS. Phil from Phil's Computer Lab YouTube channel hosts some drivers which should work with Windows 98.

The thing of course is that I don't have serious need for this board, I just got it among other stuff and since I've never owned any VIA CPU's I thought this would be interesting, altough of course it's still just a x86 CPU and quite slow even when it was new... but I still tried to install something since I have 8GB SSD. I also have small ATX 90w power supply and since the board itself is quite small I could just put this in some cardboard box and call it a computer :D

I do have more powerful PC which has Linux and all components are supported well, I know that you can minimize problems by choosing components with good driver support and I knew that the situation with OpenChrome is problematic. VIA itself only cared a little about Linux back when this was released, drivers for couple old Ubuntu versions exist but then it lost interest and no documentation was/is released so someone else could easily write drivers.

IMG_20210625_183906.jpg
nadebula.1984
Hors ligne
A rejoint: 05/01/2018

If you don't have serious need for this board, it is strongly recommended that you sell it and find a better one. VIA things don't worth keeping.

There are many interesting mini iTX boards. Some of them are even supported by coreboot, e.g. Intel D945GCLF/2 (and many others). Not only much more powerful but also free/libre. So your chassis and PSU won't be wasted.

Correction: I never choose components with good "driver" support. Rather, I choose components that don't require non-free firmware. Driver is not a problem under GNU/Linux. Firmware is. For example, most non-Atheros WLAN cards do have free/libre drivers in Linux kernel. But without non-free firmware they are totally useless.